This is the first in a series of four posts on the liturgical season of Advent.
Yesterday began the Advent season in the Roman Catholic church. Growing up I was not Catholic but Episcopalian so I am use to Advent as a liturgical season but many people do not recognize this period of waiting for Christ to be born.
In the church, there are two periods of waiting and anticipation. Advent is the first as the new church year begins with Advent. Lent is the other and is the anticipation of Christ rising. Back to Advent.
As I do on most first Advent Sundays, I looked for two items. The first is for me, personally. Many years ago I bought a copy of a book that is meant to be read throughout Advent. I bought it closer to Christmas that first year. I packed it away , not thinking I could read from that date forward. The next time I brought it out during Advent was in 2001.
Advent of 2001 was a prayerful time for me. I was concerned as three of my children were flying in December. They were headed to a Catholic youth conference that had been scheduled for a month earlier but postponed, cancellation was a possibility, because of the attacks on New York and Washington in September. This national conference was in Indianapolis this year and would draw over 30,000 Catholic teens from around the US. Many in charge thought it would be a perfect target for additional attacks. I was just worried about plane travel at that point in time.
I knew that this trip, if it happened, was a pray and let it go to God trip. Nothing I did as a mother or an adult was going to make a difference in the experience or the outcome. So I took my kids to the airport and did just that – prayed and let it go to God.
Ten years later I still remember pulling out Anders’ book every morning the kids were gone and reading and praying for all those who were in attendance – the teens, their chaperones, the priests, those who would get them there and back safely.