ADVENT & CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST
What Does This Season Mean? A beautiful resource for households that supports the celebration of Advent at home.
Three Teaching Points for Advent by Sarah Bentley Allred
Apocalyptic Advent in the Season of Merry and Bright. Apocalyptic imagery in the Bible is a statement of showing the contrast between God’s way of justice, peace, and flourishing and the realities of human violence and suffering. (550 word count)
The Risk of Incarnation: A Christmas Meditation by Parker Palmer. We long for words like love, truth, and justice to become flesh and dwell among us. But in our violent world, it’s risky business to wrap our frail flesh around words like those, and we don’t like the odds. (613 word count)
Waiting and Unknowing by Fr. Richard Rohr. Once Thanksgiving is over, we in the United States are rushed headlong into the Christmas season. Yet Advent was once (and still can be) a time of waiting, a time of hoping without knowing, a time of emptying so that we can be filled by the divine Presence. (485 word count)
The Shoulder Season of Advent by Siri Liv Myhrom. Advent is expectant and full of hope. There’s also a solemn quality to the waiting — not dour or dreary — something grounded and okay with a close stillness, a quality that honors the waiting itself as sacred. (681 word count)
First Sunday of Advent By Pádraig Ó Tuama. The reading for the first Sunday in Advent sounds like it could be the opening words to a dystopian film. There is no light, whether by day or night, and even heaven is shaken by a great power. That which is predictable becomes unpredictable and the rhythms of a day become fraught with the need to be prepared.
Nativity: The Art and Spirit of the Creche. After the cross, the Nativity scene is Christianity's most recognized symbol. Its history, art and spirituality have been embraced by cultures around the world for nearly two thousand years. This video unites theologians and collectors with an astonishing and beautiful array of nativity scenes collected from across the globe. (30 minutes)
The Savior Is Born, Told by Morgan Freeman with Music by The Christ Church Cathedral Choir. The poignant retelling of the Nativity weaves together the gospels of Matthew and Luke as it follows Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem, culminating in the touching events surrounding the birth of Jesus. An awe-inspiring musical score captures all the power and beauty of the very first Christmas. Ages 5 and up. Illustrated by Robert Van Nutt. Parents' Choice Gold Award-winner. (27 minutes on Amazon Prime)
The First Silent Night: The Carol That United the World. Join renowned actor Simon Callow as he uncovers the moving origins of the song Silent Night that has been two hundred years in the making. A story that begins in humble circumstances, ends with the world's most popular carol. Simon journeys to the Austrian village of Oberndorf as well as the city of Salzburg, where the story of the world's favourite carol had its origins. (54 minutes on Amazon Prime)
God Came Near with Max Lucado. An Advent Series for families designed to prepare our hearts for Christmas. In the midst of the gloom of winter, the darkest and coldest of seasons, Christians still wait with great anticipation for the happiest season of all, Advent (6 episodes, 28 minutes each on Amazon Prime).
The Christmas Collection, Gospel Films Archive, 2014. Short films from 1934 to 1956 present the Bible story, explain the origin of the "Silent Night" carol, and present a couple of sentimental applications to their times, suitable for family viewing. Silent Night: Christmas Carol (1953, 12 minutes) | Christmas Is Magic (1953, 25 minutes) | Starlight Night (1934, 30 minutes).
Children of Men. The human race has become mysteriously sterile, and no babies have been born in 18 years. A dictatorship has arisen, but a group of revolutionaries discover they must protect the only pregnant woman in the world. Notice the parallels with the story of Mary and Jesus fleeing a world of destruction to save the human race (1h 49min on Amazon Prime). Read a theological reflection about this film.
Babette's Feast (English Subtitled). Two devout and elderly sisters allow their cook, a French refugee, to prepare a feast in honor of their late father's 100th birthday, despite their spiritual concerns over the sensuality and decadence of French cuisine. Foreign language with English Subtitles (1h 43min on Amazon Prime). Read a theological reflection about this film.
Small Group begins Dec 1: River of Fire by Sister Helen Prejean. While waking up to the world around us is crucially important, it is only when we begin to personally engage in even the smallest steps for justice that the spiritual powers within us truly come to life. On Tuesday, December 1st at 4:30 pm, Sister Helen will help us kick off a 4-week Small Group study of her new book River of Fire. This group will meet on Zoom every Tuesday at 4:30 during Advent, where we will share our experience of solitary reading and journaling using prompts offered by Sister Helen. This small group involves both synchronous and asynchronous learning. She will meet with us on our last day together to listen to our discoveries and answer all our questions! Email Ashley Bond at to register.
Small Group begins Dec 6: Waiting, Accepting, Journeying, Birthing: A Four Week Devotional by Sarah Bessey and facilitated by Debby Poitevent. This devotional is guided by the Carmelite themes of Waiting, Accepting, Journeying, and Birthing. Each week’s devotional consists of an Opening Prayer and lighting of a candle, a reading from Scripture, an essay meditating on the theme, another reading from Scripture, and then a few discussion or reflection questions before the Closing Prayer. Some of these essays grapple with big themes and ask you to lean into difficult conversations. Email Ashley Bond at to register.
Journeying the Way of Love Advent Calendar 2020 is free from The Episcopal Church via download. It is particularly good for older children, teens, and adults. There are prompts for reflection and potentially discussion together.
O Emmanuel by JJ Wright – A fresh exploration of the O Antiphons including traditional Advent and Christmas music. The album combines a jazz trio with children’s choir and adult voices in just the right mix of expectation and joy.
#OAntiphons. The O Antiphons, also known as The great Os are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. The first letters of the titles, from last to first, form a Latin acrostic ERO CRAS which translates to "Tomorrow, I will be [there]".
Sacred Ordinary Days: Advent + Crafting Traditions. We share the ways we focus on the themes of anticipation, expectancy, and hope, and even elements of the season that challenge us. (44 minutes)
#AdventWord: This podcast will be daily beginning November 29th. Listen to short meditations Monday-Saturday with Sunday being a longer meditation. Find out more information visit www.adventword.org. Participate on your preferred social media platform using the hashtag #AdventWord.
Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community. Across our church and our society, we are having profound dialogues about race, truth, justice, and healing. Coming this Advent, Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community explores where that dialogue intersects with our faith. Join us and our invited guests as we share prophetic voices and explore the readings for each week of Advent and Christmas Day through the lens of social justice.
Pray and Reflect
Advent Prayer by Padraig O' Tuama.
Jesus God Among Us by Roger Hutchinson. Built around a painting celebrating Jesus as an infant, child, and adult, Hutchison highlights sixteen points from Jesus' life, through image and scripture, followed by the retelling of the Gospel in familiar terms, offering both "Then" and a "Now" reflections on Jesus' encounters with others. These reflections offer readers a glimpse of Jesus both in his own time and in our time. Questions offered at the end of each chapter invite readers to reflect on where Jesus might be found in their daily encounters.
The Womb of Advent by Mark Bozzuti-Jones offers a unique perspective on the season of Advent. Along with Scripture readings and prayers, he offers four weeks of meditations that focus on the growth of Jesus in the womb of Mary as he approaches the day of his birth.
STILL FORMING ADVENT MEDITATIONS by Christianne Squires is a collection of audio meditations recorded by Christianne Squires for the Still Forming community, based on Jan Richardson's book of blessings, Circle of Grace.
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