Advent, the season of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ nativity, begins on Sunday, Nov. 29. Here is a selection of devotional activities, programs and events for giving and getting ready in this holy season.
Advent calendars and devotions
“With ev’ry passing day, as sunlight disappears, the dusk descends, and prayers ascend for strength to calm our fears”: The hand-drawn Advent calendar that so many look forward to each year from creators Tom Mousin and Merry Watters is available for 2020 here.
“In the midst of what does seem to be such an uncertain time, we invite you to use this calendar as one way to embrace the hope that God will create in our hearts and minds this Advent,” they say. Each day on their calendar offers a Scripture reading and a suggested devotion. You can also subscribe to receive a daily e-mail on the calendar’s devotions.
Way of Love Advent calendar: This Advent calendar accompanies the Journeying the Way of Love Advent curriculum, and offers daily suggestions for engaging in seven “Way of Love” practices: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest. The calendar can be used as a stand-alone resource to keep nearby and refer to every day.
#AdventWord: For the seventh year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary is offering meditations and images during this holy season. Images and meditations can be experienced via the #AdventWord website, direct daily e-mails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. This year, meditations will also be available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
AFEDJ Advent calendar offers a glimpse into the lives of Holy Land Christians: Beginning on Dec. 1 the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) will launch a Holy Land Advent calendar to offer a daily glimpse into the lives of Holy Land Christians and the humanitarian ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Start each day of Advent with a splash of joy by opening a door to a photo or a brief video and news from one of the Episcopal ministries in the region. Find the calendar at www.afedj.org/advent.
Services, events and programs:
Scroll through our Events calendar for a more complete listing of upcoming seasonal events in our diocese.
A few highlights:
Online Advent devotions from our cathedral church: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston is observing an expanded Advent, and invites all to join online for Wednesday evening Advent devotions, now underway, each Wednesday at 5 p.m. These services will be livestreamed from the cathedral chancel, with a few worship leaders, socially distanced and observing diocesan protocols. Watch on the cathedral's website here: https://www.stpaulboston.org/services2020 .
Space for Jesus: An Advent Quiet Day The two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts are co-sponsoring an online Advent retreat, open to all, on Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. In these tumultuous times, what better way to welcome Jesus than to set aside a quiet morning to make room for his birth in our hearts and minds? Participants will step away from daily tasks and concerns in order to listen with full attention to the Spirit’s movement within. The intention will be to awaken to the divine presence being given, moment by moment, breath by breath. The time together will include presentations and guided meditations, with options for solitary reflection or small group conversation. To register for the Zoom link, click here.
"Lights of Advent" at St. Barnabas's Church in Falmouth: Beginning Nov. 29 through Epiphany (January 6), St. Barnabas's Church will present the "Lights of Advent"-- a colorful display designed to brighten lives of Falmouth residents and visitors during these dark times of the pandemic. A "festival of lights" will illuminate the church windows, Memorial Garden, parish house, labyrinth, trees, paths and lawns. A traditional Christmas tree will stand in the Memorial Garden, with a circle of donated Christmas trees decorated with memory lights greeting visitors as they enter the church grounds. Messages of joy, hope and love--offering encouragement to visitors--will be placed throughout the campus. Learn more here.
Episcopal Migration Ministries Refugee Prayer Vigil: To honor and mark this holy time, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) offers a prayer vigil, modeled off of a "Blue Christmas" prayer service, to invite prayer and reflection on Advent themes in a world being transformed by forced migration. You can download the printed prayer vigil for local use. EMM will host a virtual Advent vigil on Sunday, Dec. 13, 7-8 p.m. The Advent vigil, available via Zoom webinar and Facebook Live, will offer a time of prayer and reflection, and will also be available on demand following the event. Learn more here.
Episcopal Relief & Development Advent resources and Gifts for Life: This year, new Advent resources from Episcopal Relief & Development feature its One Thousand Days of Love campaign and include weekly Advent craft ideas for use during virtual coffee hour, virtual Sunday School or after dinner in your household each Sunday night leading up to Christmas. Additionally, Episcopal Relief & Development’s online Gifts for Life catalog provides a way to support efforts that alleviate poverty, hunger, disease and disasters around the world.
Find additional Episcopal Church resources for Advent and Christmas at
Artwork in homepage banner: Longest Night © Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com