Support the Café

Search our Site

Deck the church with airs of Advent

Deck the church with airs of Advent

The Very Rev. John McGinty, canon for formation in the Diocese of Long Island, wonders how to make our churches stand out amidst during Advent when homes and businesses all around them are bedecked with Christmas decorations. He writes:

I am not suggesting that our churches decorate now for the Christmas season. To do so would be to betray the reality of Advent, and if the church does that, this gorgeous season so little kept will be a goner. What I am suggesting is that either:

we need to find a way, using greens and Advent colors and light, to allow our church buildings to say out loud now, “This is Advent, and it counts for something, and we are joyfully and intentionally and lovingly preparing for the coming of the Savior!” or

we need to decorate our church exteriors amazingly well with Christmas decorations once the Christmas season actually begins and for its entire length, while early-bought Christmas trees languish on the sidewalks waiting for the sanitation truck as early as noontime on December 25.

Of the two possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive, I want to advocate especially for the first. If we are keeping Advent, let us look like it outwardly to the world around us, the world we serve in Christ’s name. It seems to me that if the rest of the neighborhood is lit up with joy – whether informed or not – and the neighborhood churches are dark, we are in effect confirming the worst images of Christianity in the general population: out-of-touch, crabby, distanced from people’s lives.

How does your church decorate itself during the Advent and Christmas seasons? What does the exterior of your church look like right now?


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kris Lewis

We hang wreathes with blue bows on all the exterior doors. After church on 4 Advent we change all the bows to red as part of “greening” the church.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café