Advent, the season of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ nativity, begins on Sunday, Nov. 27. 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
"The starry splendors of the night": The hand-drawn Advent calendar that so many look forward to each year from creators Tom Mousin and Merry Watters is available for 2022 here.
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, available for download in English, Spanish and French, 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 ninth 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. 27. The images and meditations can be experienced through AdventWord.org, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 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. On some days you might open a door to a brief video that features a greeting from a bright student at a diocesan school. On other days you might encounter a friend of these ministries sharing the moment when their heart was filled to bursting by the witness of the indigenous Christians – the living stones – of the Holy Land. 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 evening devotions, Tuesdays through Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m.: 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. Gather on Tuesdays through Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. for a 30-minute contemplative service of prayer and song, centering on the O Antiphons, lighting candles as the sun fades into night. Find more information on the cathedral's website: www.stpaulboston.org.
Advent Online Retreat, Saturday, Dec. 3, 9:30 a.m.-noon: This morning retreat, led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, will seek to create a space of prayer big enough to encompass both what disturbs and shakes us, and what brings comfort and hope. How do the images of Advent enlarge our capacity to midwife Christ’s birth within us and among us? The retreat will include presentations, silence, singing, solitude and small group conversation. This free retreat is open to all and is sponsored by both Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts and the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ. Register here.
"In a Manger" Nativity Scene Display: 300+ nativity scene sets from around the world will be on display at Trinity Church in Shrewsbury on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 11, 2-5 p.m.
People of both Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts are collaborating to present this exhibit featuring nativities in an array of folk art styles and materials, from the private collection of Carolyn Smith, a member of St. Andrew's Church in Ayer.
Come join for music and refreshments while you enjoy this free display!
"Virtual Preaching Monks": The brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge are providing a series of recorded sermons for 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. Find more information here.
United Thank Offering Christmas cards: You can make a contribution to the United Thank Offering Ingathering in honor of someone you’re grateful for, and UTO will send them a Christmas card on your behalf. Or, order in packs of 10 to send yourself. All contributions for Christmas cards will go to the 2022 Ingathering, which will be granted to ministries focusing on the worldwide incarceration crisis. Click here for more information and to order cards.
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.