Advent is Here

Advent candle

Tonight, we’ll resume our yearly Advent tradition and light the first candle on our family Advent Wreath. Anna has asked to help lead the prayers this year, and I think she’s ready.

I will begin as always by saying my favorite Advent candle-lighting prayer, which is also the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent in the Episcopal Church (my former church) …

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.

Then we’ll light the first candle, and she’ll read the prayer for the First Sunday of Advent …

All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the Kingdom of Heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.

Some of you may recognize this as the old translation of the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent, that was superseded by an updated translation in 2011. While the new version is more accurate, and at times more eloquent, this is the one from my copy of A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions that we’ve used since Anna was a baby. It will also be easier for her to read.

Then we’ll read the Gospel for this Sunday, and say the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary to conclude our prayers.

Bloggerhood Etc. 8/18/14

Lit candle

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

I usually try to make these weekly roundups a mix of deep, thought-provoking posts, and lighter, funnier pieces. And then weeks come along that are so filled with heartbreak that there’s nothing I can do but weep with those who are grieving. Last week was one of those weeks.

First, a cross-section of voices on the continuing tragedy of Ferguson and the regression of Civil Rights in our country.

Why We’ve Got to Go There” by Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem.

Five Minute Friday: Tell (And Cry to Listen)” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

First They Came for the Black people, and I Did Not Speak Out” by Matt Stauffer.

In Which I Have a Few Things to Tell You About Ferguson” by Sarah Bessey.

When Ferguson is Across the Street” by Shawn Smucker.

Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police” by Mia McKenzie at Black Girl Dangerous.

Racial Bias, Police Brutality, and the Dangerous Act of Being Black” by Kristen Howerton at Rage Against the Minivan.

Ferguson and Healing our Nation” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Black People Are Not Ignoring Black on Black Crime” by Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.

The New Racism: This is How the Civil Rights Movement Ends” by Jason Zengerie at New Republic.

Second, two bloggers share their own experiences with depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ death.

What Will it Take to Become a Church for the Depressed?” by Chris Morton at Growth and Mission.

Depression is Not a Joke” by Lorne Jaffe at Raising Sienna.

Third, a Prayer for Those Fleeing Violence and Oppression in Iraq, in Their Own Language.

May God our Father watch over them, and over all who are in danger.

Amen.