Advent @ St. Paul’s
Advent begins this Sunday, November 29th. Advent is the first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for “coming.” The season is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord’s nativity, and for the final coming of Christ “in power and glory.”
In addition to our regular offerings of Sunday Worship, Children’s Sunday School and Wednesday Morning Meditation, we invite you to journey with St. Pauls through this season with the offerings and resources highlighted below. Download your own St. Paul’s Advent Calendar to save on your computer or print. Click here to Download.
Worship, Meditation, and Prayers
Advent Pause | Monday-Saturday During Advent
Brief, daily reflections to deepen our connection to God, self, planet, and neighbor.
The season of Advent invites us to be more awake to the ways that God is present in each day and moment. Based on the prayers, images, or readings from each Sunday in Advent, these very quick “pauses” will help you ground your day in God and God’s love for you.
Children’s Sunday School | Sundays @ 9:00 a.m. on Zoom
Join our Children and Families in Advent, as they Journey to Bethlehem together each Sunday. Contact Linda Willis to receive the link to join this Advent Zoom Children’s Sunday School.
Sunday Morning Meditation | Sundays in Advent @ 9:15 a.m. | Click Here for More Details
This is an online offering where we will gather together, read a brief reflection, and enter into 20 minutes of silent meditation. There will be an optional time of reflection after the meditation. We will conclude in time for the 10:00 a.m. worship service.
Advent Recitals | Wednesdays in Advent @ Noon Live Streamed | Click Here for More Details
In partnership with All Saints Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s will be offering musical recitals on Wednesdays at noon during Advent. These recitals will be a mix of organ and instrumentals and will be live-streamed. Watch HERE.
Advent Prayer Walk @ Capitol Square* | December 5th @ 10:00 a.m. | Click Here for More Details
Join Rev. Gwynn as we walk, watch and wait, witness and pray to God for Christ to be born anew into our hearts, our community, and all creation this Advent season. RSVPs are required.
December Book Club | Monday, December 14th @ 7:00 p.m. | Click Here for More Details
We will be reading and reflecting on The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle. “The Irrational Season follows the liturgical year from one Advent to the next, with L’Engle reflecting on the changing seasons in her own life as a writer, wife, mother, and global citizen.” This conversation will be facilitated by Keli Shipley Cooper.
Compline Night Prayers | Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 8:30 p.m. on Facebook Live | Click Here for More Details
Compline is the last of the Book of Common Prayer’s four services in the Daily Office that includes Morning and Evening Prayer. It is descended from the night prayers said before bed at the end of the monastic round of daily prayer. It is an intimate and peaceful prayer service for turning our bodies, hearts and minds toward Christ as we prepare to rest as we wait and watch in hope for the Light of the World.
Liturgy of the Longest Night Live Stream| Monday, December 21st @ 7 p.m. | Click Here for More Details
This service creates a space to recognize and hold space for our own doubt, loss and grief as we together wait in hope and longing for the Eternal Word Made Flesh to be born anew in our weary hearts and world.
Christmas Eve at St. Paul’s Online Service | Thursday, December 24th | Click Here for More Details
This year, we have a special gift for you and your family. Since we can’t gather in person, we wanted to capture the spirit of Christmas in a meaningful way, so your church leadership has worked hard to produce a beautiful Christmas Eve film that will be released on Christmas Eve.
Resources, Devotionals, and More…
Advent Music Playlist curated by Dr. Christopher Reynolds, Director of Music
- Advent Resource from Building Faith at Virginia Theological Seminary
- d365 – “Our devotions are written by ministers, professors, students, teachers, missionaries, denominational leaders, and others who work with and care for students. Typically, an author writes on a single theme for one week. In these devotions, you will read honest struggles and questions, all in the context of real faith. As you read the thoughts of the writers, think about your own response to the scripture for the day. Let the writer’s words serve as background for your own conversation with God” There is a specific series for Advent called “Following the Star”
- #AdventWord – #AdventWord is a global, online Advent calendar. Each day from the first Sunday of Advent through Christmas Day, #AdventWord offers meditations and images to inspire and connect individuals and a worldwide community of believers to the themes of Advent. You are invited to participate by posting your own images using the hashtag #AdventWord and the word of the day, for example, #journey. Individuals, congregations, organizations, and institutions can all participate.
- Advent spirituality for Youth: The St. Nicholas Center is a project in partnership with Virginia Theological Seminary that seeks to educate people about the patron saint of children. Everyone has a unique interest in Christmas time – learning more about this key figure can help shape our understanding of the symbols used for this meaningful holiday. Here are some great tips for cultivating an environment that encourages reflection for this holiday season.
Books and Devotionals
- The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle (December Book Club Read)
- Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season by Heidi Haverkamp
- All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings by Gayle Boss (Creation Care focused)
- Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent by Walter Brueggemann
- Kneeling in Bethlehem by Ann Weems
- Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent by Amy Jill-Levine
- The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola (great for children)
- A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson
- Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems (great for children)
- Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell
- Watch for the Light—Readings for Advent and Christmas
- A Weary World: Reflections for Blue Christmas by Kathy Escobar
- The Womb of Advent by Mark Bozzuti-Jones (temporarily available for free, along with other Advent resources)