Advent 2011


Preparing the WayPreparing the Way by Derek Tidball (CWR, £6.99)

This 31-day Advent guide will take you through the month of December looking at how God arranged historical events for Christ’s coming, what was happening on the world’s stage at the time of the Saviour’s birth and how people in the Bible were impacted by it. This then enables us to see how we can be prepared for His second arrival, this time in splendour to reign in glory.

Ideal for group or individual use, a short reflection is provided for every day of December and each week ends with discovery questions for group discussion or personal growth and a suggested prayer.

Voice of the ProphetThe Voice of the Prophet by John Cox (Kevin Mayhew, £7.99)

This six-week course for Advent through Epiphany listens to the voice of the prophet Isaiah, exploring what his message meant in its own day and the way it is still relevant for us today. Each session offers a set of reflective thoughts on passages commonly used for this season, has questions for discussion, prayers and suggestions for music

Aimed Primaily for use with small discussion groups, the course could also used for private exploration of what Isaiah has to say. In addition, the author provides a helpful, brief introduction to the place and message of the prophets in the Old Testament.

Bridges to Contemplative LivingBridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton (Ave Maria Press, £5.99)

Using the signature dialogue process of the popular Bridges to Contemplative Living series, this small-group resource explores great theological themes of the Advent and Christmas season through the writings of Thomas Merton and five other renowned spiritual masters.

In this accessible introduction to the writings of Thomas Merton, small-group participants are led on a path of spiritual growth from the first week of Advent through Christmas. Each of the book’s five sessions focuses on a distinct theme: hope, salvation, compassion, tenderness, or incarnation. The structure of each session includes prayers, a brief thematic introduction, probing dialogue questions, and a reading from Merton paired with a reading from one of five other spiritual masters, including Gerard Thomas Straub, Anne D. LeClaire, Olivier Clément, Michael Casey, and Christopher Bamford. This contemplative approach provides a welcoming haven during the midst of a hectic season for existing small groups or for those looking for deeply rewarding reflection on the meaning of Advent and Christmas.

Shine!Shine! Light for All People by Patricia Farris (Abingdon Press, £5.99)

Our popular yearly Advent thematic study focuses on light as both a symbol of the birth of Christ and the ways in which our actions influence the lived of others. Offers four sessions, one for each Sunday of Advent. Each session features a Scripture reference, a personal reading, questions for personal reflection or group study, a closing prayer, and a focus for the coming week.

Chapters include:
“The light in the window” (light in the sorrow, pain, grief of our personal lives)
“Seeing in the dark” (light for the darkness of the world)
“Shine a light!” (light through the lives of committed young adults)
“The horizon is bright” (light of God’s promised future)

GiftGift, An Advent Course for Children by Patrica Ainge (Kevin Mayhew, £13.99)

Gift is a six-week course which helps children prepare for Christmas. Using a theme which is familiar to them at this time of year, that of Gift, it leads them through an exploration of what the birth of Jesus means to them today.

The course is organised so that each week the children consider a different aspect of gift. They listen to the word of God and then respond to it in a variety of creative ways. Clearly structured so that it is easy to follow, the course provides a reflective balance to the feverish, external preparation for Christmas, offering an opportunity to reflect on the meaning behind the tinsel.

Call Him God's Son

Call Him God’s Son by Alex Joyner (Abingdon Press, £5.99)

This book offers an opportunity to explore the Revised Common Lectionary Bible readings for Advent and Christmas. These readings will inspire you to deepen your commitment to Jesus Christ as you reflect upon his birth and his coming again.

Joyner says, “In this study we explore what it means that Jesus is God’s Son. We explore the creative tension of living in a world caught between what is and what is promised to be. We look at the healing capacity of hope to sustain us in times of trouble. We try on incarnation in its divine and human forms. And we look to Mary as a figure who shows us how to make space for God.”

General Advent

Incredible JourneyThe Incredible Journey (BRF Advent Book) by Steve Brady (BRF, £7.99)

The Bible presents the ultimate adventure – God’s incredible, personal journey to the human race, which he loves with an amazing love, despite its repeated rejection of him. The story culminates in the coming of Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, in the events we celebrate every Christmas.

This book of readings for Advent and Christmas shows how Jesus has come to take us home to God, no matter what our starting point. However lost or losing it we may feel, however confused or confounded, injured by life or broken by circumstances, here is God’s astonishing invitation to join him for the rest of our journey, from here to eternity. When we embark on the road of life with him, we discover we never walk alone.

Creative Ideas for Advent & ChristmasCreative Ideas for Advent and Christmas by Jane Tibbs (BRF, £8.99)

This book contains a wealth of inspirational easy-to-do ideas for the busy weeks in the lead-up to Christmas. All the ideas use readily available materials and have instant appeal. Many can be slotted in to any situation, used to illustrate the story of Christmas, or just done for pure enjoyment as part of the exciting ‘getting ready’ time. Some use seasonal objects that are easy to find in the shops, such as paper chains, or things that many people will have in their Christmas box, such as last year’s Christmas cards.

The activities are ideal for children aged 4-11, but will be enjoyed equally by people of all ages. There are 80 ideas in total, many of which could become part of traditional family, church and community celebrations each year.

Coming and GoingComing and Going by Gerald O’Mahony (Kevin Mayhew, £11.99)

Advent is the time Christians think of Jesus coming and his presence and encouragement is what gets us going. This book contains materials for each day of the Advent Season, by way of passages from the Bible, Reflections, suggested respones, and prayers new and old.

Light DawnsLight Dawns by Nick Fawcett (Kevin Mayhew, £21.99)

Fawcett’s Reflective writings have for many years offered a valued resource for public worship, providing a powerful and imaginative way of communicating the gospel message across the Christian Seasons.

In this comprehensive compilation, drawn from several of his most successful publications, Nick provides a hundred meditations concerning Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, each linked to a reading of Scripture and rounded off by a short prayer.

Here, then, is a perfect tool for offering fresh insights into this well-loved time of year that speaks so wonderfully of God’s coming into our world through Christ.

Waiting in Joyful Hope 2011Waiting in Joyful Hope 2011-2012 by Jay Cormier (Liturgical Press, £1.50)

Jay Cormier returns once again to help us pause and prepare spiritually for the coming of Christ. During the especially busy Advent and Christmas seasons, this little treasure offers down-to-earth and yet deeply meaningful reflections that bring prayer and Scripture into everyday life in a thought-provoking and lasting way. Through Cormier’s insightful reflections on Scripture readings from the daily Mass, readers will grow in their understanding of the word of God. Small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, this book is perfect for busy people who wish to enrich their personal prayer life during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Sacred SpaceSacred Space 2011-2012 by The Irish Jesuits (Ave Maria Press, £2.50)

Now in its fifth year of publication, Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2011–2012 continues to draw an increasing number of readers looking to complement to the hugely popular website Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2011–2012 offers people a seasonal opportunity to discover the richness of the distinctive prayer method developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, that has made Sacred Space so beloved around the world.

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