Advent, the season of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ nativity, begins on Sunday, Nov. 28. Here is a selection of devotional activities, programs and events for giving and getting ready in this holy season.
Find additional Episcopal Church resources for Advent and Christmas at
Advent calendars and devotions
"So listen for the sound of love, as word enfleshed becomes our way and truth, our song to sing so that God's will is done.": The hand-drawn Advent calendar that so many look forward to each year from creators Tom Mousin and Merry Watters is available for 2021 here.
“Merry and I continue to be delighted by the ways in which this calendar finds its way out into the world and becomes a part of the season for so many,” Mousin said.
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.
BIPOC Leaders Advent Calendar: The Anti-Racism Ministry of the Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham has created an Advent calendar for 2021 featuring Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders. The printed version sold out at the parish's recent holiday sale, but everyone can participate by visiting the online version, available here, each day of December to learn about and be inspired by a different BIPOC leader. There's also a learning page to submit a new fact learned about that day's leader. Participants who do this for all 24 days will receive a special recognition.
Creation care Advent calendar: The Rev. Maggie Arnold at St. Stephen’s Church in Cohasset created a hand-drawn Advent calendar for 2021, with a creation care theme. She invited people to send her a picture of nature from their church vicinity and combined them into a quilt-themed Advent calendar, now available here.
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 eighth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online advent calendar. Forward Movement will offer 28 daily meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, Nov. 28. The images and meditations can be experienced through AdventWord.org, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. Meditations will also be available in English, Spanish and French via e-mail and on AdventWord.org.
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 again offer 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 more upcoming seasonal events in our diocese.
A few highlights:
Advent space for contemplation and evening devotions: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston will again offer an expanded, seven-week season of Advent this year, joining a movement to recover an ancient practice and afford time and space in which to prepare more fully for the coming of Christ. Starting Sunday, Nov. 7, the cathedral sanctuary is set up with seven stations for prayer and contemplation, each one centered on an “O, Antiphon.” On Tuesdays in Advent from 3 to 5 p.m., all are invited to come in for rest, prayer and contemplation. A service of evening devotions will follow at 5 p.m. Find more information on the cathedral's website: www.stpaulboston.org.
"Healing from Internalized Oppression": This virtual Advent program is sponsored by the seven historically Black churches in the Diocese of Massachusetts and the Office of Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, along with the Episcopal Church Office of Black Ministries, Wednesdays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15, 7-8:30 p.m. Register here.
"In these end times as we deal with so many issues in American society, these three Wednesday courses will give us an opportunity to reflect together on how our feelings about ourselves impact how we relate to the world around us and to each other based on Scripture and research. Come join us and be transformed as we prepare to welcome the birth of Jesus once again."
"Virtual Preaching Monks": The brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge are providing a series of six recorded sermons for Episcopal congregations this Advent season. The free sermon resource can be used in a service where a preacher may not be available, or they can be used as an adult forum resource. This resource, called Virtual Preaching Monks, is another experiment from TryTank Experimental Lab. TryTank offers inventive approaches to the challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Find more information here.
Episcopal Relief & Development Advent resources and Gifts for Life: Advent resources from Episcopal Relief & Development again 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.
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