The year 2020 has brought dramatic change to our lives, thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the traditions we are used to observing at this time of year are impossible. And yet, more than ever, the reality behind those traditions is even more important as we strive to find meaning and connection as a community. Here are some things over the coming weeks that will help us to celebrate the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love of Advent, and the mystery of Christmas:
This year particularly, Hope is our theme. And to help us in our daily practice of this way of seeing the world, we are encouraging our community to engage in a daily series of reflections from Living Compass called ‘Living Well Through Advent 2020’. We have several hard copies available (call or email the office if you’re interested), but you can also access these reflections in various electronic means (download, or sign up for a daily email) by checking out the page at LivingCompass.org.
Live streamed concerts and recordings. More info
Reflections and prayers available to use by drop-in visitors in St Mary’s memorial garden each week during Advent, with the chance to add an ornament to the ‘newly traditional’ lighted crabapple tree. UPDATE: We're lighting it up at 4:45pm on Friday evening, December 4! (The 'Blue Hour', for all the photographers out there.) And yes, we will be posting images here and on our Facebook Page as the ornaments start to gather.
December 16-24, the nine days before Christmas, is the Christmas Novena: a period of focused prayer and reflection in many Christian traditions. This year St Mary's offers visitors to the Garden a new station of prayer and reflection each day of our own Christmas Novena, complete with music recorded by musicians in our community. Drop in during the day to pray or reflect in your own way—we will also post reflections and the music on this website each day.
4:00pm Christmas Eve! We can guarantee it'll be an event to bring tears of laughter and joy.
7pm Christmas Eve: Music and candles, and the Story of the Word become flesh, God-with-us. Live streamed from the church and garden, with music from St Mary's Singers and others from the community.
Remember: the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never put it out.
[Photo by Jeremy Marks on Unsplash]