November

Lord among the seven candles!
Giver of the light undarkened!
Helper of the souls who struggle
With their passions’ bitter visage
On the wide stairs of the Night—

Thou who bearest from the Father
Sun-Life changeful and unchanging,
Healing for the spirit’s weakness
When it weaves from wandering shadows
Error that denies Thy Being—

Christ whose love calls forth the roses
From the cross on which we suffer;
Guardian of the door to Heavens
Where the deeds on earth unfinished
Through God’s grace prepare fulfillment—

Thy strong soul unite our feeling
With the souls of men who journey
From the earth to distant star worlds;
And with those who seek the entry
To the earth which Thou has hallowed.

Adam Bittleston, in Meditative Prayers for Today, available at http://www.steinerbooks.org/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=264

Celebrating Advent with Children

Advent is a blessed and magical time of year and children experience this deeply. Building a family ritual around Advent helps to slow down our busy lives, bring a special moment into the day, and prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas.  

Each night of Advent, families can gather around an Advent wreath to sing a song, light the candles on the wreath, and recite a verse in a simple, meaningful celebration. Reading an Advent story (such as those in The Christmas Story Book published by Floris books) is another element one can add to the evening tradition. Each week of Advent an additional candle is lighted on the wreath until at the 4th Sunday, all four candles stand glowing.

Verse for Lighting the Advent Wreath

The first light of Advent
Is the light of stones.
The light that shines in seashells,
Crystals and in bones.

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Advent Poem – “Hope”

As the apple of red was tasted
A veil spread across the soul’s eyes.
Overcome by the sweetness
The world beyond was viewed
As through a cloud.

More sweetness, more color craved,
Until cloud so thickened
Only wafting shadows were seen,
Leading mind to conclude
Nothing more was there.

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