Advent is a season that speaks softly to me, encouraging me to listen, observe, and reflect in quietness. My daily ritual is to light a candle in the darkness of each Advent morning, read aloud a poem or quotation, then sit quietly.
From November 28-December 24 , I will share a piece of writing that I have collected or written, which resonates with my own spiritual journey at this time of year. I hope that their words may be resources for your Advent practices. If you have Advent rituals and/or writing to add, I encourage you to leave them in the comments section for the rest of us to read.
Peace in this time of waiting and discovery.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


 Quotation from Black Elk, Medicine Man, Lakota Sioux
Advent meditation
St. John's Episcopal Church
Jamaica Plain, MA

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their one-ness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere; it is within each of us.  This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.  The second peace is that which is made between two individuals and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

                                          Badlands National Park - South Dakota
                       Source: U.S. National Park Service; Photo Credit David McConeghy                  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Making the House Ready for the Lord

Making the House Ready for the Lord
by Mary Oliver, Thirst

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
Still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you.  Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice—it is the season of their
many children.  What shall I do?  And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances—but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do?  And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do?  Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door.  And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon:  Come in, Come in.

                                         Source: Photo by V. Bern, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; displayed on Wikipedia

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let Us Prepare

November 28 -First Sunday in Advent

Let Us Prepare
by Jeanette Adams
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Teaneck, NJ

Snow is expected
the birds know
there they go
off to the left
in formation
dip low
bank right

Advent approaches
we must prepare
where are the candles
the wreath, the crib
what are the prayers
the hymns, the hopes
who will take the babe to his bed
why must we wait
to walk in the light
Advent approaches
let us prepare
Source:  Photo by Brian Herman, "Outside My Window, A Bird Watcher's View of the World with Kate St. John" (