Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent

Tonight was the first Sunday of Advent. I have never celebrated Advent before, but was so excited to attend the candlelit Advent service at Emmanuel college this evening. It was a really lovely hour. We sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel together, all seven verses. I absolutely love that song and thoroughly enjoyed the first experience singing it in a congregation. The choir sang "And the glory of the Lord" from Handel's Messiah, among other pieces. We listened to Micah 5:2-4, Isaiah 11:1-9, Luke 3:1-17, Luke 1:26-38 and John 1:1-14. The dean lit the five Advent candles on the beautiful Advent wreath in front of the altar. This is what the program said about Advent and the Advent wreath:

Advent is the season preceding Christmas.
It is a time of expectation and longing
for the coming of Christ.

The Advent Wreath 
Christ comes to bring light to a darkened world.  As the
candles on the Advent wreath are lit the illumination
increases and the darkness is progressively dispelled.
Each one represents a strand in Christian expectation of the 
coming of the Messiah, corresponding to the four Sundays of
Advent and Christmas Day itself.

I love the message of Advent, the "time of expectation and longing for the coming of Christ." I got a bit teary-eyed at the triumphant end of O Come All Ye Faithful, in which we sang: "Sing, choirs of Angles, sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;  Glory to God in the highest: O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!" I love the Christmas season and love that I can remember the Savior's coming with such joy, both with those of my own congregation and those of the broader community.  

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