Advent Worship: Silence and Stillness
As we enter the season of Advent this Sunday, our worship reflects a sense of anticipation, quiet, and hope. One way of listening for God's voice during Advent is to practice intentional times of silence. During our Sunday liturgies this Advent, we'll lean into silence in two particular ways.
First, on entering the church space, you're invited to maintain holy silence, using the time before the liturgy for quiet prayer and reflection, including during the musical prelude. Before the COVID pandemic, we used to have a notice in our bulletin inviting people to keep silence before the liturgy. Since regathering, we've tended more toward "holy noise," enjoying the opportunity to gather and chat with our neighbors. However, some folks have been missing our earlier practice of silence before the service and have asked me if we could go back to it. Advent makes a good opportunity to try this practice back on and see how it feels.
Second, after the readings and sermon, we will observe a full minute of silence and stillness as a way of letting God's Word soak into our hearts.
Our Liturgy Committee and I will be reflecting after Christmas on how this goes, and I'd love to hear from you about your experiences of these two silence practices. We might decide to keep one or both as a regular practice, or we might decide to keep them seasonally, perhaps during Advent and Lent.
May God bless us as we enter this season of joyful preparation.
In Christ's love,