Psalm(s): 146, 147 111, 112, 113
Old Testament: Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8
New Testament: 1 Thes 5:1-11
Gospel: Luke 21:15-29
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise of St. Cyril of Jerusalem

for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness (1 Thes 5:4)


Here we are again…..a new beginning…….the advent wreath is alight once more to ward off the darkness and to remind us that the doom and gloom of night is not everlasting.

The Advent wreath–like many other customs of the Christian church–finds its origin in pagan ritual. As the winter solstice drew near, and people approached the darkest night of the year, a ritual began of lighting candles to mark the occasion and to prepare for the return of the dawn.

The Church who had long understood Jesus as the Light that never fades, found it appropriate to adopt the pagan custom and to put its own spin on the tradition. Each of the four candles represents something: hope, expectation, joy and peace….concentrating on the coming of God’s kingdom and of readiness.

O Lord Jesus….in this new year….be our hope…come and be born in our hearts. +