The Season of Advent marks the beginning of the new church year and the time of preparation for Christmas. Liturgically it is our antidote to the cultural Christmas frenzy that can be so consuming — and one of the joys of Advent at All Saints are the weekly Sunday Evening services offering time and space for the grace of reflection and refreshment with beautiful music and words of hope, joy and encouragement.
Sung by Youth Chamber Choir, with soloist Kenzie McCarrel, in Advent 3 Evening Service at All Saints Church, Pasadena, on Sunday, December 14, 2014.
Arranged by Lori Tennenhouse.
The following prayer was offered by transitional deacon and All Saints member Nat Katz at the 119th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
O God, who lifts the valleys and levels the hills,
In this season of Advent
lift us up as we dare to live into our calling
as a people of memory and of imagination
We remember the heritage of our past
we awake to our present
and we look with hope to the future horizon
Susan Russell on Sunday, Dec. 22, the fourth Sunday of Advent:
“Give thanks for dreams that come true because of dreamers who will not settle for what is, but who keep dreaming of what could be.”
There is a crack, a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen, Anthem
“Why do you hate the baby Jesus?”
A very nice woman from my Catholic parish raised her hand after my presentation. It wasn’t the sort of question I had hoped for after spending a couple of hours in a crowded parish hall talking about the liturgical year. I thought I had made the point that Christmas was about so much more — that the “walking / talking Jesus” needed to be part of our Christmas Eve celebration, that the passion, the death and resurrection of Jesus were with us that holy night too, as we prayed the Eucharistic prayer. But maybe she was on to something. I really did have a problem with the baby Jesus, or more to the point, with the kind of sentimental Christianity that is more comfortable with a helpless babe than with a grown man talking about how we are called to treat the poor. My favorite image for Christmas in those days was of God crashing into our world, leaving broken pieces and shards of reality, making a mess of our assumptions and comfortable habits.
Ed Bacon on Sunday, Dec. 15, the third Sunday of Advent:
“We must never tire of the really hard word demanded to transform the pervasive culture of violence and pervasive presence of guns in America. We must love our country enough to ensure the safety of our children and all of us.”
Jon Dephouse on Sunday, Dec. 8, the second Sunday of Advent:
“Where is God inviting you to turn up the music and dance?”
Ed Bacon on Sunday, Dec. 1, the first Sunday of Advent:
“Our Advent work is the work of paying attention to what God is doing inside each and every one of us… to dwell in that divinity each and every day as we put on our own armor of light: the light of peace, justice and compassion.”