By the Rev. Joanna Seibert
November opens with All Saints and closes with the first Sunday in Advent. We now have a month to ponder how to start anew the liturgical year, and just in time is a book to be our companion and guide. It is The Season of the Nativity, Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany Extremist, and its author, Sybil MacBeth, has done it again.
MacBeth, author of Praying in Color, has produced a beautiful book of practices for these first three seasons of the church calendar. She describes the three seasons as the pep rally for the rest of the year. Her book is colorful with simple pictures and words to quiet the mind and live the seasons in silence and prayer and then participate in the liturgical year back in community.
We gently move from advent trees to stories about angels to learning movements to the biblical stories, to advent breathe prayers, to learning about the feast days of the saints in advent, to family sleepovers by the crèche or Christmas tree, to talking about family names on The Feast of the Holy Name to Epiphany cards, to hanging stars, and so much more.
The author confesses her love of Advent season, and indeed two-thirds of the book is about Advent, but Christmas and Epiphany are not short changed. We give thanks for the presence again of Sybil MacBeth in our lives during this time of the year when we all have a chance to prepare for and celebrate a new life.