The Armor of Light

Advent candle

The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent from the Book of Common Prayer, and my favorite candle-lighting prayer:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your 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 living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A magnificent take on Romans 13:12 and a perfect summary of Advent. Light in the midst of darkness, immortality in the midst of mortality, and a humble birth in a stable contrasted with the promise of a glorious return. This isn’t just my favorite Advent prayer, it’s one of my favorite prayers from any season. I won’t say it today in church—the Catholic Church prays a different set of collects during Advent—but I will say it tonight as I light the first candle and the first glimmer of light breaks through the darkness.

And the darkness will not overcome it.

I may not get to say my favorite prayer in church today, but I hope to sing one of my favorite hymns. A classic for the First Sunday of Advent (via YouTube):

December 2

Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.

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