New Advent links for Christian Resource Institute (CRIVoice)

November 29, 2015

I’m sure I’ve posted DOZENS of links over the years to the great resources at Christian Resource Institute / CRIVoice

It appeares they’ve changed their website domain, and old links will probably not work.

Here’s their new website address:  http://www.crivoice.org/index.html

Here are some of their great Advent links:

Overview: The Season of Advent

A table of Daily Scripture Readings for Advent 2015

Jesse Tree links & Resources

A list of traditional Songs for Advent

All About the Advent Wreath

Responsive Readings for Advent

“Chrismon” ornament patterns


ADVENT 2015 at Lent & Beyond

November 29, 2015

Advent_Blog_Banner

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.


Advent Poems: William Cowper – The Shining Light

December 18, 2014

Another post dug up from our 2006 archives…, an Advent favorite that I’m surprised has taken me 8 years to post over here at this version of Lent & Beyond!

William Cowper: The Shining Light

The Shining Light

My former hopes are fled,
My terror now begins;
I feel, alas! that I am dead
In trespasses and sins.
Ah, whither shall I fly?
I hear the thunder roar;
The Law proclaims Destruction nigh,
And Vengeance at the door.
When I review my ways,
I dread impending doom:
But sure a friendly whisper says,
“Flee from the wrath to come.”
I see, or think I see,
A glimmering from afar;
A beam of day, that shines for me,
To save me from despair.
Forerunner of the sun,
It marks the pilgrim’s way;
I’ll gaze upon it while I run,
And watch the rising day.

— William Cowper


Advent Favorites: St Symeon – Come O Eternal Joy

December 16, 2014

As the theme of Week 3 of Advent is Joy, yesterday, I prepared the following entry for today, a re-post from our 2006 Advent archives (from our old, now defunct blog).  Having read the news headlines this morning of the horrific massacre of schoolchildren in Pakistan, I nearly hesitate to re-post this today.  However the tragedies of the world serve to strengthen our longing for His coming… so may we hold on to the hope of His promises today, and the indescribable joy we will know in His presence.

From our 2006 archives

St. Symeon: Come, O Eternal Joy!

I am stealing this shamelessly from Pontifications, artwork and all. It’s just too good! I consider it essential Advent reading (even though Fr. Al posted it weeks ago, I’ve been saving it up) . It so wonderfully expresses the longing for Christ’s return that I want to have. I want to hunger for Christ in just this way — and not only for His second coming, but His daily coming into my life by His Holy Spirit. If I yearned this much for His coming, I would more readily throw off anything and everything that gets in the way of deep intimacy with Christ. Thank you Fr. Al for the wonderful citations you find and post that edify so many of us!

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St Symeon

Come, O true light!
Come, O eternal life!
Come, O hidden mystery!
Come, O indescribable treasure!
Come, O ineffable thing!
Come, O inconceivable person!
Come, O endless delight!
Come, O unsetting light!
Come, O true and fervent expectation
of all those who will be saved!
Come, O rising of those who lie down!
Come, O resurrection of the dead!
Come, O powerful one,
who always creates and re-creates and transforms
by your will alone!
Come, O invisible and totally intangible and untouchable!
Come, O you who always remain immobile
and at each moment move all,
and come to us, who lie in hades,
you who are above all heavens.
Come, O desirable and legendary name,
which is completely impossible for us
to express what you are or to know your nature.
Come, O eternal joy!
Come, O unwithering wreath!
Come, O purple of the great king our God!
Come, O crystalline cincture,
studded with precious stones!
Come, O inaccessible sandal!
Come, O royal robe
and truly imperial right hand!
Come, you whom my wretched soul
has desired and does desire!
Come, you who alone go to the lonely
for as you see I am lonely!
Come, you who have separated me from everything
and made me solitary in this world!
Come, you who have become yourself desire in me,
who have made me desire you,
the absolutely inaccessible one!
Come, O my breath and life!
Come, O consolation of my humble soul!
Come, O my joy, my glory, and my endless delight!
I thank you that you have become one spirit with me,
without confusion, without mutation,
without transformation, you the God of all;
and that you have become everything for me,
inexpressible and perfectly gratuitous nourishment,
which ever flows to the lips of my soul
and gushes out into the fountain of my heart,
dazzling garment which burns the demons,
purification which bathes me
with these imperishable and holy tears,
that your presence brings to those whom you visit.
I give you thanks that for me
you have become unsetting light
and non-declining sun;
for you who fill the universe with your glory
have nowhere to hide yourself.
No, you have never hidden yourself from anyone
but we are the ones who always hide from you,
by refusing to go to you;
but then, where would you hide,
you who nowhere find the place of your repose?
Why would you hide,
you who do not turn away from a single creature,
who do not reject a single one?
Today, then, O Master,
come pitch your tent with me;
until the end, make your home
and live continually, inseparably within me,
your slave, O most-kind one,
that I also may find myself again in you,
at my departure from this world
and after my departure may I reign with you,
O God who are above everything.
O Master, stay and do not leave me alone,
so that my enemies,
arriving unexpectedly,
they who are always seeking to devour my soul,
may find you living within me
and that they may take flight,
in defeat, powerless against me,
seeing you, O more powerful than everything,
installed interiorly in the home of my poor soul.
Yea, O Master, just as you remembered me,
when I was in the world
and, in the midst of my ignorance,
you chose me and separated me from this world
and set me before your glorious face,
so now keep me interiorly,
by your dwelling within me,
forever upright, resolute;
that by perpetually seeing you,
I, the corpse, may live;
that by possessing you,
I, the beggar, may always be rich,
richer than kings;
that by eating you and by drinking you,
by putting you on at each moment,
I go from delight to delight
in inexpressible blessings;
for it is You, who are all good and
all glory and all delight
and it is to you,
holy, consubstantial, and life-creating Trinity
that the glory belongs,
you whom all faithful venerate, confess, adore, and serve
in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

St Symeon the New Theologian

***

Some personal comments to add as I reflect on this wonderful ancient hymn / prayer:  Ever since Father Al first posted this, I’ve found myself particularly struck by this section at the end:

so now keep me interiorly,
by your dwelling within me,
forever upright, resolute;
that by perpetually seeing you,
I, the corpse, may live;
that by possessing you,
I, the beggar, may always be rich,
richer than kings;
that by eating you and by drinking you,
by putting you on at each moment,
I go from delight to delight

in inexpressible blessings;
for it is You, who are all good and
all glory and all delight

This to my mind echos for me the passage from Romans 13 in the Advent lectionary and the call to cast off the works of darkness and to put on Christ. How much more readily we might be faithful to the apostle’s call if we could sense that putting on Christ would fill us with such delight upon delight. How much more eager we are to cast off the works of darkness when we have an unshakeable conviction in God’s goodness and glory, such that we desire Him above all things, even the pleasures or convenience of our sins, even as Moses desired His reward more than the luxuries and privileges of Pharaoh’s court:

Heb 11:24-26
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (NIV)

Author and theologian John Piper once wrote this about Jonathan Edwards’ teaching, and much of John Piper’s teaching (especially his book “Future Grace”) is based on this concept:

Edwards argued that it is essential that sin be defeated by the promise of superior pleasure in God. Will-power will not suffice. Even when it “succeeds,” will-power religion gets glory for the will, not God. It produces legalists, not lovers.

St. Symeon is clearly among those who was a lover of Christ. May we be also.


Advent Poems: The Advent Moon Shines Cold and Clear – Christina Rossetti

December 1, 2014

I’m hoping to post one or two Advent poems each week. 

This poem by Christina Rossetti is probably my favorite Advent poem.  I love its focus on holding tight to the promise that the bridegroom will come even though there are no evident signs of His appearing.  May the Lord strengthen our hope in His promises, our longing for His return, and grant us a persevering and trusting faith, even in the darkest nights of our souls.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. (Psalm 130:5-7 ESV)

 

The Advent moon shines bright and clear; my soul waits
These Advent nights are very long;
Our lamps have burned year after year,
And still their flame is strong.

‘Watchman, what of the night?’ we cry,
Heartsick with hope deferred:
‘No speaking signs are in the sky’,
Is still the watchman’s word.

One to another hear them speak,
The patient virgins wise:
Surely He is not far to seek,
All night we watch and rise.

The days are evil looking back,
The coming days are dim,
Yet count we not His promise slack,
But watch and wait for Him.

Weeping we hold him fast tonight,
We will not let Him go
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight,
And summer smite the snow:

Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove
Shall coo the livelong day;
Then He shall say ‘Arise, my love,
My fair one, come away!’

The Advent moon shines cold and clear.
We watch and wait.

Found here

Artwork Credit:  A Servant of the Lord blog

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UPDATE:  There is a wonderful choral rendition of this poem at YouTube.


The Advent Project from Biola University – Fantastic Online Advent Calendar

December 1, 2014

We’ve included the link for Biola’s Online Advent Calendar in our list of recommended Advent devotional sites for 2014, but this Advent resouce is so special, it deserves a post of its own.

Here’s a description of the site:

Advent is as much about the solemn tension of “now and not yet” as it is about the joy and magnificence of our present gift: God in flesh, our hope divine.

This online Advent Project is designed to help us pause each day to reflect on the beauty and meaning of the season. It utilizes the arts (music, poetry, prose, film, painting, photography), representing a diverse spectrum of styles and time periods, to interact with Scripture over the course of six weeks.

The calendar starts on the first day of Advent, November 30, 2014, and continues through Epiphany, January 6, 2015. Each day features a biblical passage, a devotional written by a member of the Biola community, a work of visual art and a piece of music.

Week one explores the theme of “Longing and Waiting” (Nov. 30 – Dec. 6), week two focuses on “The Coming of Christ” (Dec. 7-13), week three reflects on “Signs, Dreams and Angelic Visitations” (Dec. 14-20), week four ponders the reality that “Joy is Come Into the World” (Dec. 21-27), week five explores different facets of what “Christmas Is” (Dec. 28 – Jan. 3) and week six concludes with a liturgical celebration of “The Christ of Christmas” (Jan. 4-6).

You can read more here.  (At that same link, there is also a fantastic 4 minute video explaining what Advent is all about, with a focus on the “two postures” of Advent – looking back and rejoicing that Christ has come, and yet longing for His coming again and an end to all the brokenness we see in the world.)

Here’s the link to the Advent calendar where you’ll find each day’s entries.


From our 2006 archives: Advent wreath prayers and activities for children

November 23, 2014

Reposted from our 2006 archives.  I believe all the links below work, though I may be able to provide better / updated versions of these links, and will try to do so soon.

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We see a lot of search queries in our site meter with folks looking for Advent Wreath prayers or Advent crafts and activities for young children.

While we’ve linked some children and family-oriented resources in our Resource Compilation, not many of them were as helpful as I’d hoped. So I went on a search for a few more resources — especially those that would easily print out on one or two pages.

Here are the some of the best resources I’ve found today:

Crafts and Activites

1) Children’s Advent Crafts and Activities (for pre-school children)
I found this link on the MOPS website. It provides a Bible reading, a craft, and suggested activities for each week of Advent. Very appropriate for Sunday School classes (ages 3-6).

2) CatholicMom.Com’s list of Advent Activities for Children — this spans a much wider age range of children. Loads of Activities Here.

Children’s Advent Prayers for lighting the wreath, etc.:

The Passionist Community has a very nice set of prayers for young children during Advent. Here’s a prayer they offer for using in lighting the Advent Wreath candle each day:

O God,
as light comes from this candle,
may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
warming our hearts and
brightening our way.
May Christ our Savior bring life
into the darkness of this world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming.

Here is their list of 4 prayers for each week of Advent.


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