UPDATE: Enjoy the links below and then come on over to this year's Carnival!
Welcome! I'm so glad you've found our Advent carnival. (A special "Hello" to our visitors from Stand Firm and Anglicans Online!)
Are you interested in learning how to keep Advent - or maybe you want some new ideas for keeping Advent? Grab a cup of coffee and join us!
First, a little history:
"What is Advent?
Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Church year for most Western churches. The word "Advent" means "arrival" or "coming" in Latin and represents the approach of Christ's birth (and fulfillment of the prophecies about that event) and the awaiting of Christ's second coming. It is composed of the four Sundays before Christmas day, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th, which is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and ending on Christmas. Because Christmas is on a different day from year to year, Advent may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days.
In the 4th and 5th centuries, Advent was the preparation for the "Epiphany" rather than Christmas. (Epiphany is celebrated in early January and focuses on various events in Jesus' life such as the visits of the magi, His baptism and miracles.) It was also a time for new Christians to be baptized and welcomed into the church, while members of the church examined their hearts and focused on penance. Religious leaders exhorted the people to prepare for the feast of Christmas by fasting. Some say that early documents show that those leaders treated Advent as a second Lent.
Sometime in 6th century Rome, the focus of Advent shifted to the second coming of Christ. In the 9th century, Pope St. Nicholas reduced the duration of Advent from six weeks to the four weeks we currently observe. And finally, sometime in the middle ages--approximately the 1500's--an additional focus on the anticipation before Christ's birth was added to that of His second coming. " From The Teaching Mom: History of Advent
Advent continues today to be a season of preparation, of our hearts and homes, for the celebration of the Birth of Christ. It can also be a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of society's "Holiday Season".
So, are you interested to see how some of my Anglican friends are celebrating Advent this year? Me, too! Let's read on...
Jessica, from Homemaking Through the Church Year, has posted a lovely post with so many wonderful ideas for Advent (with a great list for fun activities) and some food for thought, too.
Two Square Meals - is waiting on two births: that of Christ and that of her next child. I've always thought it was very special to be at the end of a pregnancy during Advent and Christmas. She's enjoying a number of Advent traditions as she counts down the days to both these births.
Jamie at Oh, Be Careful! - has two posts: one about the Advent Wreath and one about the Jesse Tree. With her usual wonderful sense of humor and a little seriousness, she shares these two family traditions.
Karen at Lent & Beyond is really the "go-to-girl" for all things Anglican Prayer. She has a fantastic page devoted entirely to Anglican Advent links for 2008. A wonderful resource!
Amy has posted an Advent message from the Archbishop of Canterbury on her blog On a Joyful Journey.
And my own reflections on the Advent That Almost Wasn't...and some simple ideas for celebrating Advent during busy or stressful times.
Want more? Me, too! Last year's Carnival had a number of excellent posts and resources, so don't miss that...but I've got an idea that might make this Carnival grow over Advent.
Below is a Mr. Linky. I encourage anyone to post their Advent links over the course of Advent. You can submit as many links as you like - just keep to the theme: Advent.
Have a blessed Advent!
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