Celebrating Advent

4 Dec

If we bring an awareness of Advent to the home it still brings light and warmth to winter days. A wreathe, or simply the attractive arrangement of four candles on the table with red ribbon, a bit of evergreen, or pine cones, is a symbolic centre piece… Advent is a time of preparation. Children can busy themselves making cards and gifts… – from Festivals, Family and Food, by Diana Carey and Judy Large

Christianity stands as the external mystical fact for the birth of the light. Christ brought to the earth what had existed from the beginning, although it was hidden from mankind throughout the ages we have been speaking of. Now, however, a new climax was reached. Even as the light is born anew at the winter solstice, so in the fourth post-Atlantean period the Savior of Mankind, the Christ, was born. He is the new Sun Hero who was not only initiated in the depths of the Mystery temples, but who also appeared before all the world so that it could be said, “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). When it was recognized that the Divine could descend into a personality, the festival celebrating the birth of the Sun Hero, the Christ, came to replace the festival celebrating the birth of the light.

All the great teachers of wisdom — the Egyptian Hermes, the ancient Indian Rishis, Confucius, the Persian Zarathustra — have spoken the Divine Word. In Jesus the Christ, however, the Divine Word Itself walked on earth in a living shape for the first time. Before this time there was on earth only the Path and the Truth. Now we have the Path, the Truth and the Life. The great difference between earlier religions and Christianity consists in the fact that Christianity is the fulfillment of the previous religions, that in Christ we are not concerned with a great teacher of wisdom — teachers of wisdom were present in all other religions — but with a human personality who at the same time must be revered as a Divine Personality. Herein is to be found the importance of the disciples’ message, “We have laid our hand into His wounds, we have heard His message.” The emphasis is placed on the appearance, on the direct impression. It does not merely listen to the word but considers the personality. The conviction prevailed that Christ was, in a unique fashion, the Cosmic Sun Hero.

If we comprehend this, we also understand that the ancient festival of the winter solstice signified something different from the present Christmas festival. In Egypt we find Horus, Isis and Osiris, the archetypal image of what also lives in Christianity. In ancient India we have the birth of Krishna by the holy virgin. We find echoes of this myth everywhere, but what is important in Christianity is what I have just expressed. … The most important event for the men of this age is the fact that the Christmas festival, which always represented the birth of an initiate, now represents the birth of the greatest Sun Hero, of Christ Himself. Thus these two facts of necessity sound together in the world’s course.”
- Rudolf Steiner, 1904, Signs and Symbols of the Christmas Festival: Part 1: The Birth of Light

Ethan making advent candles
Ethan creating advent candles from sheets of beeswax for the dinner table Advent celebrations this month
advent candles

The official Advent dates for 2009 are:

* First Sunday of Advent (Sunday, November 29, 2009)

* Feast of Saint Nicholas (Sunday, December 6, 2009)

* Second Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 6, 2009)

* Immaculate Conception (Tuesday, December 8, 2009)
Holy Day of Obligation

* Our Lady of Guadalupe (Saturday, December 12, 2009)

* Feast of Saint Lucy (Sunday, December 13, 2009)

* Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (Sunday, December 13, 2009)

* Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday, December 20, 2009)

* Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24, 2009)

* Christmas (Friday, December 25, 2009)
Holy Day of Obligation

Here is a wonderful article outlining the winter festivals within the Waldorf home school.

This weekend marks the Feast of Saint Nicholas and the coming post will talk a little more about that! Stay tuned…

Enjoy recent pics:
ice skating
Ethan and I ice skating this week

bon fire
I awoke to find Ethan’s morning alone time activity: building a bonfire for his “friends”

mama hat
Just off the needles: slouchy beanie for mama

Ethan helped me with gourmet homemade pizza on family movie night tonight

waldorf doll
My first waldorf doll, a floor puppet

verity bonnet
Verity in her cutie vintage thrift store bonnet

nature arrangement
Ethan’s playtime activity- his nature arrangement of winter elements

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