The first week of Advent, November 27 – December 3
This Week’s Song: “Wait for the Lord” The Taizé Community
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near; wait for the Lord: keep watch, take heart!
Learn it and sing it here!
The Taizé Community (pronounced tah-zay) is an order of monks based in eastern France, with a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. The monks come from many different Christian traditions, including both Roman Catholics and Protestants, and from 30 countries around the world. The Taize Community was founded in 1940 by its leader Brother Roger, who died in 2005.
Today Taizé is one of the world’s most important sites of Christian pilgrimage. Each year tens of thousands of pilgrims, many of them youth and young adults, flock to the small village of Taizé to share in the community’s worship and way of life. Young people from every corner of the globe are encouraged to live out the Christian gospel in a spirit of joy, simplicity and reconciliation.
Taizé has spawned a unique style of worship that has become popular in churches and other settings around the world. Taizé music highlights simple phrases, usually lines from the Psalms or other pieces of scripture, repeated over and over again. The repetition is designed to help meditation and prayer. Songs often have text in many different languages, including French, Latin, Spanish, and English. We have sung other several Taizé songs in worship at St. Dunstan’s, such as “Within our darkest night,” “Jesus, remember me,” and “Ubi caritas.”
WORD FOR THE WEEK: WAIT
How to say “Wait” in American Sign Language…
The sign for “wait” holds the hands up and off to the side a bit, with palms up; then wiggle the fingers.
You can see the sign by Googling “ASL Wait”, or click this link.
PRAYER PRACTICE for this week…
Practice quiet. You can do this by yourself or together with a family member or friend.
Sit somewhere comfortable.
Ask God to help you rest in holy silence.
Set a timer and try just being quiet for one minute. (If you feel like you can do more, try two minutes, or three, or five!)
Pay attention to your breath. In… out.
It’s OK if your mind wanders, but when you notice it wandering, try to gently bring your attention back to your breath. In… out.
When the timer goes off, don’t rush back into normal speed and activity.
Notice: how did that feel? Would you like to do it again?
HANDS-ON PROJECT: Do a project that involves waiting!
There are so many possibilities!
Paint a picture with watercolors and wait for it to dry.
Bake cookies and wait for them to cook – and then to cool!
Put vinegar in your teakettle… and wait for it to dissolve the lime.
Wash your sneakers in the washing machine… then put them near a heating vent to dry out.
Order a perfect gift for a loved one, then wait for it to arrive.
Some things just take as long as they take!
SOMETHING TO LEARN… Practicing Patience.
Did you know that patience is a skill that people can practice and build?
Some ideas to help kids practice patience…
- Name the situation and set expectations. It helps to acknowledge that waiting is necessary and, sometimes, hard. Give a concrete sense of how long the wait will be, whether that’s a timer or a calendar page – and if it’s uncertain, talk about why it’s uncertain.
- Do something else. Draw a picture, build with Legos, fix a snack.
- Pretend. Research has shown that kids can handle a difficult task better when they’re pretending to be a favorite character. (Maybe it works with grownups too!)
- Brainstorm ways to pass the time. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, could you look for things that are green, or start finding letters of the alphabet? Coming up with ideas for handling the situation is itself a tool for handling the situation.
- Work on skills for quieting your body. I love this idea: Lie on your back on the floor or your bed. Put a stuffed animal on your stomach and rock it to sleep with your breaths. Start with 30 seconds of quiet breathing; if that goes well, you can try more next time.
And there are some great tips about practicing patience for grownups here at this link.
These texts offer some other ways to think about holy waiting.
Our time is a time of waiting; waiting is its special destiny. And every time is a time of waiting, waiting for the breaking in of eternity. All time runs forward. All time, both history and in personal life, is expectation. Time itself is waiting, waiting not for another time, but for that which is eternal. – Theologian Paul Tillich
With inward pain my heartstrings sound, My soul dissolves away – Dear Sovereign, whirl the seasons round, And bring the promised day. – Early American hymn