I’m not sure how one should greet another in Advent.  I can’t say ‘Happy Advent’ when I am simultaneously hoping for the immediate return of Jesus.  I mean, that event will not necessarily be happy, certainly not for goats.  ‘Blessing at Advent’ sounds naff and pretentious – I know I often do, but I do try not to…  So, some sort of greeting, of a pleasant and benign sort, be with you and yours for the purple season!

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

I’ve been impressed this week by the liturgical dexterity of the Dean and my prison boss Fran, who both managed to say the Advent collect with grace and aplomb, and as though they understood every word.  Some liturgy is very difficult, and this is a piece of Cranmer’s finest.  Very magnificent, and very theologically and grammatically complex.  Not like the collect for Holy Innocents though, which is just crass and theologically up the creek (without a paddle, or any other form of implement to save it…).  I don’t know about you, but my life is far from innocent.

Heavenly Father,
whose children suffered at the hands of Herod,
though they had done no wrong:
by the suffering of your Son
and by the innocence of our lives
frustrate all evil designs
and establish your reign of justice and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

One Reply to “Advent”

  1. Isn’t the bit about “innocence of our lives” an aspirational thing? Meaning “to the extent that our lives are innocent, let this also frustrate evil designs?”

    Actually, here’s someone fighting evil design.

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