Rector's Blog

Advent – the Season of Anticipation

Advent Candles

There is a lot of criticism that Christmas starts far too early.  We may be guilty of this in the Church these days.  In order to get well ahead of the game our Christmas fayres start earlier and earlier.  I noticed there was one held even before the start of Advent in a church not too far from here.  Now I am not going to get critical about that.  We are all trying hard to raise funds and help people gather together after the terrible separation that Covid forced on us.

But there is something about the watching and waiting of the Advent season that I hope will not get lost in the modern day Christmas experience.  I hope we do not lose that sense of anticipation as we await the birth of the Christ child.  Sometimes the feeling of anticipation can actually be better than the event itself when it comes.  Not that I am suggesting that is the case of the Nativity of Our Lord but I have often heard people say that their favourite time is not Christmas Day but Christmas Eve. 

So the waiting and watching for the arrival of the Child Jesus should not be something boring or heavy or bleak.  Advent is a time when we can reflect on the Christian virtues of hope, joy and love.  We go over the familiar story of our faith recalling the patriarchs, the prophets, John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

I think the experience of  anticipation is best summed up by Winnie the Pooh.  When asked what Pooh like best he responded: “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

Finding space for God in Advent does not stop us enjoying the Christmas season but helps us to savour it more. Rev’d Canon Andrea Jones, Rector of St Deiniol’s

An Advent Prayer

Now is the time of watching and waiting

A time pregnant with hope

A time to watch and pray.

Christ our Advent hope,

Remind us to prepare for your coming;

Remind us to prepare for this time

When the soles of your feet touch the ground,

When you will become one of us

To be a one with us.

May we watch for the signs,

Listen for the messengers,

Wait for the good news to slip

Into our world, our lives.

Christ our Advent hope,

Help us to clear the way for you;

To clear the clutter from our minds,

To sift the silt from our hearts,

To move the boulders that prevents us meeting you.

May sorrow take flight,

And your people sing a song of peace

And hope be born again. 

Amen.  Kate McIlhagga