Do not be afraid.
At the outset of our journey,
at every turning,
in darkness and in light,
the Divine Word speaks the same thing
into our hearts
that once He spoke to Mary:
Do not be afraid!
A Mural Advent Calendar
Welcome to our Outdoor Advent Calendar!
The Star of Bethlehem
The Star shone in our hearts long ago. It rose in the mysteries of our lives, and somewhere, our spirits sang in resonance as we saw its rising. We set out, and have been journeying.
What journeys we have travelled!
Where lies the goal of all our
These are some little suggestions for prayer during the days of Advent.
The intention is to help you enter anew into the world of Holy Scripture, and to hear the quiet voice of the Lord speaking to you as you spend a little time pondering it.
Scripture is like a flowing spring, never exhausted. It does not have just one meaning, or one purpose. It is open to you each time you come to it, with blessing, healing, and renewing. It is inspired, because the Holy Spirit is at work within it.
Each weekday I have selected one sentence from one of the three Sunday readings. You can simply spend a little time, or indeed the whole day, with that short phrase in your mind. Ponder it. Suck it, like a boiled sweet. Think what it means, in the text, to you, to your neighbour, to the world. Let a prayer arise from it. This is the Benedictine way of prayer, called Lectio Divina, Holy Reading :
Read, Think, Pray - in Latin, Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio.
If you have extra time, you could look to see how the phrase fits in to the whole passage. Find the passage in the Bible, and read around it, see how it fits in its place. Enjoy it!
Let it kindle your prayer.
I have added a picture for each week. Maybe these can invite you into a deeper place, where your love is touched by the needs and desires of the world, and of the Spirit.
The Church is called to burn night and day with longing for God’s promises to be completed. As we pray and yearn, Christ is present among us: in the Body of his People; in the real presence even now of God’s future; and in the Birth of Christ in time.
SUGGESTIONS FOR USE
• Prepare your Advent Wreath. You’ll need 5 candles. Enjoy decorating it.
• Use this prayer as a meal-time grace, or at your prayer time, or before bed, or…
• Light the candle; read the day’s reading. Pray. Say the Collect.
• You can add the Our Father or other prayers if you like.
• You can easily do this together with your family - or phone a friend, or even Zoom them!
• Do it your own way!
Light of the world,
born in David’s city of Bethlehem ,
born like him
to be a king:
in our hearts
of our lives today.
Monday Isaiah 63
You, Lord, yourself are our Father. Our Redeemer is your ancient name.
For all that yearns for healing in the world, past, present and to come.
Tuesday Isaiah 63
We have all withered like leaves, and our sins blow us away like the wind.
For all the world’s hopes that have perished, for all the promises that seem to have failed and been scattered: that Christ may fulfil them.
Wednesday 1 Corinthians 1
I thank God that you have been enriched in so many ways
For all that Christ has done through his Church from age to age
Thursday 1 Corinthians 1
While you are waiting he will keep you steady and without blame
For the Word of Truth to prevail in the turmoil of history
Friday Mark 13
Be on your guard, stay awake
For the Church to see Christ present in every person
Saturday Mark 13
You do now know when the master of the house is coming: Stay awake!
For the Church to show the love and vulnerability of Christ to the whole world.
Lord Jesus, Light of the world,
the prophets said you would bring peace
and save your people in trouble.
Give peace in our hearts at Christmastide
and show all the world Gods love.
Monday Isaiah 40
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people,says your God
That the world may find faith in the God who loves his people
Tuesday Isaiah 40
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it
That the eyes of the world may be opened to the beauty of God’s vision
Wednesday 2 Peter
The Lord is not being slow to carry out his promises; he is being patient with you all
For the world to seek with all its heart for what will bring peace & life
Thursday 2 Peter
We are waiting for what he promised:
the place where righteousness will be at home
For all people who work and pray for justice and truth today
Friday Mark 1
The beginning of the Good News
That the Christian Church may truly bring News that is Good
Saturday Mark 1
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit
That God will fill his Church with life for the world
Lord Jesus, Light of the world,
John told the people to prepare,
for you were very near.
As Christmas grows closer
day by day,
help us to be ready
to welcome you now.
Monday Isaiah 61
He has sent me to bind up hearts that are broken
For all we know whose hearts are broken
Tuesday Isaiah 61
God has clothed me in salvation, like a bridegroom in his wreath, like a bride in her jewels
For the weary and downcast, that they may be clothed in joy
Wednesday 1 Thessalonians
Rejoice at all times, and pray constantly
That the Holy Spirit will fill our praying with joy and liveliness
Thursday 1 Thessalonians
May the God of peace make you perfect and holy
For each of our neighbours, that God will make them perfect and holy
Friday John 1
I am a voice crying in the wilderness, Make a straight way for the Lord
For courage, to proclaim God’s love even in the hardest places
Saturday John 1
There stands among you one you do not know
For the inner gifts, to know Christ in our own lives, and in others’
Lord Jesus, Light of the world,
blessed is Gabriel who brought Good news;
blessed is Mary your mother and ours.
Bless your Church preparing for Christmas;
and bless us your children who long for your coming.
Monday II Samuel 7
I will provide a place for my people Israel
For the Holy Land; for Peace for all God’s beloved people there.
Tuesday II Samuel 7
I will be a father to your offspring, and he will be a son to me.
For all children who are unloved, unfathered
Wednesday Romans 16
Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now disclosed
For those with mental illness,
and all who cannot find their heart’s solace
Thursday Romans 16
God alone is wisdom.
For Peace, God’s holy daughter, the inner gift of God’s heart & mind to us
Christmas Eve Luke 1
Rejoice, you who are so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.
That we may experience the joy of Mary
Christmas Day Luke 1
Be it unto me according to thy word.
That the miracle of Love may be born in us today and always
Lord Jesus, Light of Light, you have come among us.
Help us who live by your light to shine as lights in your world.
Glory to God in the highest!
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory
With thanks and joy for the birth of Christ. For all who need his love so much.
Lord, hold not this sin to their charge
That we may overflow in forgiveness
St John the Evangelist
The Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us
For all our family; for our household of the Church; for all around us
28th December The Holy Innocents
Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted.
For the innocent child victims of mankind’s hate and violence.
29th December St Thomas Becket
A light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people, Israel.
For reconciliation of Christians & Jews, and peoples of all faiths
30th December Josephine Butler
I called my son out of Egypt.
For light upon the dark places through which we have journeyed this year
31st December John Wycliffe
No-one has ever seen God: it is the only Son, who is nearest the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.
Thanks for all gifts given to us this year; for signs of Christ’s presence.
1st January The Naming & Circumcision of Jesus
Mary treasured all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
May the New Year be filled with grace from on high, and the world respond to the mysteries of God’s love.
SEASON of EPIPHANY
We saw his star as it rose
For the work and knowledge and skills and arts of humankind :
may they become vehicles for the weakness and love of the Holy Infant