That is so beautiful! I had the joy of spending 2 hours at my church yesterday with a couple of other members of the altar guild, along with someone from the board of church properties, who kindly climbed a ladder over and over to hang the Advent banners way up high. Advent wreath set up, paraments changed to blue. Lovely. It was at least as beautiful as your church! Now all I have to do is set up my own Advent wreath and Advent calendar/banner and I'm ready! The banner is 25 separate appliqued felt pieces with numbers on the back. I made it from a kit almost 30 years ago. On Christmas Day you turn over #25, which is the Baby Jesus, and you have the entire nativity scene. When my boys where in grade school, my older son figured out a "fair" way for 2 boys to take turns and come out even: Mom got to turn over the Baby Jesus!
Beautiful, Pastor! I would love to worship at St. Paul's during Advent/Christmas...hopefully someday!-Brenda Higley
Beautiful decorations, Pastor Weedon. However, I would like to ask a liturgical question: Why are you allowing CHRISTMAS decorations to be put up for the first Sunday in ADVENT? Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. Advent is penitential season to PREPARE one for Christmas, not four weeks of Christmas before Christmas. I just don't get this. You wouldn't decorate the chancel with Easter lilies on starting on Ash Wednesday. Why are you decorating the Chancel with Poinsettias on the First Sunday in Advent. All you need to a proper celebration of Advent are blue or violet paraments and vestments and an Advent wreath. Save the Christmas tree for Christmas Eve.BrotherBoris
Indeed, Brother Boris, it was the habit before I came and since it requires such work to decorate, we have to do it when we can get the folks together to do so. That's almost always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Know, though, that the Blue of Advent still calls us to penitence and we do not forget to celebrate Advent itself as our preparation for our Lord's Appearing. It's just the building tends to get a bit ahead of the liturgy...
"the Blue of Advent still calls usto penitence" Actually the Blue ofAdvent calls us to HOPE. Hope in the3-fold coming of our Lord. In thepast He came as the incarnate Son ofGod in Bethlehem's manger. He comesin the present through Word and Sacrament. He comes in the futureon the Last Day to bring forth the new heaven and earth. Purple is theliturgical color of repentance forLent and Blue is the color of HOPEfor Advent.
Actually, I disagree. The theme of Advent is set in the liturgical texts and there is a decidedly penitential and somber note in them:"deliver us from the threatening perils of our sins" (Collect, Advent I)"that we might escape the wrath to be revealed when He comes again in glory" (Preface, Advent)"that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy" (Collect, Advent IV)Or today's Epistle: "Let us put off the works of darkness..." So I think the Blue should be shaped not by our thoughts in general about the color, but by the readings the Church reads in connection with it. Also, of course, the color blue is closely tied to the Virgin, and she does figure largely in the Hymn of the Day today: "Here a maid was found with Child, yet remained a virgin mild."
If memory serves me correctly, theLCMS Worship Commission in the 1980'sintroduced Blue as the new color forAdvent vestments. The rationale wasAdvent does not compare to Lent asfar as a solemn season of repentanceis concerned. Our focus was to beon the joy of Christ's coming inBethlehem as compared to the sorrowof the Good Friday event in whichHe must shed his blood for us. Bluehas more joy than a purple vestment.If you want to make Advent a seasonof severe repentance then use thepurple vestment rather than blue.Regardless of the Scripture readingwe will always Law and Gospel. Ourlay people recognize the differencebetween the Joy of Blue and theseverity of purple. Have a joyfulAdvent.
The blue was historic color for Advent in Swedish use and in medieval Sarum rite. And in either, it was a season of penitence. No question that hope rings through - but that is because our penitence is filled with hope! "Repentant joy" - there IS no other kind.
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