I love tradition. If anything is ever done twice, I instantly proclaim it is a new tradition. Growing up I was always a bit frustrated that there weren’t strict traditions in our house like you see in movies. However, as I begin to join customs and include new family members, I see that that may not entirely be the case. Making an Advent wreath and attending the Christmas Eve service are absolute musts, as well as stockings with treats and surprises, and writing out a Christmas list, even well into my 20’s…
The Episcopal Church offers us many traditions throughout the year that even in a virtual world bring us together and remind us we are one. The refrain “Glory to the Father; and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever” brings me such comfort, whether praying in a small group at evening prayer or alone when I need a restorative moment. Knowing that millions of people before me have recited these words and certainly many more will continue to is transcendent. I think this is part of why I love tradition and the church – it helps hold others with us, whether they are far away this year for the first time or watching us from above.
Most heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of community, whatever form that comes in. Thank you for the experiences and words that bind us in your love and let us know that as your children, we are never alone. As we honor old and build new traditions, may we feel your comfort and peace this Advent. Guide us to be instruments of your will as we celebrate your coming.
Glory to the Father; and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen
Scripture and other Readings
Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. Luke 1:38
“Human beings are creatures made for joy. Against all evidence, we tell ourselves that grief and loneliness and despair are tragedies, unwelcome variations from the pleasure and calm and safety that in the right way of the world would form the firm ground of our being. In the fairy tale we tell ourselves, darkness holds nothing resembling a gift.
What we feel always contains its own truth, but it is not the only truth, and darkness almost always harbors some bit of goodness tucked out of sight, waiting for an unexpected light to shine, to reveal it in its deepest hiding place.”
by Margaret Renkl from Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss
Upcoming at St. Thomas’
Join us for a Facebook watch party of our pre-recorded Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 6:30 pm.
Ideas for At-Home Celebrations of Light in Dark Times, from the Washington Waldorf School At this time of year, when the daylight hours are diminishing, there are many ways to celebrate light shining out in the darkness. This year in particular, our need to connect to our own inner light and that of our fellow creatures is palpable. As the days get shorter, we might also feel more restless as we hunker down at home.
Volunteer opportunities for families during Covid.