Recommended Devotional Sites & Resources for Advent 2015

November 29, 2015

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

advent_vespersHappy Advent! Below is a list of some of the best sites for devotionals and prayers throughout Advent. Almost all the sites featured below will have new entries each day of Advent. We will update this list from time to time as we discover new websites. Resources marked “*(A)” are from the Anglican tradition.

Please feel free to share recommendations for Advent links & resources in the comments!

Don’t forget our Advent Devotionals category here at Lent & Beyond.


Sites featuring Regular Advent Devotional Reflections & Prayers:

  • Emily Polis Gibson’s Barnstorming blog and her special Advent series for 2015 “Anticipating God Among Us” – Emily’s mix of poetry, photographs, and reflections on Scripture make her Advent series a truly special gift to all who read her blog. Highly recommended!
  • Biola University’s online Advent calendar. This WONDERFUL Advent resource that began 2013 is back again for 2015. Truly EXCELLENT! Substantive reflections on Scripture, artwork, music… Again, this site is a special gift. Don’t miss it!
  • New for 2015:  related to the daily Advent poetry readings by Malcolm Guite, artist Lancia Smith has created a daily Advent image that illustrates each poem.  These are beautiful Advent visuals!  I’m excited about this resource!
  • New for 2015: Tamara Murphy, who blogs at This Sacramental life, is once again posting a daily Advent Daybook series for 2015.  (I’ve linked Tamara’s blog in the past, but somehow never got her blog included in my 2014 Advent links list.) Each day’s post includes a photo, a Scripture reading, a prayer, a musical selection, and a suggested activity.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  You can browse through her 2014 Advent Daybook entries here.

There’s MUCH more below… keep reading!

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ADVENT 2015 at Lent & Beyond

November 29, 2015


Note: this entry is “sticky” and will remain at the top of the blog throughout Advent. Look for new entries below.

Advent has started!!! We wish all our readers a Blessed Advent!

I (Karen) hope to do some Advent blogging this year, though it won’t be daily. Even if I don’t do much blogging, I may be posting some Advent tweets, so keep an eye on our Lent & Beyond Twitter Accout (@AnglicanPrayer)

Here are some links to help you find your way around the wealth of Advent resources at Lent & Beyond:

All new Advent posts for 2015 can be found with our Advent 2015 tag.

For all Advent entries past & present, here’s our Advent category.

Our Advent Subcategories include: Advent Devotionals, Advent Prayers, Advent PoemsAdvent Music, Advent Quotes, Advent Resources, Advent: Family & Children

Here’s the “Best of Advent at Lent & Beyond” entry – compiled last year, with links to many of our Advent favorites from our 10 years of blogging. Here’s our Advent Favorites category.

Here’s the  BRAND NEW UPDATED list of links to excellent sites for Advent devotionals & prayers for Advent 2015.

Here’s the link for all our posts containing Advent worship music.

Here’s the link for all of last year’s entries:  Index of all our Advent entries for 2014

May the Lord prepare all of our hearts for celebrating the miracle of His birth and may He draw us near to Him in worship this Advent.

From the Lectionary for 2015 12 01

December 1, 2015

Matthew 21:12 (NKJV)
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
      Jesus, drive from your churches anything that corrupts or pollutes them.

Matthew 21:13 (NKJV)
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
      Holy Spirit, restore a life of prayer and worship to every parish in this diocese.

Matthew 21:14 (NKJV)
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
      Jesus, please heal all who come to you in the parishes of this diocese.

Matthew 21:15-16 (NKJV)
But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”
      Father, bless the ministry to youth throughout this diocese and help us to take to heart the praise of your children.

Matthew 21:18-19 (NKJV)
Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
      Lord, we too will wither away if we do not bear fruit for you.

Psalm 10:6-7 (NKJV)
He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity.” His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
      Lord, stop the mouths of those candidates whose mouths are filled with cursing and deceit.

Psalm 10:14 (NKJV)
But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.
      Father, have mercy on the fatherless and those children caught up in the foster care system.

Psalm 11:3 (NKJV)
If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? [Alternate translation: “What is a good person to do when things fall apart?”]
      Lord Jesus, I turn to you in my hour of need.

Word: I hold you in my hand. You are in my care, for I care for you.

Albany Intercessor

Advent Quotes: Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Waiting is a forgotten art

December 1, 2015

In a sermon preached in Barcelona on the first Sunday of Advent, 2 December 1928, Bonhoeffer said:

“Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting, however, is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

– h/t The Rev. Patrick Comerford in his Advent blog entry yesterday


An Advent Prayer: Illumine our way this Advent

November 30, 2015

From yesterday’s Advent devotional at Biola’s FANTASTIC online multimedia Advent calendar, an excellent Advent prayer:

Lord Jesus, as we enter into this Advent season, we confess to You our brokenness and dependency. We confess to You our spiritual wanderings and distracted hearts. We confess to You the darkness of our souls without the rescue light of You, our Savior. “Create in us a clean heart” (Psalm 51:10) and a prayerful posture of dependence upon You, the living Word, light of humanity, Divine Initiator, filled with grace and truth. Illumine our way in this Advent season.  Amen.


From the Lectionary for 2015 11 30

November 30, 2015

Matthew 21:3-5 (NKJV)
And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ “
      Holy Spirit, help me recognize Jesus when he comes to me.

Matthew 21:9 (NKJV)
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
      Father, please help us sing “Hosannas” to Jesus and make joyful melody when he comes among us.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV)
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
      Lord Jesus, help me to be a disciple who grows into the life of your Spirit with:
      brotherly kindness

Psalm 4:1 (NKJV)
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
      Hear my prayer, O God of my righteousness.

Psalm 4:5 (NKJV)
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
      Jesus, help me place my trust in you.

Psalm 7:17 (NKJV)
I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
      LORD, it is your righteousness that counts, not mine; help me to sing your praises. Thank you.

Word: I will give you songs to sing and place melodies in your heart.

***** Neighborhood Meal Prayer Table, Christ Church, November 29, 2015, Chuck and Theresa Rinaldo
+ received a cross

+ Rianna – Pray for her to do well in school and make more good friends. Pray for her Uncle Joshua and Bo to get along.
+ John – needs God’s provision to be able to go back home to Georgia. He is currently working minimum wage and needs something more substantial.
+ Jennifer – Pray for God’s provision, peace in the community and for her to have a closer walk with the Lord. Also pray for the woman who left her baby in the trash bin.
+ Kaie – Prayed for Beverly who had a stroke and is in recovery. We asked for healing and quick recovery.
+ Howard – Pray for God to provide a place for him and his family to live.

Albany Intercessor

Advent Poems: Christina Rossetti’s “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh) – read by Malcolm Guite

November 29, 2015

One of the Advent Series I am most excited about is Anglican priest and poet Malcolm Guite’s series for Advent 2015.  He’ll be reading an Advent poem from his Advent poetry anthology “Waiting on the Word” each day.

Today, for Advent Sunday, his reading is Christina Rossetti’s poem “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh)

Here’s the text of the poem, which I found here.

Advent Sunday

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 156

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out
With lighted lamps and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,
Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock
Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:
His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,
Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,
She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;
He knows His lovely mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,
And she with love-voice of an answering Dove.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go we out
With lamps ablaze and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

Before 1886.

Each day’s poetry reading is accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Lancia SmithHere’s her image to accompany today’s poem:

2 Behold the Bridegroom cometh 1 - wm

art credit:  Lancia E Smith: Behold the Bridegroom Cometh

Two Prayers for the first Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2015

The traditional Anglican collect for the First Sunday in Advent:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.


A contemporary prayer for the First Sunday in Advent by Pastor Scotty Smith, from his blog Heavenward:

     You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40:9-11 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, on this first Sunday of Advent, we praise, bless and adore, for the privilege of celebrating your great faithfulness and your immeasurable generosity. You sent Jesus to us, and have given him for us. Every promise you have made finds its emphatic “Yes!” in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20).

     Fuel our wonder and enflame our hearts, Father. Help us engage again, with the story of Jesus’ birth, with childlike wonder and renewed hope. Bring familiar Scriptures alive in fresh and transforming ways. We don’t trust in a season, but in our Savior.

     I love how Isaiah describes the Messiah coming to gather us up in his “Advent arms.” To be tended as a helpless lamb, to be held close to your heart, to be gently led—what more could we possibly need or desire? We believe; help our unbelief.

     And in Jesus, you come near to us as the Sovereign Lord, with your sleeves rolled up as the great ruler. Your arm rules over all history and every heartache, over all kings and every crises. Nothing and no one can alter, subvert, or change the story you are telling, and the kingdom you are advancing, through Jesus. Thankfully, these aren’t mere metaphors, Father; for metaphors can’t save us, only inspire us. You really are this involved in our lives, and your really are this merciful and mighty.

     Indeed, the coming of Jesus puts all nations on notice: There is only one true King, and he is Jesus. And the coming of Jesus puts us—your people, face down in adoring love. Over the next several weeks, show us, yet again, how Jesus is a most wonderful and grace-full Savior—Immanuel, the God who is very much with us and totally for us. So very Amen we pray, with Advent longings, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.


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