Advent


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The Holy Season of Advent is upon us again. Dusting off the purple sanctuary banners, altar falls, pulpit falls, and all the other bits we use. I hear talk of Advent being like a mini-lent and the trend to do special Advent studies, join Advent study groups, give up something for Advent, and I am not sure that we are not failing.

Advent is not Lent.

I believe that the Old Sarum colour for Advent was a Deep Ashen Indigo, reminiscent of the deep night sky of the northern winter, punctuated by the Rose, the promise of a new day, hinted in the sky before the new day comes and marked by the use of the Rose colour of Gaudate (Rejoice) Sunday.

Advent is a time of expectation, of looking, of hoping, of preparing, of getting ready, of inviting, and of excitement and celebration. Some time back the Queen (the orchestral rock band) sang a song with the lyric are you ready, are you ready for this, are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

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The antiphons for the last week of Advent are sometimes called the O Antiphons remind us very clearly of the sense of expectation and invitation. O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel, is a hymn built on those antiphons.

I hope that this season of Advent is a season that enriches and enlivens each one of us, looking for the day.

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