Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent begins tomorrow

 Advent begins tomorrow

It is the last day of the Christian Year today, and the beginning of the Christian Year

begins tomorrow with Advent I, when we begin the season of expectation,

of waiting for Christmas - for the coming of Jesus.  The readings of the next

four weeks will bring us into the heart of the prophetic vision from the

Hebrew Scriptures of awaiting the Messiah and also the stories that preceded

Jesus' Birth.

For us, this season of Advent is all too easily eclipsed by the rush to Christmas

in the culture all around us.  As a child, we would usually buy our Christmas tree

just before Christmas, and we spent time in Advent lighting the four candles of the

Advent Wreath.  As a child, the waiting was, of course, for the gifts and magic of

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but the waiting did move us into a

mindset of expectation of the "not yet" of waiting for Jesus' coming.

This mindset of expectation is one that we can cultivate as we move into the

season of Advent.  Considering the figures of Mary, as she lived in the tangible

expectation of a child to be born, and the figure of John the Baptist who lived in

tangible expectation for the Messiah who would baptize with fire, not with water. 

I wish you a "Happy New Years Eve" tonight and a blessed Advent,

may you take the time to consider, ponder, and sit deeply in the mindset of


Below you can find links to our Online worship tomorrow, as well as a link to

my Daily Advent Reflections blog, and also ways to worship with the

Diocese in this Advent and Christmas Season.

Advent Blessings to you!


29 November 2020 ~ 10am ~ Online

Service of Morning Prayer for Advent 1 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

On our Church’s YouTube channel, click HERE 

The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the

armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ

came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again

in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the

life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Music for Thanksgiving

Our organist, Jonathan Stark, is working to find ways to share music online

from our nave, using our beautiful organ.  He was able to record some outstanding

music for Thanksgiving, which I recommend to you all!  Click on the link below

to enjoy his artistry!  We will be posting Advent and Christmas music in upcoming


Daily Advent Reflections by The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Click HERE to read scripture for the day, and a brief reflection on the reading

and on our season of Advent.

Join the Diocese for Advent and Christmas, from Home

We are bringing Advent and Christmas to you, at home.


Advent: Bishop Gutiérrez returns to CBS - KYW for Advent services starting

tomorrow, 11/29. You can watch at 5:30 a.m. online or on your television;

or tune in for the rebroadcast at 9:00 a.m. on our One Love Channel, Facebook

or YouTube channels.

All services are filmed from The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas

and include youth readers and some singers from the church as well.

The first rector of this historic parish, the Rev. Absalom Jones, was also

the first black Episcopal priest in the nation.


Christmas Lesson and Carols: On 12/19 at 10 a.m., as part of its covenant

with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the diocese has organized a live

Christmas Lessons and Carols service broadcast simultaneously from

Philadelphia and Bethlehem on our One Love and YouTube channels.

A joint Episcopal and Lutheran service - officiated by all five Episcopal and

Lutheran bishops in Southeast Pennsylvania and Jerusalem - this simulcast

service connects us to our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land, hearing

familiar carols and readings in both Arabic and English, and with a special

Christmas homily from the Archbishop of Jerusalem. 


Christmas Day: On Christmas day, 12/25, our service heads to The

Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, the birthplace of the hymn

"O Little Town of Bethlehem," on the CW-Philly at 6:00 a.m., where their youth

will also lead the readings.

This service is rebroadcast on all of our channels at 8:00 a.m.

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