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A Welcoming Space in the Heart of the City

How to make the most of the Advent Prayer Calendar

We suggest that you open one page a day - they are all dated. 

We suggest you find a comfortable place for your daily prayer. 
Ideally somewhere where you won't be disturbed.
Some people like to set up a table with significant items on it - a candle or and Advent wreath, cross, personal mementos, photographs, flowers etc.

Choose a time for prayer and dedicate this time faithfully. 
It can be anything from 15 minutes to an hour.

Suggestions for Prayer

Stilling:  Every day we begin with stilling or awareness. 
There are suggestions here about this.

Pray for what you desire:  Then we ask for a gift or grace from God. You may see it as getting in touch with your desires.  If you don't feel you want to ask for the gift we suggest, then feel perfectly free to substitute your own. 

Bible Reading:  Each day there is a short reading from the Bible. 
If you would like to pray with the Scripture reading we suggest one of two methods: 
  • For stories we suggest putting yourself in the scene and imagining what it is like for you.
    This we call 'Imaginative Contemplation' you can find instructions on this way of prayer here.  This method of prayer is also known as 'Ignatian Contemplation' as Saint Ignatius of Loyola was particularly fond of it in his Spiritual Exercises.  God can surprise us at times when we use this form of prayer.
  • For psalms, letter, prophets, wisdom etc. we suggest 'Lectio Divina' or 'Divine Reading',  a slow pondering reading.  We also have a sheet to give you fuller details of a way to use this method of prayer here.

Picture:  Each day too we have a picture. 
Sometimes it is a painting of an event in the life of Christ, other times its a photograph which has some reference to the material of the day.  Again we have a sheet to help you profitably pray with pictures.  Even if you are going to spend your time meditating upon the picture, it would be helpful first to read the Scripture.

Your Choice
The idea is that from what we offer you each day you choose what most attracts you, what you feel will most help and stimulate you.  Its your retreat, enjoy it.  You may like to consider everything, you may like to choose just one of the elements.

Taking Notes - Repetition
Many people find keep a spiritual journal helpful.  Just noting down what you did for prayer, how you felt, and anything that came up for you; movements great and small.
This retreat suggests a weekly repetition, a good time to look over what you have written in your spiritual journal this week and see where you want to return and deepen.

Return to Advent Retreat main page.

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