Monday, 1 December 2014

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Advent Waiting

Advent has come around again. My favourite time of year. So much excitement. The joy of waiting. The cold air; the lights; the smells. I'm definitely a traditional girl when it comes to Christmas - and by traditional I mean elements of the medieval! I love the spices and the jewelled fruits, the foods that we've been eating for centuries, and the carols that were sung by our ancestors. I can't wait to celebrate Jesus' birth. Equally, I love that we can start our own traditions with our own little family. Christmas is special because I know what's coming.
My favourite tradition in our family isn't even a new tradition, but an old one reimagined: the Jesse Tree. It began in medieval times as a visual depiction of Jesus' ancestry from Adam through the Patriarchs to Joseph and Mary. It would most often be seen in stained glass windows in churches, like this one from Chartres Cathedral:
Jesse Tree Chartres Cathedral Stained Window
It tells the story of redemption; shows us how God's plan was in place from the start. Recently the tradition has reemerged, as a way to learn and meditate and prepare for the coming of Christ, I suppose as a way of reclaiming Advent. We use it as a kind of Advent calendar. 
We're into our third year now, and B is at an age where she can start to understand a bit more, so I'm really looking forward to that.

I hope you'll follow along with us this year. I shall be posting our crafts and activities, and any theological thoughts I'm inspired with.

What is your favourite part of Advent?

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