Advent is here.
Last year Advent caught me off guard. Unlike in 2020, this year my heart and my mind are better prepared for it, and I am looking forward to the beauty of the season. But with the season come new changes. This will be our first year of Advent with a son away at college, and I am thinking about how to keep him part of our time together in a way that will be a blessing to us all as he is entering a new phase of life. He will be here as we put up and decorate the tree this weekend and will return in the middle of December, so it is not quite a good-bye yet, but I know that time quickly approaches.
For many years (I don’t know when we actually began) our family’s Advent tradition has been to listen to Handel’s Messiah. We have been using Cindy Rollins’s 25 Days to Handel’s Messiah: An Advent Devotional Guide, and this year I bought Cindy’s book Hallelujah and look forward to incorporating ideas I find there.
Cindy gave me permission to share the guide I made for my family to help with reading the scripture and getting to the right spot in the video. We have chosen to use Youtube for our music, and our favorite version is Stephen Cleobury conducting King’s College, Cambridge Choir.
I hook my laptop up to the TV and use the links for the scripture and music. We begin by reading the opening scripture. Then, we listen to the listed pieces. Over the years, we have found it more challenging to come together as a family each night, so usually we are only listening a few times a week and covering several days.
This year I have also found the MP3 of the performance. Each year I see if I can find it and have not been successful in the past. Perhaps this has always been there, but I’m grateful to have found it.
I hope our family’s simple tradition is a blessing for you as you contemplate this advent season.