Pastor's Desk: First Sunday of Advent
Welcome everyone as we begin a new year in the Church’s Calendar. Today is the First Sunday of Advent; the first Sunday in the Year A of Sunday readings which means the Gospel will predominantly come from Matthew till next November.
Advent is a very small season in the Church’s year consisting of four Sundays. The Readings of the first two weeks remind us that Jesus is the Alpha & Omega, the beginning and end of created things. The latter two Sundays get us to reflect on His coming among us as man with His birth in Bethlehem. Advent is about slowing down the pace of our lives to think more deeply about the fact that God sent His Son to us; in that way it is a preparation for Christmas.
Slowing down is very hard to do when our society is telling us to hurry up and buy all the gifts in for Christmas; make sure you have the house ready for your visitors and try to spend some time doing the rounds of family & friends! Yes this is a very busy time indeed. But if it is to retain its true meaning then we have to grasp that time for deeper reflection in our busy weeks.
The symbols we associate with Advent are all in place in our church. The Advent wreath is there with its greenery and 5 candles. We light a purple candle this Sunday to mark the movement towards the season of Christmas and the beginning of week one. The other symbol of Advent is the Jesse tree which tells the story of how God cared for His people by sending the prophets for hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
Things to do this Advent:
- Take a moment out of your day, each day, to pray to God
- Take part in the Advent Carol Service next Sunday, 8th December, beginning at 5.00pm
- Join us for the Sacrament of Confession during the Advent Penance Service on Tuesday 17th December 7.30pm
- Make a donation to the Diocesan Food Appeal for non-perishable food