The word “advent” means coming or arrival. From the Latin adventus, this wintry season, celebrated for the four weeks preceding Christmas since the 10th century (so we’ve only been doing this for a millennium!) recalls both the ancient longing for the Messiah and looks forward to his promise to come again. As the beginning of the liturgical year and traditionally celebrated by Advent calendars and wreaths, liturgical decorations and even fasting, it’s a period of expectant waiting, and a rich season in which to begin or renew a life of Christian spiritual practices. It is a time to connect to our longings, desires, hope, and expectation.
Here are a few resources that may help you in thoughtful anticipation of Christ this season:
Advent and Christmas Wisdom by Henri Nouwen
Goodness and Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas – an anthology
Christmastide: Prayers for Advent by Phyllis Tickle (centered around the daily prayer hours)
Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible Through the Year (a year-round resource)
You may also want to check out some great online resources: Pray as you go is a fantastic daily prayer/meditation podcast and Sacred Space provides a guided prayer for each day. Sacred Space is also doing an Advent Retreat with more extensive readings once a week.
We hope these texts and podcasts will be a resource for you as you pursue the Christ child. If you have further questions about spiritual formation during this Advent season, please email Adam Bailon, Director of Spiritual Formation.