More Advent Resources: A Selection

In addition to this year's Advent Email Calendar, you can find a few selected resources for further formation which may work for small groups, and/or individuals. It is not an exhaustive list. Due to the pandemic, many new Advent publications may be delayed or only ready for pre-ordering at this time.

If you’d like to see more Advent ideas, you can check out the diocesan Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.ca/dionewwest/advent/.

Also, if you have another resource that you’re planning to use this Advent, I’d love to hear about it!

Small Group

  • Journeying the Way of Love: Advent Curriculum
    The Episcopal church offers this four week series that joins readings from Luke with developing a rule of life using the core practices from the “Way of Love”. The Way of Love is a discipleship resource to empower people with core spiritual practices to live a Jesus-centred life. The series also comes with a daily Advent calendar. Download it here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/journeying-way-love/

  • Watching and Waiting: A Family Christmas Movie Guide
    Four movies for the four weeks of Advent with discussion questions to explore Christian faith and themes for each of them. The movies are:  Polar Express, Elf, The Grinch, and Muppet Christmas Carol. Download and print as many copies as needed.

Book Study

  • Light of the World
    Amy Jill-Levine is your guide to beginning again with Advent. She examines the contexts and significance of the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and the Magnificat, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit of the Magi. A leader's guide is available too. Available at Indigo or Amazon.ca

  • For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio
    An unusual choice, perhaps, this is an epic 20th century poem that W. H. Auden wrote in the depths of World War II and his own griefs. It still captures the anxieties and ultimately the hope of this and all ages. It would be good to read after Christmas day too. The critical edition helps readers catch all the details and references. For the poetry lovers and those looking for something to be challenged by. Available on Amazon.ca or Indigo.ca

Daily devotionals and bundles

  • Make your own online Advent calendar. A number of sites offer ways for your parish to design and send out your own online Advent calendar. Link each day to photos, text, or video. Tuerchen.com is one and offers its service for free to parishes. 

  • Close to Home. A themed resource for Year C, it includes a printable devotional, a sermon planning guide, liturgies for online/home worship, art, and poetry. Available at Sanctifiedart.org

  • Illustrated Ministry Advent collections. Illustrated Ministry offers colourable, printable devotional booklets for use by households. They also make worship resources and large colouring banners for churches to use. Advent 2021 is now available and the theme is God With Us, but you can choose among past years as they are not tied to the lectionary readings. Illustrated Ministry for Advent
  • The Salt Project's Advent round-up. Another set of downloadable devotional booklets as well as short films to use in church communications. This year's Advent theme is Less is More and includes simple devotions for households to use during the weeks of Advent. These can be printed and mailed from the parish office. Salt Project Advent 2021

Practices

Reverse Advent Calendar
Instead of getting something each day in Advent, fill a box or basket with things to give away or donate at the end of the season. Here's a sample.

Salt dough Spiral calendar
Another way to mark time in Advent and provide a focal point for prayer and meditation during the season. It could be used as an alternative or complement to the Advent wreath at home. See instructions here.

A "Not-to-do" list
There's more than enough "to-dos" in this season. A desire to simplify is something I hear more and more from people. This can be as simple as writing down 2 or 3 things one does not want to do this Advent. e.g. Not worry, not shop one day a week, not overschedule the evenings. This idea comes from Traci Smith's Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas.

Music

Playlists for the seasons of the Christian calendar are becoming more popular. Listening to the music of Advent at home or at work can be a way to integrate seasonal formation into daily life. Here are a few playlists available on Spotify, a free online musical player:

Waiting with Expectation and Hope - Virgina Theological Seminary
-largely traditional Advent carols sung by different choirs and small ensembles.

Advent Choral
-selections from four albums of traditional Advent chant and song.

Advent with Sacred Ordinary Days
-contemporary, often folky/acoustic covers of Advent carols and hymns

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