Note: Several years ago I wrote a series of Advent devotions for my kids. I posted them on a different blog, along with Scripture readings and prayers. They helped a lot of people observe Advent more purposefully, so I wanted to share them with you this Advent season.
Welcome to Advent
American Christians have the unique advantage of ending the Trinity Season with a four-day feast. Thanksgiving, the official feast day, requires a table so loaded with food that the leftovers last, conveniently, until the following Sunday—the first day of Advent.
The season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas Day, has long been observed in the Church as a time of personal examination, repentance, and preparation for the first Great Feast Day of Christmas. For this reason, Advent has often been called Little Pascha, or Small Lent, to signify the fasting, prayer, confession, and reconciliation that are to mark this season in the lives of Christians.
Advent is also the beginning of the much longer season of Yuletide, the “long sequence of holy days, festal revelries, and liturgical rites stretching from the end of November through the beginning of January” (The Christian Almanac, 722). Yuletide begins with Advent, progresses through the feasting and gift-giving of Christmas, and concludes with Epiphany, a time of remembrance and thanksgiving.
It is very difficult for modern Christians who do not belong to traditionally liturgical churches to follow the Church calendar. This year, to assist my faithful readers in better observance of Advent (and to give myself better accountability in my observance), I want to share with you some devotional readings I wrote for my family for each day of the Advent season.