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GOD WITH US [IDEAS FOR ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE, AND EPIPHANY]

Tim and I have appreciated the deep liturgy of many church traditions for some time. Through many influences and inspirations, we have slowly incorporated as much of the church calendar into our lives as possible. Because as W. David O. Taylor said, “If the church doesn’t tell us what time it is, the surrounding culture surely will, and we usually end up the worse for it.”

Since joining the Anglican Communion, we’ve dived even deeper. As I’ve explored many resources to understand the “why” behind each tradition and activity, I’ve compiled many ideas on this Pinterest board, The Liturgical Year.

Here is a bit of what we’re attempting to do to make this season rich, meaningful, and (hopefully!) deeply transformative. Some is new to us this year and I would love to incorporate new ideas. Please share what you are doing as well! 

The Whole Season of Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany

GOD WITH USThe Sacred Ordinary Days Weekly Planner is a beautifully designed and thoughtful weekly planner to walk through the entire liturgical year.

I will be slowly walking through the coming liturgical year with Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross, beginning with the chapters on Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

I’m trying to fill our home with natural scents that remind me of this special season by simmering cinnamon, citrus, cranberries, and vanilla on the stove.

This little craft is buried deep in my memories from grade school. After getting creative with designs of cloves in oranges, our kitchen will have a big bowl of spiced orange pomanders.

I will search for a piece of art to reflect on for the majority of the season each day of advent through epiphany. (I’ve been inspired by this and sad it’s no longer available: Advent Art Calendar by Phaedra Taylor‘s Ambrosium)

Advent

SONGS FOR ADVENT PLAYLISTThis year’s advent devotional is “God With Us” (Looking for a good one? Byron shares a great list of recommended advent reading.)

Our simple and traditional Advent wreath coupled with this little booklet.

Advent Music Playlist focused on preparation, waiting, and the hope that is coming! [Please share what songs you would add!]

Food, festive meals, and cookie dough prepared and frozen for cooking and baking during Christmastide.

Intentional lamenting the darkness that drives us towards the much needed light of the world. We’re called to mourn and rejoice in this world that is already but not yet. I’ll be meditating on Psalm 74 as I lament for those whose hearts might be especially heavy during the holidays.

Christmastide (12 Days of Christmas)
GENEROUS GIVING TO GUATEMALA

Replace purple and pink candles in wreath with white candles because Jesus is here!

Give a gift each of 12 days of Christmas – surprise neighbors, friends, church members, strangers, and give donations (especially before year-end, hint hint, during Lemonade International’s Give Christmas campaign!)

Reading 12 Days of Christmas: The story behind a favorite Christmas song to understand the Christian symbolism in the song we all know.

Bringing a little PA to AZ with electric candles in the window to represent the light has come into the world and hospitality

Handel’s Messiah or Josh Garrel’s new Christmas album played at dinner each of the 12 nights

Feasting! Baking the cookie dough, enjoying meals from the freezer, and sharing those meals with others as much as possible.

Epiphany

Epiphany party with everyone’s leftover cookies, pies, and desserts to accompany the Epiphany King Cake and traditional Lamb’s Wool Spiced Drink.

Fire in our chiminea to represent the light that has come into the world. Guests are invited to bring a branch from their tree to add to the fire.

Read T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magior listen to him reading it!

Thanks

Thanks to Let Us Keep the Feast, Christ Church Anglican, and Bill and Karen Hartley for many of these ideas and traditions!