The picture you will see below is my Advent wreath. My mother once upon a time entwined the holly garland around what is otherwise a plain green candleholder. In the aftermath of my parents’ divorce, I somehow wound up with this. Judy wound up with the prayers that we read during each week of Advent, one per week.
I don’t remember the prayers, but I remember the topics. There was one each for peace, hope, faith, and love. With Leah getting older and with us having Penny in the house, someone from another culture and religion entirely, I wanted to make Advent and the wreath about something more than just lighting a candle in a wreath that sits in the middle of our table each night.
However, we are not an overly religious family either. So to say prayers together feels strange to me. Instead, I have decided that each week I will share some passages about the given topic for the week. We lit the wreath tonight instead of last night, as we were busy last night with getting people to airports, choir practice, Leah, Yahtzee, and PopPop. Tonight, it was again just the four of us, and time for some quiet, serene reflection. I chose two passages to read my sweet family, the longer one before, the short quotation afterwards. I have put the picture in the middle to indicate when we lit our candle. From here on out, each week, I will simply include a photo of the wreath with the next candle lit and our before and after passages. I hope you find these as interesting, sweet, and thought provoking as I did.
Thoughts on Faith From Garrison Keillor:
What keeps our faith cheerful is the extreme persistence of gentleness and humor. Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music, and books, raising kids—all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. Lacking any other purpose in life, it would be good enough to live for their sake.