Advent is here, and once again I wasn’t entirely ready for it… (i.e the house wasn’t perfectly clean. No, this will never actually happen. But I can dream, can’t I?)
This time it wasn’t entirely my fault. I’ve had a miserable cold for the last two weeks and things just don’t get done when you’re curled up on the couch, shivering, sneezing, and watching Babylon 5 in a state of decongestant-induced time dilation.
I did get the wreath set up in time. The trailing rosemary in our front bed really took off this year, so I cut off a big pile of long pieces and braided them into the garland that’s wound twice around the stand. There’s tons more, so I can probably make at least one more fresh one for Christmas. Turns out rosemary wilts pretty quickly. Ah well, one day my holly bushes will be big enough to provide the greenery.
One big project I did get done while I was sick was to compile my various text files of Advent wreath blessings and weekly prayers into a tidy and consistent little page packer booklet. I decided to add short scripture passages as well, and the whole thing ended up mutating into a Liturgy of the Hours inspired prayer. The readings I wanted were too long to fit neatly, and I had the idea to take out the parts that repeated each Sunday and put them together as an Ordinary, with new readings and prayers for each Sunday on separate pages. Then I added a spot for family intercessions and the Lord’s Prayer to help round out the Ordinary, and it just looked done. I’m extremely please with it, and Himself appreciates having everything put together in one place and a logical order so he’s not terribly confused about what to do when.
On weekdays though, we just say that week’s prayer while we light the candles, bless our food if we’re eating dinner, and sing. Dinner during the week is just too busy for anything more. We turn down the lights as well and eat by the light of the wreath, which GeekBaby finds to be a great novelty.
Update: I have updated the booklet with additional red text instructing us to fold our hands in prayer for the blessing of the Advent Wreath. I don’t think anyone who would be interested in extensive Advent wreath prayers is the type to be confused over the distinction between the priesthood and the laity, but, for propriety’s sake…
I also fussed with the formatting for O Come O Come Emmanuel. The first verse (which everyone probably already knows) is at the end of the first week’s prayer with the refrain. The last page of the booklet now has the remaining six verses, sans refrain, and in the correct order to be sung for the O Antiphons.