Advent and Christmas with Art & Theology

The season of Advent begins Sunday, November 27, this year and is followed by the Twelve Days of Christmas, culminating on Epiphany, January 6. During these six weeks I will be publishing daily posts, each centered on a visual artwork and a piece of music that I hope will promote contemplation and prayer around the seasons’ themes, around the narrative of Christ’s coming. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, enter your email address on the Subscribe page. This will subscribe you to the blog as a whole, but you can always unsubscribe afterward if you want to stick around for just this one series.

Advent 2022 promo

Some people erroneously consider Advent to be simply an extension of Christmas. Not so! The two seasons are, of course, related, but Advent is a four-week period that focuses not just on Christ’s first coming and the signposts leading up to it, but also his second, as well as his coming, as Spirit, into our hearts, lives, and communities. It is an opportunity for us to lean into the deep longing we feel for God’s presence.

“Advent is a season of hope,” writes the Rev. Tish Harrison Warren, “and part of practicing hope is noticing where we need it”—so many of the Advent selections have a tone of lament. But still others are celebratory, marked by a joyful anticipation of the new dawn and all that it will usher in.

Included in this year’s edition of the Advent-Christmas series are a community art project in Lima; a jazz setting of a poem by Malcolm Guite, plus settings of Emily Dickinson and George MacDonald; ancient hymns from Prudentius of Spain and Ephrem of Syria; an antiphon by Hildegard of Bingen that references Mary as the New Eve; a light installation in an abandoned warehouse in Malaysia; a South African Nativity linocut with native wildlife; a Chinese watercolor on silk of the Annunciation to the Shepherds; a parable-inspired spiritual with roots in Jamaica; an acoustic-folk adaptation of Hannah’s song, a likely influence on Mary’s Magnificat; and more. The assurance that “All shall be well,” popularized by Julian of Norwich, bookends the series.

Oh, and there will be a “prelude” post on November 26.

Bridegrooms and oil lamps, clouds and snowdrifts, trumpets and butterflies, rivers and stairs—these are some of the images, verbal and/or visual, that we’ll encounter as we journey from Genesis to Revelation, from humanity’s fall and God’s covenant with Abraham to the incarnation of the promised Savior to the new heavens and the new earth, where that Savior reigns in love over all the redeemed.  

Many of the songs will be drawn from my two Spotify playlists:

I look forward to walking with you all through this wonder-full, ancient, ongoing Story that enfolds us.

—Victoria

P.S. Want a better sense of what to expect before sharing or subscribing? You can peruse last year’s posts here and here.

I am committed to making all Art & Theology content free for everyone, but that means my income takes a hit. I have been working on this series since August, saying no to some paid freelance offers to make it happen. If you find the posts meaningful and it is within your means, would you please consider donating whatever amount you feel the product is worth? (You can use the form below, or PayPal.) I will also include a donation link at the bottom of the final post, if you’d rather wait and decide then. Thank you!

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One thought on “Advent and Christmas with Art & Theology

  1. Hello, Victoria. I love this lovely sentence:

    Bridegrooms and oil lamps, clouds and snowdrifts, trumpets and butterflies, rivers and stairs—these are some of the images, verbal and/or visual, that we’ll encounter as we journey from Genesis to Revelation, from humanity’s fall and God’s covenant with Abraham to the incarnation of the promised Savior to the new heavens and the new earth, where that Savior reigns in love over all the redeemed.

    Thank you!

    Like

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