Prayers after the lighting of the first candle in the Advent

I love Advent. I love the readings from Isaiah and the hymns this time of year, such as "Lo He comes in clouds descending." I love the opportunity to start anew and resolve yet again to do both Morning Prayer and Evensong. And I love doing the Litany, which we sang on Sunday and the Advent Prose and the Surge Illuminare. I even love the Exhortation that gets read before the confession.

On Sunday, Bishop Carl helped Noa, who is four-ish, light the first candle in the Advent wreath. And during his little explanation to the children of the Gospel reading, he gave each family an Advent Calendar which came with a candle so each night until Christmas the families can light the candle and open one of the little windows and say a prayer together.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and I were shopping in a store in Ottawa's historic Byward Market that sold second hand liturgical goods. We found a beautiful rose chasuble that, of course, only gets worn twice a year, once in Advent when the children light the pink candle — Gaudete Sunday — and once in Lent on Laetere or "Mothering Sunday."

We have a tradition of kidding the priest who is wearing it that year that he is wearing pink and the answer is always a variation of "It's not pink! It's rose!"

Have you ever noticed how some Sundays everyone seems to be wearing the same color, as if someone sent out a memo — wear brown or wear purple? Well, one year, as a surprise, we did send out a memo and asked everyone to wear pink in solidarity with the priest wearing the "rose" chasuble. Well, men wore pink shirts, women wore pink sweaters and blouses, and the children wore pink dresses. We had a sea of pink in the congregation and it did get mentioned from the pulpit! I did take a group shot, but sadly, it did not seem to survive a hard drive crash I had in 2007.

Bishop Carl in the rose chasuble

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

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