27 November 2010

And so with the setting of the sun, Advent commences...

...and St. Paul's is already beautifully decorated (thanks, Christmas committee) for the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany seasons.


Sue said...

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!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Pastor! I would love to worship at St. Paul's during Advent/Christmas...hopefully someday!

-Brenda Higley

Anonymous said...

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.


William Weedon said...

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...

Anonymous said...

"the Blue of Advent still calls us
to penitence" Actually the Blue of
Advent calls us to HOPE. Hope in the
3-fold coming of our Lord. In the
past He came as the incarnate Son of
God in Bethlehem's manger. He comes
in the present through Word and
Sacrament. He comes in the future
on the Last Day to bring forth the
new heaven and earth. Purple is the
liturgical color of repentance for
Lent and Blue is the color of HOPE
for Advent.

William Weedon said...

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."

Anonymous said...

If memory serves me correctly, the
LCMS Worship Commission in the 1980's
introduced Blue as the new color for
Advent vestments. The rationale was
Advent does not compare to Lent as
far as a solemn season of repentance
is concerned. Our focus was to be
on the joy of Christ's coming in
Bethlehem as compared to the sorrow
of the Good Friday event in which
He must shed his blood for us. Blue
has more joy than a purple vestment.
If you want to make Advent a season
of severe repentance then use the
purple vestment rather than blue.
Regardless of the Scripture reading
we will always Law and Gospel. Our
lay people recognize the difference
between the Joy of Blue and the
severity of purple. Have a joyful

William Weedon said...

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.