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.