Posted: Nov 30, 2020
Why Advent is Purple: Resources for Advent
We might notice throughout the year that the liturgical colors churches use for altar cloths, vestments, and other such things change occasionally. For example, we have been in a long season of green since Pentecost, but that color changes for Advent to… purple? It may seem a weird color to pick at first since purple is also the color for Lent. Purple is a royal color, and so it signals something important for us about Jesus’s role as Lord of all things. But purple also calls us to penitence, quiet reflection, and prayer.
All this might seem a bit somber for Advent, but consider the weight of what Christmas is for us: Christmas is our celebration of the incarnation of God in Jesus of Nazareth. We celebrate it to celebrate the outlandishly awesome thing God does in becoming truly human while remaining truly divine to provide a means for our salvation. As such, the joy of Christmas requires a profound journey through Advent similarly to how the joy of Easter requires our journey through Lent. We should really feel the weight of glory God has revealed in both and so, in both, we roll out the purple cloth as a reminder.
How do you reflect on the coming of Jesus through the Advent season? Maybe you think of that sort of question every year, or maybe this is the first time it has come up. In any case, take a look at the three resources below which are geared towards helping families with this sort of reflection through the Advent season.
From the publisher: “For the seventh year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary is offering meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, November 29. Images and meditations can be experienced via the #AdventWord website, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. This year, meditations will also be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.”
From the publisher: “From the bestselling author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home comes an inspiring new holiday companion filled with dozens of practices for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany… The holiday prayers, practices, and stories are grouped by different themes of the Advent and Christmas season, from Decorating, to Family Time, to Giving, to Telling the Story, and more. Practices include: Making an Advent Wreath, Christmas Card Prayers, Hot Chocolate Gratitude Party, Year Round Christmas Gift, Silent Night Star Walk, Birthday Party for Jesus, Leaving Hay for Camels, Memory Box for the Year to Come, and many, many more! There’s also a chapter titled “Difficult Moments” with prayers for when family leaves, when someone is in the hospital, when we miss someone, and more.”
From the publisher: “An Illustrated Advent for Families: In Light and Darkness is an opportunity for families to take time each week during the Advent season to be intentional and focus on their faith. These weekly reflections explore the theme of light and darkness in Advent scriptures. How we understand these ideas affect the way we view God, our faith, and our world. Inspired by Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, we re-frame traditional understandings of light as good and darkness as bad or evil. Each week, there is a suggested scripture to read, a short reflection, discussion questions, an activity (with lots of coloring opportunities), and a prayer to explore the theme of light and darkness working in balance in our lives.”