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7 weeks of Advent!?

7 weeks of Advent!?

Do you feel that Advent gets lost in the Christmas hype that now begins in late September? Why don’t we go to the medieval roots of Advent when some folks in Europe practiced Advent for 7 weeks!?

Prayers for a 7-week Advent

From the Rev. Canon Frank Logue of the Diocese of Georgia and his “Loose Canon” blog

Victoria and I crafted Prayers of the People for a 7-week Advent that plagiarize freely from the four scripture readings for each of the seven Sundays before Christmas in the Revised Common Lectionary. This ties the prayers closely to the text.

. . .

A Seven-Week Advent?

Since when does Advent have seven weeks you may ask? For centuries of unbroken tradition in the Orthodox Church which keeps the Nativity Fast for the seven weeks before Christmas as it keeps the seven weeks of Lent before Easter. More on the nascent move to recover this tradition in the west is found online here: Rediscover the Seven Sundays of Advent.


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Paul Fromberg

For as long as I can remember we have kept a seven week Advent at St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco. For each of the Sundays we sing one of the seven “O Antiphons”. The lectionary readings for late Pentecost already lean into the royal and justice themes of Advent. We simply recognize this and set each antiphon to the seven Sundays before Christmas:

Seventh before Christmas – O Wisdom

Sixth before Christmas – O Adonai

Fifth before Christmas – O Root of Jesse

Advent 1 – O Key of David

Advent 2 – O Dayspring

Advent 3 – O King of the nations

Advent 4 – O Emmanuel

It certainly has helped us to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity.

Paul Fromberg

Clint Davis

I think this is a great idea, the readings for the last few Sundays in Ordinary Time are all about the Second Coming anyway, so the lectionary is also appropriate. Just do it!

David Sibley

The Ambrosian Rite (the Latin Rite of Milan) still has an Advent season of Six Sundays.

Matthew Buterbaugh+

I have often mused at the thought that the Church should secretly move Christmas day forward four weeks. That way everybody would unwittingly be celebrating Christmas with the Church.


In the Western Church, too. The “fast before Christmas” (not called Advent till later) began the day after St. Martin’s (of Tours) day, November 11.

From Wikipedia:

From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages, much of Western Europe, including Great Britain, engaged in a period of fasting beginning on the day after St. Martin’s Day, November 11. This fast period lasted 40 days, and was, therefore, called “Quadragesima Sancti Martini,” which means in Latin “the forty days of St. Martin.” At St. Martin’s eve and on the feast day, people ate and drank very heartily for a last time before they started to fast. This fasting time was later called “Advent” by the Church.

(Here’s more about Martin at the wonderful website “Full Homely Divnity.”)

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