A service of lessons and carols will be sung on the first Sunday of Advent – December 1 at 4:00 p.m.
Advent – the word means coming or arrival – is a season which has two meanings for Christians. It is a time to prepare for the anniversary of the Jesus Christ’s first coming – his birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Bethlehem two thousand years ago – and culminates in our celebration of Christmas, the twelve-day feast that lasts from December 25 to January 6. The other theme of Advent is the Second Coming of our Lord at the end of time, when he will come in great power and glory to judge both the living and the dead. The double emphasis on both the first and the second advents of Christ gives to the season its unique mixture of devotional joy: joy in the redemption that has come to us in the Incarnation, and awe before the Judgment that yet awaits us. To the spiritually discerning believer, both of these tremendous and signal events of past and future are experienced as eternally present realities.
Advent is a season of both quiet reflection and joyful expectation. This service is intended to be a time of spiritual preparation, as we watch and wait for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Through our experience of sacred Word and music, the story of the coming of Christ gradually unfolds and deepens our understanding of God’s message of love and redemption. The liturgy itself embodies the sense of Advent movement — through the choir’s processions and in the increasingly powerful prophecies and promises of Holy Scripture. May these words and this music propel you quietly toward the true joy of Christmas.