• Trinity Voices

Advent Calendaring

The Rev. Patrick Ward
November 24, 2020

Dear Trinity Church and friends, 

Boston’s Custom House clock tower, just now, has no hands. Usually visible 29 stories up, these 14-foot long needles are gone just now – as part of a planned restoration of all four clock faces that top Boston’s oldest skyscraper. The Globe last week deemed the clock’s standstill a fitting symbol for the times, for a pandemic that is “at once blurring the days together and slowing them to a weary slog” (November 17).  

Almost every church conversation I have lately touches in some way on time: the arc back to our last day of live worship together in March; the arc forward to our eventual but “TBD” return; the time left in a two-week quarantine; the maximum optimum length of a Zoom call; the pacing of discrete days versus the flash in which these months seem to have passed; the months elapsed since someone has felt like her old self.  

We Christians, thanks be to God, have an additional way of marking time. Every year, as the days shorten, Advent approaches with its messages of hope, peace, comfort and new life. Like a canal dredge, Advent does the work of hauling away annually accumulated muck and mire to help us align to the eternal.  Advent does the work of claiming time for the radical love of the one who is to be born again and anew within us. Nothing can delay or stop Advent from coming, as different as this season will be for us this year. And I hope your own Advent calendar can make space for weekly worship with us, as well as for these opportunities for learning, reflection, and rest:  


Make a Wreath with Us!  

Advent wreaths are all about time: the circle showing us the infinity of God’s love and eternal life while marking the progression of time towards Christmas. Join us for Zoom community hour at 11 am on Sunday, November 29 to either make a wreath yourself or join in the general bustle, as well as some friendly competition! All ages are encouraged to attend and participate together.  

To make an Advent wreath, you’ll need: 

  •  four candles (traditionally, three purple and one pink, or all white), 

  • a stand or base for the candles, 

  • and some greenery (evergreen branches work well, but you can use whatever you have access to).  

  • Twist ties, twine, or floral wire are also helpful for assembly.  

You can purchase candles and other wreath supplies online (some suggestions for where to find materials are here, and here), but feel free to get creative and make your wreath with the supplies you already have at home (check out this resource for some DIY craft options).   

We’re also looking for volunteers who can make an additional Advent wreath and deliver it to a homebound parishioner. If you’d like to help, please email Sarah at sneumann@trinitychurchboston.org by November 27.  


Hearing the Voices of Advent  

Advent scripture brims every year with startling events, outsized personalities, withering critiques, and sustaining hope. For this winter season, we are moving our Sunday formation hour from 7 pm to 4 pm, and in these coming four weeks we will give particular focus to the distinct voices of the season: Jesus’s account of the “little apocalypse” with Paige Fisher on November 29; John the Baptist with Karen Coleman on December 6; the Prophet Isaiah with Patrick Ward on December 13; and the Annunciation to Mary on December 20 with Bill Rich. Join us on Zoom on these Sundays at 4 pm

Zoom link 


Winter’s Tales & Wednesday Tea  

As darkness falls on Advent Wednesdays, brew yourself something warm and gather to greet others in the parish and then to relax and listen to a fellow parishioner reading aloud from a famous or not-so-famous work of seasonal short fiction. Join us on Zoom by computer or phone on December 2, 9, 16 and 23. Our first reader, Listo Fisher, will offer Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" on December 3:   

By phone: 646-558-8656, enter Meeting ID 825 2965 7093, and passcode 025449  


Finally, keep an eye on your email for a daily “Advent Calendar” surprise from a member of your church family. Together, as Christmas approaches, we can reclaim time for God’s Spirit to make us new.  

See you in church, 


The Rev. Patrick C. Ward 

Senior Associate for Program