In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An Academic Advent

When you work in a campus ministry for a Lutheran-affiliated college, the academic year and the liturgical year sometimes do strange things. We have a daily chapel while classes are in session, so we often celebrate major festivals on their particular day. We also spend more time "in worship/in season", if that makes sense. However Advent is probably the most difficult.

In a "regular" congregation, people really get four Sundays of Advent worship. Sure, sure, you are supposed to be doing an advent wreath and a calender and a devotional at home, but let's face it...many people do not. So, essentially, they get four times when they can sing Advent hymns (the BEST hymns, in my opinion!) and get to light the candle.

At my school, we only get two weeks of Advent. Why? Because classes are often held through the second week, and then the third week is finals (when we do not have chapel). So, we get two weeks working in Advent 1 & 2, but we never quite get to the Nativity at our college.

We also tend to jump into Christmas a little (but not too much...Scott!). Of course, we won't get back together for chapel until we are well into Epiphany, so Christmas is a lost season to us. That's why we often take the last couple days of chapel to move into something like Los Posadas. Normally, Los Posadas takes 9 nights to complete. We do it in 20 minutes. Truncated is our theme.

I really enjoy Advent, and I should be glad that I can get into an Advent worship for two solid weeks. I can sing the hymns I really like, but I always feel like we are cut off. We drop Advent for finals and then get back together when it's all over. I mean, the Maji have already arrived, and Jesus is starting to perform miracles. It's like we've missed his entire childhood. And he'll begin to anger the rulers in just a few week. Soon, he'll be crucified and raised again.

When he's raised, we are getting ready for graduation. But that's a different story for a different time.

And so it continues...


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