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:

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


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!


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


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.


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.

Advent Favorites: A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer and an Advent Kyrie

November 23, 2014

Note – 23 Nov 2014:  Please note the embedded links may not yet work.  I need to update them all, but I’m traveling with little internet access for the coming week, and I wanted to at least get this online as a resource since Advent begins next Sunday.

From Our 2006 Archives

A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer and an Advent Kyrie

This responsive intercessory prayer could be used any week of Advent during a family Advent Wreath lighting.

A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer:

Leader: Christ came to bring us salvation and has promised to come again. Let us pray that we may be always ready to welcome him.

Reader: Our response is “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Reader: That the keeping of Advent may open our hearts to God’s love, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That the light of Christ may penetrate the darkness of sin, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That this wreath may constantly remind us to prepare for the coming of Christ, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That the Christmas season may fill us with peace and joy as we strive to follow the example of Jesus, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Leader: As we wait for the coming of Jesus, let us pray in the words He gave us:

All: Our Father …



I also just came across a somewhat similar Advent Kyrie for weeks 1 and 2 of Advent from ELCA pastor Thomas L. Weitzel: It’s based on O Come O Come Emmanuel (and the Advent Antiphons)

Advent Kyrie (weeks 1 & 2)

A. O Lord, have mercy and come to us.
C. Come, Lord Jesus.

A. O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation:
C. Come and teach us the way of prudence.

A. O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai:
C. Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

A. O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage:
C. Come quickly to deliver us.

A. O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, the anointed of the nations and their Savior:
C. Come and save us, O Lord our God.


Advent Kyrie (weeks 3 & 4)

A. O Lord, have mercy and come to us.
C. Come, Lord Jesus.

A. O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can close, you close and no one can open:
C. Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.

A. O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting:
C. Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

A. O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people:
C. Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

A. O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, the anointed of the nations and their Savior:
C. Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Advent Favorites: A-D-V-E-N-T Acrostic – An Advent Classic from the late Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon

November 21, 2014

One of the best overviews of Advent I’ve ever seen, including insightful commentary  on various of the Anglican Advent Collects from the late Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon of the Prayer Book Society.  I came across this again a few days ago browsing our files with Advent 2005 archives from our old blog.  Can’t believe I’ve never reposted it here at this version of Lent & Beyond!


Here’s the commentary I posted about this article on December 2, 2005.

Dr. Toon’s acrostic on the meaning and purpose of Advent is excellent and I found very helpful.

A = Arrival
D = Devotion
V = Volition (the act of willing or resolving)
E = Expectancy
N = Narrative
T = Thanksgiving

For each aspect of Advent, Dr. Toon shows how the theme is developed and reinforced in the Advent liturgy, which I found helpful in giving me eyes to see the very familiar Advent collects afresh.

Dr. Toon’s article was originally posted Sunday, November 27, 2005 at the website of the Prayer Book Society:


The Christian season of Advent (Latin, adventus, “Coming”) runs from the fourth Sunday before Christmas until the eve of Christmas. It is also the beginning of the Christian Year.One way of thinking about its purpose and meaning is to take each letter of the word, a-d-v-e-n-t, and let it represent a theme or aspect of this season. So let us try this method.
A – ArrivalDuring the season of Advent the Church of Christ joins the remnant of Israel (such as Simeon & Anna) through liturgy in preparing for the Arrival of the Messiah, the Son of David & the Son of God, even Jesus, Son of Mary. Further, the Church joins Israel in listening to John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Messiah.

Also, during the season of Advent the Church of Christ as the Bride of Christ looks for his Return to earth, his Arrival as the Lord of lords and King of kings to raise the dead, judge the nations and inaugurate the kingdom of God.

So the Church prays on Advent III

O Lord Jesu Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise turn so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world, we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

D — Devotion

The four weeks of Advent provide the possibility of a period of intense and deep Devotion both in the public liturgy of the Church and in personal times of prayer and meditation. This consecration to walking with God in humility and obedience is summed up in the Collect for the last of the four Sundays:

O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Collect is addressed to God, the Father, and it is an earnest request that he will gather up his power and descend to his people (by the Holy Ghost) in order to help, succour and sustain them in the race they are running in their earthly pilgrimage towards the goal & fullness of the kingdom of heaven (see Hebrews 12:1).

In making this petition, God’s people recognize that due to their sins of omission and commission they have failed to run in God’s grace as gracefully and swiftly as they are called to do and ought to have done. Thus they look to the Father to provide them through his Son and by his Spirit, and in grace and mercy, the help they need. In particular they look to the “satisfaction of thy Son”, to his perfect obedience of the Father in his life and in his death, as the basis for asking for divine mercy and assistance (i.e., to his active and passive obedience).

If God’s people are to live as those who expect the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they need not only to watch and pray but also to live as the obedient and faithful servants of God, engaged daily in his service and running the race that is set before them. This requires true Devotion!

V. Volition (the act of willing or resolving)

God is merciful and gives us grace but we have to be willing to receive that grace and to commit ourselves to his will and purpose. The Devotion of Advent requires definition Volition! But this we prayed for in the week before Advent: “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people…”

The season of Advent may be viewed as a short Lent as a time when strict discipline over the body through Fasting is one means of deepening awareness of God and devotion to him. The colour for this season, like Lent, is purple pointing to asceticism and the words of the Advent Collect, “Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness” also suggest the need for discipline & Fasting. Further, it is possible for four weeks to omit “Gloria in Excelsis” from the Eucharist as a sign of liturgical asceticism – but to do this without developing the interior Devotion of asceticism is to miss out!

Yet Volition, the commitment of the will resolved to do what God requires and to please him, is the real thing here! That is, the will as it is graciously turned towards the Lord to obey him and to do his bidding.

E – Expectancy

As the righteous remnant in Israel waited for the Messiah in hopeful expectancy, so Christian worshippers in the Liturgy throughout Advent grow in expectancy for the arrival of the Son of God Incarnate. And their expectancy is joyfully fulfilled at the first service of Christmas as either they hear the words of the angel first spoken to the shepherds: “To you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord,” or the majestic words of John 1, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…”

Further, liturgically Expectancy is communicated by the great “O’s” used during the last week of Advent.

O WISDOM, that camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to another, firmly and gently ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of understanding.

O ADONAI, Captain of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and gavest him the law on Sinai: Come and deliver us with thine outsretched arm.

O ROOT OF JESSE, who standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall shut their mouths, to whom the nations shall seek: Come and deliver us and tarry not.

O KEY OF DAVID, Sceptre of the house of Israel, who openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and not man openeth; Come and bring forth out of the prison-house him that is bound.

O DAY-SPRING FROM ON HIGH, Brightness of Eternal Light, and Sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

O KING OF NATIONS, thou for whom they long, the Cornerstone that makest them both one: Come and save thy creatures whom thou didst fashion from the dust of the earth.

O EMMANUEL, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations and their Saviour: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

N – Narrative

The Scripture passages, the Bible narrative, read, heard and pondered during Advent are most important. In the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, the Book of Isaiah the Prophet is prominent and is read extensively throughout the four weeks as the Old Testament Lesson. In this book, not only are there many passages addressed to ancient Israel but there are also prophecies that look into the future to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah, the nature of his kingdom, his exaltation through suffering, and the triumph of his cause.

The Anglican Collect for Advent II refers to this relation to Holy Scripture:

Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark ,learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

T – Thanksgiving

Though there is a strong element of penitence accompanying the fasting and asceticism in Advent, there is a stronger element of Thanksgiving! For God is praised and thanked for his saving deeds and his inspired words recorded in the Old Testament, all of which point to their climax in the arrival of the Messiah, the Saviour, who came to “fulfil the Law and the Prophets.” There is celebration of God’s mighty salvation experienced by the Israelites and there is anticipation of the even mightier salvation wrought in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And of course the meaning of the word, “Eucharist”, is “Thanksgiving” and thus in the Sacrament each week there is profound thanksgiving offered to the Father through the Son and with the Holy Spirit.

The Advent Collect to be used throughout the four weeks

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.

Best of Advent at Lent & Beyond – An Index of our Advent Favorites from the past 10 years

November 17, 2014

Advent-5-CandlesArt Credit: Daughters of God blog

Back in 2008 we initiated something called our Advent favorites series.  It started with re-posting some of our best and most popular Advent posts from the years 2004 – 2006 which we had rescued from our old blog site.  It now also includes a few newer entries posted in the last few years.

We’ve grouped these favorites into two categories:  Devotional (prayers, quotes, meditations); and Resources.

Anyway, without further ado, here are about 40 of the best Advent entries we posted in the first 10 years of Lent & Beyond.  (Out of 300+ total Advent entries!)


Apologies for a number of incorrect links when I first posted this.  They should all be correct now

Advent Favorites – Devotionals


Favorite L&B Original Devotionals:


Advent Favorites – Resources

Finally, there is our comprehensive listing of Advent resources posted in 2008:  Advent Links: the Lent & Beyond Advent Resources Compilation.  (It needs SERIOUS updating to weed out dead links and add new links, [something we very much hope we can do this year!] but there are still a lot of great resources there, and it’s worth browsing…)


Advent 2014 – An Index of all our Posts

November 17, 2014

Here is a listing of all our Advent 2014 blog entries.  Entries are organized in chronological order (most recent first) in each category.  There is some duplication among categories.



Advent 2014 at Lent & Beyond (a brief “menu” of links to navigate among all our various Advent subcategories)

Best of Advent at Lent & Beyond – An Index of our Advent Favorites from the past 10 years

Links to Favorite Advent Devotional Sites for 2014

Advent 2014 – An Index of all our Posts


Advent Devotionals:


Advent Family & Children:


Advent Music:


Advent Poems:


Advent Prayers:


Advent Quotes:


Advent Resources:


If you’d like to browse. through our Advent posts… you can find all our Advent 2014 entries here.

Here’s our Advent 2013 INDEX , or use this link to browse all Advent 2013 entries

Here’s our popular post from 2013 with Anglican Advent Resources. (We’ll be updating that soon for 2014)

“My Jesse Tree – the Ultimate Guide” and “Bible Characters for Advent” storybook

November 12, 2014

One of our commenters, Theresa, has created a fantastic site all about Jesse Trees:

This is a fantastic guide for making a Jesse tree with your family. It is clear, beautifully laid out with wonderful pictures and organized into 5 sections.  The readings and the pictures that accompany each day’s story are AWESOME.

  1. What is a Jesse Tree
  2. How to Choose Your Tree
  3. Jesse Tree Symbols
  4. Jesse Tree Ornaments
  5. Jesse Tree Readings


The authors (husband and wife) are Franciscans.  The site includes several levels / types of ornaments  (crafts & printables & coloring sheets), awesome pictures and instructions, and readings with full color pictures go along with each ornament.

Note: the readings can be used for free, but they are excerpted from a longer children’s story book:  Bible Characters for Advent, which has a 5-star rating at Amazon!  (There are 20 5-star reviews as of the time I’m writing this.)

ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT the Jesse Tree site and the eBook Bible Characters for Advent

Here are a few of the ornaments:


In case you need MORE Jesse tree info (e.g. for an older age group), here is our Jesse Tree Category with lots more helpful resources.  See especially our All About Jesse Trees entry.

Most popular Advent posts at Lent and Beyond

November 3, 2014

With the turn of the calendar to November, it doesn’t seem too early now to be thinking about Advent.  I’m hopeful that we will be able to do a significant amount of Advent blogging at L&B this year.  I thought it might be helpful to post a round up of our most popular Advent entries from years’ past.   I’ve already updated some of the entries below with some new links for 2014.  I’ve also begun work on a new compilation of Advent resources, and an updated and comprehensive index of past years’ Advent entries.  Those should be appearing within the coming 7 – 10 days… stay tuned.

And, as always, please leave any recommendations or feedback in the comments.  Thanks!


Most popular Advent entries of all time: (all of these have received 3000+ views!)

Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees

More Jesse Tree links!

What the Advent Candles Symbolize

Advent Favorites — Henri Nouwen – An Advent Prayer

A Cool Family Advent Idea: An Advent Chain

Advent Links: the Lent & Beyond Advent Resources Compilation

Advent Quotes — Mother Theresa: keeping our lamps burning

Advent Quotes — Frederick Buechner: “First Sunday of Advent”

Creative Advent Calendars

Another creative homemade Advent calendar



Most popular Advent 2013 entries (our most popular new Advent posts from Advent 2013)

100 Songs for Advent! – An Advent Worship playlist (Contemporary – Blended worship)

Advent quotes: Henri Nouwen – Waiting in order to learn

Advent Quotes: Henri Nouwen – The difference between optimism and hope

Advent 2013 Index: Resources, Prayers, Devotionals

An Advent Devotional from John Piper: Good News of Great Joy

Anglican Advent resources for 2013 – blogs, devotionals, etc.

A meditation for Advent: Waiting in Hope

A song for Advent: In the Waiting, by Matt Redman (a rare bonus track)

Advent Worship Music 2013, part 1

The Advent Project – an Online Advent Calendar from Biola University

Advent quotes: we need time to prepare!

Advent history & liturgy – The Octave of Christmas and the O Antiphons

Advent Index: 2008

November 1, 2014

November 2014: We’ll be working this year on creating a comprehensive index of all the most significant Advent entries we’ve posted since we first began blogging in 2004.   We posted extensively during  5 of the last 10 Advent seasons:

  • Advent 2004, Advent 2005 and Advent 2006 (these three years were at our old blogsite),
  • Advent 2008, and
  • Advent 2013. 

(Little was posted during Advent in 2007, and 2009 – 2012.) 

To aid in compiling our complete Lent & Beyond Advent index, I needed to compile an index for 2008, one of our biggest years of Advent blogging (60+ Advent entries). 

Most notable among our Advent 2008 blog entries was the Advent Favorites series, and a number of posts offering round ups of links about celebrating Advent as a family (Jesse Trees, homemade Advent Calendars, Advent Chains, Advent Wreaths).

Note there is some overlap of posts among the various categories listed below.  For the most part, entries are listed in chronological order (most recent first) by category, NOT in order of importance or popularity.


L&B Originals – Advent Devotionals:


L&B Resource and Link Compilations:


Advent Devotionals


Advent: Family & Children


Advent Favorites


Advent Prayers


Advent Quotes


Advent Resources

An Advent Choral Service with the O Antiphons in your own living room

December 17, 2013

For $10 you can download a wonderful Advent recording and enjoy a traditional Advent Choral Service in your own home:

An Advent Procession based on The Great "O" Antiphons

at iTunes

at Amazon (CD and MP3 versions)

This album, An Advent Procession based on the Great O Antiphons, by the Choirs of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, contains recordings of all the O Antiphons, Scripture readings, Collects and a number of traditional Advent hymns as well.

Listening to this is truly beautiful and a wonderful way to be still and meditate on Jesus in this final week before Christmas.  There are 34 total tracks (for about an hour of worship.)  The service is arranged in chronological order for each of the seven O Antiphons, so you could listen to an Antiphon, a Scripture, a Collect and a hymn each day for the next seven days of Advent.


Other recordings containing the O Antiphons include:

Advent Carols from Saint Johns (iTunes)

And Comes the Day: Carols and Antiphons for Advent (Queens College Cambridge)  (iTunes)

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