A weekly blog to help you learn, teach, and celebrate the liturgical seasons at home
As we enter into the season of Advent, you’ll notice that the colors in worship change. This might be a new vocabulary word for you to learn – paraments. These are the cloths that hang in churches, primarily on the altar, or banners that decorate sanctuaries or hallways in churches. At FUMCR, we have paraments on the altar, but open your eyes to check for hidden places where they sometimes appear, for example on the wall at the back of the sanctuary. The ministers wear stoles in the color of the season as well. Ministers usually have stoles that are meaningful to them individually. Pay attention to our pastors who wear stoles and see if you can find the differences and the similarities!
Advent is the time of the year when we prepare for Jesus’ birth. It includes the 4 Sundays before Christmas Day. This year, Advent officially begins on December 3 and ends on December 24. Because the ministers at FUMCR wanted to make sure that we set aside a day for each one – hope, peace, joy, and love – we actually started celebrating Advent in worship on Sunday, November 26.
Purple will be used in worship as well as the Advent Wreath. An Advent wreath includes 4 candles, 3 of them are purple and one is pink, with one white candle, the Christ Candle in the center. Each Sunday of Advent we will light one candle and celebrate one of the gifts that Jesus brings into the world on Christmas Day.
Hope = purple candle
Peace = purple candle
Joy = pink candle
Love = purple candle
This is the week of HOPE! Jesus is the hope of the world. Read Luke 1: 26-38 to hear the story of Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Mary is going to have a baby, and he’s going to be the savior of the world! God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mommy! She must have been so scared, but she also had so much hope. Hope for who he’d become and hope for the world! So this week, spend time each day as a family sharing how you have HOPE because of Jesus. Celebrate that there are so many things to be hopeful for during this season! Share them with each other and celebrate that HOPE is all around you!
Ideas for your family:
Bake cookies and secretly deliver them to a neighbor or friend.
Choose an angel tree gift from a community organization and provide a gift for someone you’ll never meet, but who will know the hope of Jesus because of your generosity.
Write a letter or make a card to mail or deliver to someone who needs encouragement.
May you all be blessed as you enter this season of Advent. Watch for God in unexpected places and share the HOPE of Jesus with everyone you meet!
God of hope and wonder, be with us as we watch for you in unexpected places. Open our eyes to see you and open our hearts to share the hope of Jesus with everyone we meet. Amen.