Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rhythm In Our Home : The First Sunday in Advent

We light one candle shining bright
Upon this Holy Advent night
Fill our hearts with loving might
Lead us to Christmas Day's brilliant light!

There is so much to say on this topic but I have to admit that exhaustion is getting the best of me tonight so more details will have to wait for another time. You can see some of my previous Advent posts here. Most are from 2009 as I didn't have a working computer to post during the 2010 Advent season. 2009 was the first year we celebrated Advent and I can not get over how much deeper we dive into it each year. Our Advent wreath is a small example of our changes - in 2009 we bought a wreath and added our beeswax candles to it, in 2010 we made our own wreath around our Advent wreath ring using branches and holly from the forest behind us, now in 2011 K and I attended Church on this special day and made our wreath there afterwards. More on that later in the week. We also rolled our own beeswax candles, instead of buying them. On a side note, my beeswax sheets made two candles each so I am set for next year, too - woo hoo! You can see one of the pink candles is different from the rest, C got a hold of one of them and broke it so I had to replace it with one of her own beeswax sheets.

Since the season of Advent reminds us of patience, we slowly bring out our decorations a little at a time. For the First Sunday we simply have our handmade Advent wreath at our dining room table, the empty manger in our living room, our Advent calender (with the first window opened), and a few Advent/Christmas books out. We actually don't even have a full nativity set. Each year I save up and buy one more piece for it.

This year the girls have their own beeswax manger on the windowsill in their bedroom. I look forward to adding to it each week.

Steiner corresponds the four kingdoms with the four weeks of Advent starting with the mineral kingdom.

The first light of Advent is the light of stones,
Light that lives in seashells, in crystals and in bones

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts,
Light of hope that shines in the greatest and the least

The fourth light of Advent is the light of you and I,
The light of love, of thought, to give and understand

-Rudolf Steiner

Even though we are now imersing ourselves into the deeper aspects of Advent, we still honor Steiner's tradition (after all, his teachings are what brought us to this new place in life) by placing a wooden bowl in the center of our wreath. Each Sunday in Advent something is added to it in representation of that week's kingdom.

Last year we enjoyed reading stories out of this book for each night in Advent. Some of the stories were long so we would stretch them out over a few days to equal the amount of days in Advent (like this year it is 28 days long). We are doing this again this year along with some other reading.

We follow the custom of youngest to oldest in lighting the Advent candles. For this first Sunday in Advent, C had the privilege of doing it (with Daddy's help and supervision, of course).

Next week it will be K's turn then my turn the following week and lastly Kevin's turn. I haven't figured out how we will work it when Baby L is older yet, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now he is content just watching the flame dance as he snacks on his squash.

We have a couple new Advent traditions I will be sharing in a bit with you, too!

Please remember - this is just our family rhythm and what works for us at the moment. This isn't meant to be hard and fast rules on how rhythm should go in every one or any one's homes. I just thought to share it because I receive quite a few e-mails asking about our home rhythm, and I also just wanted it documented for myself so that I may remember these times when they are older and/or on to another rhythm.

Thank you, again, for joining me in the rhythm fun! Here is the linky list. If you have a (new or old) link you would like to share about your family rhythm, please enter it below so that we all may see. Then please link back here in your post. I look forward to seeing your inspiration!
Thanks friends!

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