Next Sunday (28th November) is the first Sunday in Advent, marking the beginning of the Advent Season.
An Advent Theme
We are all aware of the many difficult issues that the Covid pandemic has thrown into sharp relief and the heightened concern over our environment and the future that we will leave for our children and grandchildren and the tensions that all of this can create in relationships and for mental health. Against this background, we are planning to focus on a different aspect of Social Justice in each week of Advent.
Traditionally the Advent Wreath has three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday. These four candles are arranged in a ring with a white candle in the centre. There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the readings in our Lectionary is:
- Advent 1 – The Patriarchs (and Matriarchs)
- Advent 2 – The Prophets
- Advent 3 – John the Baptist
- Advent 4 – The Virgin Mary
- Christmas Day – Jesus the Christ
The weekly themes of Social Justice will be reflected in our preaching as follows:
- Advent 1 – The Legacy that we leave to future generations (mirroring what was left to us by earlier generations – including most of our Church Buildings)
- Advent 2 – Freedom of Speech (the Prophets were often persecuted for what they said)
- Advent 3 – Consumption (John was very frugal)
- Advent 4 – Exploitation and Violence against Women and Girls (Mary was a vulnerable refugee)
Advent Study Groups
Our Advent Study Groups will also take up each of these themes week by week.
The groups will be held as follows:
Wednesday Mornings at 11am in St Finnbarr’s Church after the Midweek Service
Wednesday Evenings at 7pm on Zoom
Each of the Sessions will stand alone and so it is perfectly OK to attend in person some weeks and online for others, they are on Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd December.
If you wish to take part in the Advent Study, please let James know, so that he can prepare sufficient copies of materials/arrange refreshments. etc.
Simon and James