Last week, the children joined the procession, carrying in stars and adorning the Chancel. This week it was entire families! Families were invited to make an Advent banner that mirrors the colors and shapes of our Advent paraments. On Sunday the families processed the banners forward and hung them behind the altar as a beautiful backdrop to worship.
These families are leaders, liturgical artists, creating something to help others encounter the Spirit. The banners will hang in the Sanctuary through the Sunday School Christmas Program on December 21, and then the families can take their banner to hang it at home. A piece of the Sanctuary will go out into their homes. What a lovely image.
The movement of the people gathered has also changed this Advent. The prayers of the People and the Liturgy of the Meal have both been brought down the steps and into the middle of the Sanctuary. The assembly gathers close to pray and prepare to receive Holy Communion. We look at each other. We are in each other's space. We support each other as we join together in our faith-work.
As we continue through this season, we know Advent preparation is not just about the physical getting ready for Christmas. We know it is really about getting our selves ready for Jesus. Opening our eyes to the beauty around us. Opening our hearts to the people in our lives. Opening our futures to ways God will work through us, ways we cannot even imagine yet!
All of this opening takes work: faith-work. So we come back each Sunday to participate together in the Advent Liturgy so we will be ready to receive Christ - again.