The Seasons of the Church Year (Liturgical Calendar) are introduced in Fifth Grade Religion Class and reviewed every year through Eighth Grade. Understanding these seasons not only helps illuminate some of the variations in Chapel but also provides rationale for the school’s adaptation during Lent. And, most importantly for Religion Class, the flow of the Church Year reflects the story of the life of Jesus, birth to death, resurrection and ascension.
As many of the Upper School students can tell you, the first of the seasons of the Church Year is also the name of our school, Advent! The word, Advent, means coming, and the season lasts for the four Sundays and days following before December 25, the Feast of the Incarnation – Christmas. The color for Advent is, you guessed it, Purple (Sorry! It’s not purple and gold like our school colors. It’s simply purple. Some churches choose to use blue for Advent and reserve purple, traditionally a penitential color, for Lent.)
I invite you to take this coming season of Advent as a time to consciously let go of anxiety and instead focus on the joy and good in our midst. Yes, it will be the holiday season with a full calendar and lots to do, but the key is to think about what kind of season you want to have and to act accordingly. You are responsible for your time and energy, and you get to decide how to spend these resources, (of course, with some exceptions).
On each floor of the school there will be a poster, “Slow Down. Quiet. It’s Advent: Twenty-five Days To Make Room In Your Life For Jesus.” This poster provides a suggestion for observing each day of Advent in a thoughtful and joyful way. If you are not Christian or do not practice a faith tradition, the suggestions for each day on the poster still may be valuable to you. There are Bible stories to read, actions to do for others, and questions to ponder, all of which are good done individually and better done in families or groups. (If you do not have a Bible, just type the scripture reference into Google or Safari to find the suggested reading. Copies of this calendar are available at http://www.forwardmovement.org.) May this Advent be a time of the coming of peace in place of anxiety at Advent Episcopal School and throughout our world.
Blessings to you all!