C is for Candle and Calendar
Do you keep the tradition of lighting an Advent Candle to mark the time passing as you journey towards Christmas? What an opportunity to pause and reflect amidst the hustle and bustle of the season! In our household we’ve updated the custom by lighting one electric tealight each day and placing it on display in the front window.
I love Bishop George Appleton’s prayer, Give me a candle of the Spirit. It’s not Advent specific, yet so apt, speaking as it does of hope, of light in darkness and being fully known by God. An articulation of that deep down yearning that we long to satisfy.
Give me a candle of the Spirit, O God, as I go down into the deeps of my being. Show me the hidden things, the creatures of my dreams, the storehouse of forgotten memories and hurts. Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name. Give me freedom to grow, so that I may become that self, the seed of which You planted in me at my making.
Out of the depths I cry to You…
When I shared about our favourite Advent calendars the other week, I forgot to mention Sybil Macbeth. It’s not too late to download one of her 2019 calendar templates and find a new way of marking the season. Pun not intended (honestly!) I chose a candle design this year. Here’s what I’ve done so far. Simple and won’t fall foul of ‘elf and safety’ like a certain Advent Crown!
Sybil encourages you to doodle and colour your prayers. Listening+Coloring+Doodling=Praying, as she says. What design will you choose: Advent tree ornaments? Angels? Stars? Sybil gives examples of completed calendars from previous years to inspire you and a whole host of handy hints and tips for different ways of using your templates. I especially love the idea of reflecting and doodling round an Advent word each day or focusing on a word or phrase from any seasonal reading you might be using.
Do you have an ‘alternative’ Advent Calendar, or a favourite way of focussing your reflections at this time of year ? I’d love to hear about them.