by Christine Sine
Welcome to Celtic Advent. I cannot remember when I have had more fun getting ready for Christmas. Starting some new practices has stirred my creative juices in new ways providing a wonderful sense of closeness to God and expectation for the coming season. The photo above is of my completed Advent garden – at least as complete as something that will continue to grow can be. It is set up on our dining room table and will provide a focus for both Tom and I as we celebrate the season each day. As I mentioned in my Monday post, I purposely chose to recycle on of my existing gardens, choosing a circular bowl to remind me of the circle of my life (a symbol so important to the Celts… but more of that next week). I also found that pulling out the old plants, dividing some of them, and replanting all of them in fresh soil was a great reminded that everything in my life is recycled too. I am constantly needing to replant and rearrange what is in the circle of my life to give me greater joy.
The photo below is of the altar I have set up for my personal morning devotions. An ancient icon of the annunciation that belonged to a relative who was a Greek orthodox priest, a “stained glass” image of Jesus and Mary, given to me by a friend who died shortly after of cancer, some of my favourite heart shaped rocks, my air plants and other living plants all on an “altar cloth” of a tea towel with designs from the Book of Kells. I love combining items that have sentimental value with some I have made, others that are repurposed and still others that are living. It is a great reminder to me that as we move towards the birth of Christ we move towards the One who renews and transforms all things, the One for whom nothing is ever lost or abandoned.
Tom and I are still discussing exactly how we will celebrate each day, after all this is a new practice for us, but at this point we intend to light the appropriate candles in the Advent garden, read a short Celtic meditation each morning and then a prayer. We are also both setting reminders to pause at certain times during the day for a short “rest in the moment” break, a time to refocus and remind ourselves of what really matters in our lives.