Planning for your Advent wreath – and that pink candle

A couple of days earlier, I published a carol with accompanying responses that could be used for the lighting of the Advent wreath. It seems to me that there are some issues around how we do the Advent wreath in church which are worth a follow up post.

Copyright Nick MacNeill via Geograph used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

You won’t be surprised that I follow a traditional schema for the four Sundays of Advent:

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Words for the wreath – looking ahead to Advent

I thought I’d break off today from the series I’m working on to look ahead. I know that in the parish, once the extra services of remembrance were past, I started to turn my attention to organising the Advent liturgy. There are many fine prayers around for the lighting of the Advent wreath, but there are fewer good songs or hymns.

A friend and colleague, Mark Earey has written one of the good ones, called “Advent candles tell their story” which is in the newest edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Today, though, I offer one that I wrote and used in the parish, together with the texts I used to accompany it. It is set to the carol tune Personent Hodie. Like other hymns and prayers I publish here, the hymn is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 4.0 CC BY-NC-SA licence, so you are free to copy and use it if you so wish.

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The Christmas cycle

In a previous post I offered a general outline of the church calendar, as two cycles of seasons standing out from the ordinary passage of the year. Today I focus on the first of those, the Christmas cycle.

At present the ways the Christmas cycle is organised differs slightly between the Roman Catholic lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary, on the one hand, and the Church of England’s lectionary on the other, by extending the post-Christmas celebration. This means there are two ways of constructing the Christmas cycle. The illustration is of the Church of England’s.

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