One of St. Gabriel’s most unique observances is Extended Advent, which we celebrate for seven weeks instead of four. In its origin, the Season of Advent was nearly seven weeks long (paralleling Lent) until it was shortened to just four weeks in the 11th century by Pope Gregory VI. By expanding Advent season as originally intended we have found that this quiet time of prayer and reflection becomes more meaningful as we wait for what God promised us- a surprising Savior born as a tiny baby in a manger. For children, an earlier Advent allows time to take a pause, anticipate, and observe the quiet ritual around our sacred and ancient story before Santa and secular Christmas completely take over. St. Gabriel’s was inspired to celebrate extended Advent through “The Advent Project” created by The Very Rev’d William H. Petersen, PhD, DD, who is Emeritus Dean & Professor of Bexley Hall Seminary, an Episcopal priest, and occasional visitor to St. Gabriel’s. Rev. Petersen wrote a book What Are We Waiting For?: Re-imagining Advent for Time to Come in which St. Gabriel is featured as one of the churches observing extended Advent. Our Extended Advent booklets for the entire 2021 season are available here.
See below for our Advent Family Activity Calendar, our prayers for families, and our traditional prayers for the first week of Extended Advent that begins Sunday, November 7, 2021.
Family Advent Activity Calendar for Nov. 7- 13, 2021
Sun. Nov. 7th Today is the 1st Sun. of Advent. Gather the family around the Advent wreath after dinner or before bed. Light 1 purple candle in your Advent wreath and say the prayers from your Advent booklet. The waiting has begun!
Mon. Nov. 8th John the Baptist said, “Get ready for the coming of the Lord! How could you do that?
Tues. Nov. 9th What could you do to help prepare your house or apartment for Advent? Dusting and washing windows can be fun. Make your house sparkle in anticipation!
Wed. Nov. 10th Take some coins from your savings or ask to earn some. Each day of Advent put a coin in your popcorn box you decorated for church school. At the end of Advent, bring it to church and donate it.
Thu. Nov. 11th Today is Veterans Day, when we remember the soldiers trying to keep peace in the world and keep us safe. Say a prayer for their safety and give thanks for their work for us.
Fri. Nov. 12th To help spread peace in the world, draw a dove on white paper and cut it out. Write “peace” on it. Use clear tape to put it up on your front door or window to remind everyone what you stand for.
Sat. Nov. 13th It is still harvest time and so a great time for soup. Which one is your favorite? Ask a grownup to help you gather ingredients and make some soup for dinner. Find a simple bread recipe to go with it.
Extended Advent Prayers for Families with Children
1st Sunday of Extended Advent– Wisdom 11/7/21
(Light 1 purple candle)
We are in the time
when our nights are growing longer,
and our days are getting short.
Yes, it can seem cold and dark.
But–when we light the candles
nestled in the green branches,
we see light shining through the darkness
and we remember what God promised us:
Jesus is coming!
God, please give us the wisdom
to do what is necessary to defeat this virus.
Help people show love
by making good decisions
that help their brothers, sisters, and siblings
to stay healthy.
Give health caregivers strength
to do their difficult jobs.
We are waiting. Amen
WAYS TO HELP The sick and the healers:
- Continue handwashing with soap and water- it’s still an important way to stay healthy.
- Get vaccinated for Covid-19 and the flu and encourage others to be vaccinated. Have children under 12 vaccinated as soon as it is recommended.
- Wear a mask when in public, following guidelines.
- Donate blood if you are over 17.
- If you know a healthcare worker, ask if your family can help them with childcare, errands, meals, or housework.
- Pray for the sick from the Book of Common Prayer pages 453-461.
- For now try to avoid any risky activities that could injure you while hospitals are so full such as climbing high ladders, working on your roof, using chainsaws, and so on.
Traditional Extended Advent Prayers
Prayers written by Carol A. Doran, DMA, Rev. Elise Feyerherm, PhD, and The Very Rev’d William H. Petersen, PhD, DD
1st Sunday of Extended Advent–
(Light 1 purple candle)
Leader: As our nights grow longer and our days grow short, we look on these earthly signs–light and green branches– and remember God’s promise to our world: Christ, our Light and our Hope, will come. Listen to the words of Solomon:
“O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy, who have made all things by your word, and by your wisdom have formed humankind to have dominion over the creatures you have made, and rule the world in holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul, give me the wisdom that sits by your throne, and do not reject me from among your servants….With you is wisdom, she who knows your works and was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your commandments. Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne of your glory send her, that she may labor at my side, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:1-4, 9-10)
People: God is the source of our life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Candle is lit while All sing: O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who ord’rest all things mightily; to us the path of knowledge show, and
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
WAYS TO HELP The Homeless and the Hungry:
- Support needy families in the Beaverton School District through The Gabriel Center by donating clothing anytime; and instant food, laundry detergent pods, school supplies, or whatever is requested each month.
- Drop off non-perishable food to an Oregon Food Bank partner Rock Creek Church by Westview High School at 4470 NW 185TH Ave. Portland, OR 97229 in their drop-off box.
- Keep supplies like clean socks, water bottles, non-perishable snacks, and warm gloves in your car to give to people on highway ramps and in parking lot entries.re
- Support eviction moratoriums during the pandemic.
- Prayer in BCP for the Poor and Neglected on page 826.
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