THE WATERSIDE CHURCHES
Welcome to the season of Advent in The Waterside Churches. We wait in hope for a new year to begin as we light our first candle on our Advent wreaths on Sunday 27th November.
Advent is the season of reflective preparation for the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the expected return of Christ in the Second Coming. Waiting can give us the opportunity to see and hear and feel things we are often too busy to notice. And while we wait, we may see other waiting people; the elderly, parents, disabled people, teenagers, young children, and notice the look in their eyes, the joy, the pain, the hope, the despair; we may see beautiful things, ugly things; we may hear a kind word, a cruel word, a baby’s cry, a shout of rage, a snatch of music… Such experiences are all part of the Advent journey.
“Waiting in hope” is the signature tune of Advent. My hopes and prayers are that we wait in hope together: sharing prayer, in reflection, learning together on our Advent Course and sharing worship.
This year, when there is so much anxiety and concern about what is happening around us, we long to hear the melody of hope in our lives. I hope that this special page on our website will be your ‘go to’ resource for all things Advent. I will update the page regularly throughout the season.
It can be difficult, in the busyness of our lives, to make space for acts of penitence for prayer, learning and reflection. Our time is squeezed by preparations for Christmas, and it can be hard to find enough time to really connect with the Advent season. This time of waiting is important for our faith and our discipleship. It’s all too easy to rush headlong through Advent in a whirlwind of preparations and crash into Christmas, exhausted and stressed.
Advent begins next Sunday, Happy New Year to us! Our new year begins with the lighting of our first Advent candles in church. The Advent Wreath has four candles in a ring around a white or gold candle.
Alternatively, there may be three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday, when rose-pink vestments are traditionally worn. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday; additional ones are lit, one on each Sunday, and the white or gold one on Christmas Day.
There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. Each of the four Sundays then reminds us of those who prepared for the coming of Christ.
‘The Patriarchs’ can naturally focus on Abraham, our father in faith, and David, the ancestor in whose city Jesus was born.
‘The Prophets’ gives an opportunity to reflect on the way the birth of the Messiah was ‘foretold’.
John, who proclaimed the Saviour, and Mary, who bore him in her womb, complete the picture.
Do keep coming back to check in on this page and I hope that you are inspired to take some time out in prayer and reflection during Advent, as we wait in hope for the birth of the Christ child.
Advent 1 The Patriarchs - Reflection
Advent 2 The Prophets
Advent 3 John the Baptist
Advent 4 The Virgin Mary
Christmas Day The Christ
"The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you." ~ Matthew Kelly
"Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
If you would like to chat about anything ‘Advent’ do give me a call on 01872 276357.
The Waterside Churches Advent Course
You are warmly invited to join us for our Advent Course
based on the book by Anna Robbins, ‘Unexpected Jesus’
‘Come and meet an unexpected Jesus - and never be the
The course will be held in the Devoran Parish Centre on:
Friday 2nd December at 2pm
Friday 9th December at 2pm
Friday 16th December at 2pm
Friday 23rd December at 2pm, followed by mulled wine and
All course materials will be provided.
To book place on the course please contact Revd Karen on:
01872 276 357 or 07591 240 640.
Session 1: Great Expectations
Friday 2nd December at Devoran Parish Centre. 2pm
Session 2: Unexpected Arrival
Friday 9th December at Devoran Parish Centre. 2pm
Session 3: Unexpected Encounters
Friday 16th December at Devoran Parish Centre. 2pm
Session 4: Unexpected Return
Friday 23rd December at Devoran Parish Centre. 2pm