Advent and the Hymns of the Season

by Lee Kohlenberg, interim director of music and organist-choirmaster

Important events require preparation, and the annual celebration of Jesus’ birth and its significance in our lives is one of them.  The new Church year begins with the season of Advent (this year Sunday, November 27) to give us time to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord, especially remembering His coming to live as one of us and anticipating His Coming again in glory at the end of time. 

One way to prepare for Christmas during Advent is to study the hymns and carols of the season.  Some recurring words in the hymns are the following:  rejoice, cheer, ransom captives, free, release, consolation, and light.  May we truly rejoice and be freed from the things that bind us as we use the hymns to pray and to express the faith of the church and our own personal faith.  Choose to sing the words, and not just the tunes of the songs and hymns. 

The four weeks of Advent is a perfect time for clearing out our emotional clutter and praying about things from which we need to be freed and saved so that there is room in our hearts for Him to come anew at Christmas.  Rejoice!