Some Christians think it’s a little unfair that somber Lent gets six weeks and joyful Advent only four. Perhaps the Church Calendar is like that because penitence takes more work than joy and Christians need more help with it.
Still some liturgical experts are trying to rectify the imbalance between Advent and Lent by extending Advent to seven weeks.
This movement is called The Advent Project (theadventproject.org) and emerged recently among a small number of Episcopalian congregations. The Advent Project points out that before the twelfth century, Advent in the Christian Church lasted seven weeks until Gregorian reform foreshortened it to four.
So let’s give it a whirl this year at Kenilworth Union. This year Advent will begin on November 17. Worship with us as usual on Sunday mornings, and join us on Monday nights for two classes exploring the origins of the Christmas holiday.
Martin Luther called the Christian Hymnbook a virtual catechism of doctrine. Or something like that. He loved the way hymns snuck theology clandestinely into the brain of the believer. We’ll look at several theologically fecund Advent and Christmas Carols.
Mondays, 7 p.m., Culbertson Room
Matt, Luke, and Chuck: The Guys Who Invented Christmas
In the New Testament, only Matthew and Luke bother to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, and they tell two different stories. Closer to our own day, Charles Dickens almost all by himself determined how we celebrate the holiday in England, and later in America. This feast for the intellect will be accompanied by nourishing convivialities like figgy pudding and seasonal libations like mulled wine.