ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the
armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us
in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both
the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with
thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.” ( 1928 BCP page 90)
Advent's collect- dating back to 1549 and the first English Prayer Book. My priest emailed it to me this week in a reminder that we are lost without grace. Last Advent I latched on to something in a sermon of his: "In Advent we await the three-fold coming of Christ- Christ's first coming to Bethlehem, Christ's current coming to us by the Holy Spirit, and Christ's future coming as King."
I was a baby Anglican at Advent last year, celebrating the start of my first liturgical year. Now I'm an Anglo-Catholic lost in a Protestant world. There is no purple surrounding me, no candles to be lit, no gentle reminder from my priest to schedule confession. But it is still Advent, it is still the beginning, time for penance and waiting. I will repent and I will wait...and wonder where the next year will lead.