St. Chrysostom’s uses purple vestments for Advent, but Advent blue, or Sarum blue, as I’ve heard some Episcopalians call it, is particularly inspiring to me this year. Some say that blue is the color of the night sky right before dawn. Others say that it’s the color of Mary, the God-bearer. It’s cooler and calmer than purple, which I am needing this year.
The holidays are tough this year, the first without my mother. Honestly, Advent is hard for me most years – the darkness, the intensity, and another feeling I can’t name: something about eternity, time passing by, and the loneliness of existence. (Just being honest, here.) Thankfully, church tradition touches on these: the dramatic and fiery words of prophecy in the lectionary readings, so many hymns in minor key, the Advent wreath, and otherwise lighting candles all over the place.
I dug out our Christmas boxes this weekend and rediscovered a set of electric candles I bought last year. Adam wasn’t interested in stringing lights outside our Bolingbrook house and I was just as happy not to have him tilting around on a ladder. I found a set of “candles” that was battery powered and set them in our windows. I loved seeing them, from both inside and outside the house.
The only problem was that we never seemed to have enough charged batteries on hand, or I would have left them in the garage the year before so they were all duds, or blah blah, and we had to order $40 of batteries every year no matter what. So last year, I ordered a set with cords. Plugs! All I had to do, here on Dearborn, was plug them in! Astonishingly, I only needed one extension cord.
I don’t know if it’s the yellow glow of the bulbs, but something lifted in me, plugging in all those window candles. It feels cozy in the dark, instead of bleak. I feel the hope of Advent, not just angst.
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” (attributed variously)
Maybe in addition to Advent blue and purple, there should be a gentle but warm Advent yellow.
Thanks be to God.