Monday, November 13, 2023

Waiting In Wonder -
Ideas For Observing And Celebrating Advent 2023 - Second Sunday

Sunday, December 10, 2023

 Missa Populus Sion. Listen, here.

Introit: People of Zion, the Lord will come to save all nations, and your hearts will exult to hear his majestic voice.
- Based on Isaiah 30:19,30, (Roman Missal)

Populus Sion, ecce Dominus veniet ad salvandas gentes: et auditam faciet Dominus gloriam vocis suae, in laetitia cordis vestri.

Ps. Qui regis Israel, intende: qui deducis velut ovem Ioseph.(Graduale Romanum)

Isaiah 40:3-5
“A voice of one calling:
‘In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’” (NIV)

Light the Advent candle two,

think of humble shepherds who,

filled with wonder at the sight,

of the child on Christmas night.

Candle, candle burning bright,

shining in the cold winter night.

Candle, candle burning bright,

fill our hearts with Christmas light.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Listen, here, or listen to this beautiful version.  We enjoy listening to this at the end of every Advent devotional during the season.

Click on image to enlarge, right click and save to your computer.

Traditionally we put up our tree the weekend before Thanksgiving, although in recent years, I've held out for the weekend after, but always before the first Sunday of Advent.  

However, with the scripture reference to "the voice crying in the wilderness", and the poems mention of "the humble shepherds", it might hold special meaning to put up the tree on this day.  Not that there were pine trees in the fields, but most likely there were some trees, and as I though on this it just seemed an obvious fit.  I don't even know that I will hold out until the second Sunday of Advent, but it's a lovely thought, just the same.

That being said, perhaps you could even place the tree the day before and put on nothing but the lights and save the fun of decorating together as a family for today.  Or you could put the tree and the lights up and then decorate it a little more each night, adding different elements. As I've said in previous posts, there is no wrong way to observe the season, all that matters is what is right for you and for your family! So whenever you choose to decorate your tree, here are some lovely ideas for adorning it!

1 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup light brown sugar
3 farm-fresh eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups molasses
6 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon,

1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and add the brown sugar, eggs, and molasses. Sift together all the dry ingredients and add them to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly and chill well ­before rolling out on a floured slab. 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a cookie sheet.

3. Place them on the greased cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven. Bake until dry but not crisp.

A shepherds crook is a long and sturdy stick with a hook at one end used to guide and manage sheep. In tribute to the shepherds, why not decorate your tree with candy canes.  Of course you may choose to use the real thing, which we did for a number of years and it was lovely.  But here are some other ideas you might want to consider as well.

Rustic Holiday Candy Canes - wrapped in burlap and ribbon and adorned with bells and greenery.
Prim Candy Canes wrapped in twine, or these wrapped in red gingham, so cute!
Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes - these would be super easy and fun for the littles in your life!
Beaded Candy Canes - and these would be great for the not-so-little littles, so they won't be tempted to put the beads in their mouth!
Salt Dough Candy Cane Ornaments - I just love salt dough, and these are especially cute!

So while we're on the subject of candy canes, why not make up something that features them!? There are more recipes than you can shake a candy cane at, :), but here are a few that caught my eye!

- Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies
- Peppermint Melt-Aways
- Ultra Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Peppermint Snowball Cookies
- Frosted Peppermint Brownie Cookies

I traditionally make a sweet little peppermint sugar cookie dusted with peppermint sugar and drizzled with chocolate every year, but as odd as it may sound, I can't find a single picture of them. So I'll save that post for another day!

And, since we discussed putting up your Christmas tree, if you prefer a live tree (we do, but due to allergies in the family have always used an artificial tree), you might like to make up a batch of this and have it waiting for everyone, along with some of the cookies you've made! My long-time blogging friend, Rachel Proffit, shared this recipe with me last year.

2 cups hard cider
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice

Method: Boil and simmer to allow flavours to infuse. That's where the slow cooker came in handy!.

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