The Fourth Sunday in Advent celebrates the lighting of the Angel candle. I love seeing all the four main candles lit around the Advent wreath. The Collect from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer reads thus:
O Lord, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent is one of my favorite passages, one that we all need to know and refer to often in leading a joyous and victorious life in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:4-7:
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
When I searched Google Images for a nice image of Advent candles for this blog post, I found one that had the four candles lit for the Fourth Sunday. When I clicked on the image, Google took me to my own photo blog! So the photo above is my own from last year. Right now with my computer not hooking up to Broadband, I'm using Keith's and thus do not have access to my photos. Until I Googled.....
I dread the ending of Advent. I love gathering around the lit wreath in our darkened kitchen, reading the Scriptures and singing very off-key carols. I love watching the kids struggling to light the match before carefully lighting each candle, their brows furrowed in concentration. I love watching them run to the next room to the wall-hanging Advent calendar to read the Scriptures and pull out the chocolate treat in the pocket.
But I can tell that the kids are beginning to outgrow our Advent celebrations. They seem impatient and quite often don't want to choose a carol to sing. With E a high school junior this year, I know I really have only one year left with all four kids gathered around our Advent wreath.
They grow up way too fast....