Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things Advent!
Here you will find our pick of the best resources to help you reflect this advent – many created especially for our community of St Mark’s and some drawing on the wisdom and creativity of external communities.
We hope you enjoy these resources. If you know of any others that people might appreciate and that we could be sharing, please do let us know.
Hannah and the St Mark’s team
St Mark’s Digital Advent Calendar / Virtual Posada
This year our Posada has gone online and is a lovely opportunity to see different members of the congregation and share hospitality – through the medium of short videos! Each day a new video will be revealed with a different household, gradually telling the story of the nativity and taking a few minutes to lead us in a prayer for the world.
For Safeguarding reasons, the link for this will be available on the St Mark’s Friday email, or you can request the link from the office.
Advent Windows to visit
People from across the community will be preparing their own Advent Windows, which will gradually tell the nativity story. A few windows will be prepared in various areas each week for you to find! Head to the Advent Windows page (coming soon) for photos and more information if you’d like to visit the windows.
Advent Challenges and Opportunities to Reflect
Festival of Light
Perhaps you would like to make some decorations to hang on the green while you’re watching your daily Advent Calendar video from St Mark’s? Throughout the season of Advent we will be dressing the green as a symbol of light and hope for our wider community, alongside the opportunity for us to share this activity together – knowing that we have each visited and share this sacred space. For photos and more information about what to make, go to the Festival of Light page!
Your Advent Journal
Create your own record of Advent 2020. Download and print out the PDF. Use the space to write/draw and respond as you reflect on resources and events throughout each day.
Global Advent Calendar
If you’re on social media why not get involved in the Global Advent Calendar – creating something for each of the words for the days of Advent and sharing it online with the hashtag #adventword You can find more information on the Advent Word website or just use the words as a prompt to create something at home and share with your friends and family as a creative way of praying. You can download a list of the words to print out and use throughout Advent – why not put it up on the fridge to remind you?
Simple Advent Wreath making
Download the Simple Celtic Advent Wreath PDF for some mindful colouring which results in a beautiful Advent Wreath for you to enjoy at home, or you could try making a mini advent wreath out of modelling clay or Lego.
Get outside in Advent
You might like to visit the new Advent Creative Prayer Stations which will soon appear on the green. Or if you’d like something to use nearer to home, this lovely PDF has numerous suggestions of how to reflect and enjoy the outdoors this season – whatever the weather! Here is the link for the full resource (larger file).
Why not sign up for Traidcraft’s Social Justice advent calendar – each day you’ll be sent an opportunity to stand up for justice in a simple way, it will always be free and take less than 5 minutes of your time.
Reverse Advent Calendar
Instead of opening a window on your calendar or eating a chocolate every day, how about buying or putting aside one of the items below to take to your local food bank? Feel free to do a single shop in one go if that makes it more manageable! Why not download our Reverse Advent Calandar list to use as a shopping list. Try to donate your items by 16 December so that the items can be distributed ready for Christmas. You can drop items in the boxes in most supermarkets or contact the S6 Foodbank directly.
Books to accompany you through advent:
The Art of Advent: A Painting a day from Advent to Epiphany by Jane Williams. With nearly 40 pieces of western art, this book provides an alternative way of exploring advent through artwork, prayer and thoughtful reflections
Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley. This is a wonderful collection of poems and reflections helping us to journey with some challenging themes that we must all encounter before we are able to get to the light.
Waiting for the Word by Malcolm Guite. In this season of waiting and expectation, you may want to grapple with advent as a season of paradoxes by exploring a poem a day from advent to epiphany with Malcolm Guite.
In the Bleak Midwinter: Advent and Christmas with Christina Rossetti by Rachel Mann. Best known for her poems-turned-carols In the Bleak Midwinter and Love Came Down at Christmas, Mann explores Rossetti’s rich and wondrous faith through poems, reflections, and words to make a delightful seasonal companion.
Frequencies of God: Walking through Advent with R.S Thomas by Carys Walsh. A new publication this year, Walsh guides us through the contours of this season by using the spiritual and poetic trajectory of R.S Thomas moving gently from absence to encounter.
Unearthly Beauty by Magdalen Smith. In this accessible book, Smith introduces us to 24 advent and christmas saints who may just encourage us to glimpse the holiness of the world anew.
You can support independent bookshops by purchasing most of these books from the www.bookshop.org website.
…and if you still haven’t quite found what you looking for?!
Advent Online is an incredible library of resources for churches and individual Christians, reaching out right across the world. Over 3,000 global Christians, involved in leading worship, have gathered together to share their resources, gifts, skills and ideas to plan services and outreach during the Advent and Christmas season.