The journey into the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus, the Word made flesh, begins with Advent. In the four weeks leading to Christmas, we slow down and make time to be still and reflect on God’s loving presence. This year, Advent starts on Sunday, November 29th.
We hope among the following you will find resources for individuals and faith communities to prepare anew to receive God’s love made manifest in Jesus Christ. If you have an Advent resource to add, email the Rev. Jenifer Gamber, Special Missioner for the School for Christian Faith and Leadership.
From The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church offers a suite of resources for Advent including a Way of Love small group study for Advent, an Advent calendar, digital invitation kits, reflections, sermons and bulletin inserts. In Spanish and English.
- Church Publishing offers a number of books and gifts for Advent and Christmas. Use code GIFTS25 for a 25% discount on all Advent resources.
- Draw from A Sanctified Art’s creative resources for worship, prayer, sermon-writing, personal devotions for Advent and Epiphany. Based on the Revised Common Lectionary.
- Hold a Blue Christmas liturgy to create space for lament in community and before God. Included are hymn suggestions and liturgy outlines.
- Adapt your Christmas pageant to COVID-19 realities with digital and distance storytelling with creative ideas from a webinar on October 8th at 7 pm (EDT) hosted by Debbie Kolacki and Karen Smith.
- The Rev. Emily Lloyd, Rector of St. Peter’s, Poolesville, has this take on a Christmas pageant suitable for Church dispersed.
- Watch webinar Hope Incarnate: Planning Worship for Advent and Christmas by Virginia Theological Seminary faculty to help you prepare Advent liturgies at this time of pandemic and physical social distancing.
- Refer to the Book of Occasional Services 2018 for liturgies and prayers for Advent, including Lighting of an Advent Wreath, Las Posadas, Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), Blessing of a Crèche, and Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols.
- This Liturgical Calendar is suitable for printing and posting online. In both English and Spanish.
Resources for Adults
- Adam Hamilton's Incarnation explores the names gospel writers gave Jesus to rediscover the meaning of Jesus’ birth and the hope the incarnation brings to our own time of pandemic and conflict. Study guides and videos are available for children, youth, and adults.
- Amy Jill Levine's Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent looks at infancy narratives in Luke and Matthew, inviting readers to consider the “so what” of Jesus’ birth. A leader guide with videos are also available.
- A diverse set of authors in Keep Watch with Me offer prayers, reflections, and spiritual practices for those who work for justice and peace.
- Through poetry and visual arts, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan L. Richardson, invites readers to notice the ways that God is present in darkness and daylight.
- Maya Angelou and the Freedom Poetry of Advent by The Salt Project is an Advent devotional to engage in singing, reading, and reflecting on this poet laureate's vision of faith, freedom, and dignity.
- Episcopal Relief and Development has many resources for Advent, including their annual Gifts for Life catalog and 2020 Advent toolkit.
Resources for Children
- Give households a way to celebrate Advent and Christmas at home with BuildFaith’s Advent in a Box or Traci Smith’s Advent in a Box. Home faith practices are the number one contributor to children’s faith development. Support parents as they nurture the faith of their children and an understanding that sacred spaces are everywhere.
Favorite books to read with your children during Advent include:
Mary: Mother of Jesus by Mary Joslin and Alison Wisenfeld
The Nativity, illustrated by Julie Vivas
Probity Jones and the Fear Not Angel by Walter Wangerin, illustrated by Tim Ladwig
- All Through the Day, All through the Year by David B. Batchilder provides prayers and celebrations for households to mark the entire church year.
- The Season of the Nativity by Sybil MacBeth offers plenty of ideas for celebrating Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Sybil also offers these free Advent calendars to color.
- Episcopal Relief and Development has produced this Advent Toolkit chock full of ideas and resources as part of their 1,000 Days of Love Campaign.
Resources for Youth
- Offer this Spiritual Practice Challenge to your tweens based on the themes of hope, peace, love and joy.
- Look for the release of Follow the Star daily youth devotions on D365.org
Resources for Households
- Participate in a worldwide Advent calendar with AdventWord. People post their reflections and images on their social media pages with #AdventWord. These are picked up by AdventWord and spread throughout the globe. Invite your congregation to slow down and watch.
- Gather as a household to cook, craft and play with these BuildFaith ideas for households to journey through Advent.
- Las Posadas tells all about an Advent candlelight procession and celebration popular in Mexico and other countries, as well as with Latino individuals and congregations in the United States. Resources are offered in English and Spanish, including videos and music suggestions.
- Listen to Advent music with this Simple Advent Spotify playlist to keep the Advent season festive and simple in your home, on your walks or errands, and during your commute.
- These Advent prayer cards for adults, youth, and children support individuals and households with daily devotions.
- Households might appreciate receiving materials to make an Advent Mason Jar to mark the days of Advent a different way this year.