Greetings! I have updated this post to add some new information… read on, updates can be found at the bottom of the page. Thanks!
Here it is November 9 and I have Advent on my mind. It is only three weeks away! With that in mind, if you are interested, I have some recommendations for your Advent prayer and reading. These are presented in no particular order!
- Sacred Space for Advent and Christmas 2015-2016, Loyola Press. This annual offering from the Irish Jesuits is a great go-to for Advent. Organized by week, and then by day, offerings are insightful and reflective. Small enough to carry around, this book can truly be in your pocket so that you are not without prayer this Advent. One thing that I love is that it goes into the Christmas season, not stopping at December 25. At a $1.25, this is a great value.
- Unto us a Child is Born, Daily Advent Meditations and Prayers from Henri J.M. Nouwen, Creative Communications. This booklet is lightweight in physicality, but not so light in terms of what it offers. Lovely and simple, but wise daily reflections that will touch your heart and help your prayer. This book is priced for parishes to provide, so there is a sliding scale by volume, but it is $1.49 for one copy – not too bad for spending time with Jesus and Henri Nouwen.
- Waiting in Joyful Hope 2015-16 Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas, by Genevieve Glen and Jerome Kodell, from Liturgical Press. I’m not going to lie, if you get (or already have) this little book, you will see a book blurb on the back from yours truly. This series from Liturgical Press is a long-time favorite of mine. This year the book is authored by two Benedictines, so the rich content remains, presented with fresh voices that stay with you well into January. The price is $2.00, a little bit more than the others, but certainly a great value.
- Rediscovering Advent, Advent Calendar by Rachel Srubas, with illustrations from Roy DeLeon, Presbyterians Today. Although this has been in my hands for a few weeks, I did not really experience it as a calendar, not that that matters. This beautiful – well, it is calendar sized/shaped booklet is a treasure. The author writes from a deep spiritual well, the illustrations speak volumes of their own. In truth, the author gave me my copy. And in honesty, I had to include it here. You can purchase one copy for $4.00, with discounts for greater volumes, see that first link. This one is a beauty, and I’ll be glad to have it at my side this Lent.
- USCCB Daily Readings, Advent Supplement. The USCCB has the daily readings available on their website, and you can also subscribe to an email that includes them. If you don’t get that email, think again! Why? Because this year, on every Saturday, you will receive a lectio based on upon Sunday’s Gospel, but only during Advent. This is all free, and while I have no early access, I imagine that it is worth checking out.
- Give Us This Day, Liturgical Press. Give Us This Day is a monthly devotional with prayers, reflections, daily mass readings, shortened morning and evening prayer. Again, an revelation from me, I contribute periodic reflections to this publication. That said, I was also a charter subscriber way back in July 2011 when they began. This is something you purchase for a year via subscription, but something to consider to enrich your Advent, Christmas, and on-going life of prayer!
That’s the list for this year, many good choices. Whatever you do, may you find ways to live your Advent in hopeful, prayerful, joy!
UPDATES: Having come across some other resources, I wanted to add them for you…
Advent and Christmas Resources from 23rd Publications: Check out this link for a variety of excellent resources. Although 23rd Publications is well know to me, I did not include it, but Janet Schaeffler, whom you may know as a teacher, writer, speaker, and retreat facilitator, reminded me of these offerings. Her own offering, A Thrill of Hope is very good, and well priced for group or individual purchase. Interested in ordering? Click here.
Another book from Liturgical Press… Last year, or was it the year before? Can’t recall! In any case, I have recommended this book before, and I am bringing it up again. It is not in the same daily devotional format. What book? A Time of Fulfillment by Anselm Grün, OSB. It is a wonderful way to read yourself more deeply into the season.
What brought the book to mind was a visit to O’Connor’s in Latham, NY. Albany area locals are well advised to stop by the store for a great variety of Advent items, and a good selection of religious books and goods in general. No, I am not being paid to do this, I am simply pointing to a local business with a lot of interesting merchandise, including many of the books that I have mentioned here, including A Time of Fulfillment. Not local? Use their website to order!
What will you be reading and praying with this Advent?