The Season of Advent 2016 (Year A)

Notable Feast Days this Week:

December 7 - Ambrose of Milan, 397
December 7 - Africans Martyred by Vandals, 429-532 (Eastern)
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic Calendars)
December 9 - Conception of the Theotokos (Eastern Calendars)

Liturgical Color - Purple/Blue

Revised Common Lectionary

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

--- The Third Sunday in Advent --- December 11, 2016 (Year A)

Wait for the Lord
"The Lord is faithful forever and offers hope to those in difficult circumstances (Psalm 146:5-10). Because God came in the flesh to save us, we can experience great joy (Isaiah 35:1-10). Jesus is the long-expected Savior of the world (Matthew 11:2-11), and following the example of the prophets, who patiently awaited the Lord's coming, we must also patiently await the time of his reappearance (James 5:7-10)" 
- Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

Advent Resources
"The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is, a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth... We can, and should also, celebrate Christmas despite the ruins around us…. I think of you as you now sit together with the children and with all the Advent decorations — as in earlier years you did with us. We must do all this, even more intensively because we do not know how much longer we have." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letter to Bonhoeffer’s parents, November 29, 1943, written from Tegel prison camp

Advent Wreath 
The "Non-Pintrest" Guide to the Advent Wreath by Fr. Aaron Damiani 

Recommended Advent Devotionals
God With Us - edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe
God is in the Manger - Dietrich Bonehoeffer 
On the Incarnation - St. Athanasius
O Radiant Dawn: 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath - by Lisa Hendey

Advent Prayer Guide and Book "Mothers of Christ"
Advent study resources from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This study is perfect for families and those interested in learning more about the geneology of Jesus traced through great women from the Bible. Thanks to Paul Neeley for posting a link to this resource on his Global Christian Worship blog.

Download "Mothers of Christ" Advent Prayer Guide and Book

A New Start to the Christian Year (Year A):
A new year starts this week! Download a free single sheet liturgical calendar for 2016-2017. This resource was created by San Fransisco artist Barbara Lyon. Many thanks for her permission to use this wonderful resource.

Download with dates and descriptions
Download with dates
Psalm of the Week
Scripture Readings

 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them—
    he remains faithful forever.
 He upholds the cause of the oppressed...
 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.  The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Isaiah 35:1-10
The desert blooms
James 5:7-10
Patience in suffering
until the coming of the Lord

Matthew 11:2-11
John the Baptist prepares the way

Daily Readings
Revised Common Lectionary

Daily Readings
Book of Common Prayer

The Entire Bible in One Year
Daily Advent Readings
Monday --  Isaiah 29:17-24 (The sick will be healed)
Tuesday -- Ezekiel 47:1-12 (The wilderness will bloom with flowers)
Wednesday -- Matthew 8:14-17, 28-34 (Jesus heals)
Thursday --  Zechariah 8:1-17 (God's promises to Zion)
Friday --  Acts 5:12-16 (Many are healed by the Apostles)
Saturday -- Psalm 42 (Hope in God)
Practicing Prayer
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. -from The Book of Common Prayer
Contemplative Prayer (View and Download)
Daily Prayer (View and Download)
Audio Prayer Meditation - Pray As You Go
Psalm 146 Spotify Playlist
More Spotify Psalms Playlists...
Singing Psalms and Hymns
"Sing a New Song at Christmas: Biblical Canticles" - An article by Bruce Benedict on The Gospel Coalition Blog (Dec. 2013)

"Ten Modern Arrangements for Advent" - An article by Philip Majorins in Reformed Worship Magazine (Sept. 2016)

Advent Hymn (The Lord Has Come to Dwell) | Sarah Majorins | Leadsheet 

Advent Gloria | by Bobby Krier (Castle Island Hymns) | Leadsheet 

Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending | Arranged by Holy City Hymns | Leadsheet

He Has Done Great Things (Magnificat) | by Philip Majorins | Leadsheet

I Will Sing Praises (Psalm 146) | by Kaitlyn Ferry and Brian T. Murphy | Leadsheet 

Psalm 146 Metrical Options  

Resources for Pointed Chant 

Resources for Plainchant

Read about "Singing the Psalms: A Guide for Modern Worship"
Advent Reflection  
Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting—that is, of hopefully doing without—will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment. Those who do not know how it feels to struggle anxiously with the deepest questions of life, of their life, and to patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the splendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them...For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letter to fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer from prison, December 13, 1943
Music for Listening (Advent)
Check out these Christmastide releases!
Stream and Download 

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent - Church Folk: College Church 

Heck Ya the Halls - Aaron Strumpel and Latifah Phillips

Silent Night: Advent Hymns - Red Mountain Music 

Songs for the Incarnation - Cardiphonia

Dark Sacred Night - Dave Bazan

Advent No. 2
- Holy City Hymns

Thematic Art 
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