1. Do you observe Advent in your church?
Yes, and I love it. I'm kind of an Advent geek. I really try to observe Advent, and would be content (well, probably...OK, make it mostly) to sing no carols until Christmas Eve.
2. How about at home?
Not so much, except in personal devotions. We don't have a wreath or anything. The hardcore theology/liturgical geek in me would like to wait until Christmas Eve to put up the tree, but it is no match for the Christmas-loving romantic in me. (We generally do wait until around Advent 2.) Several years ago I came across An Advent Sourcebook, published by Liturgy Training Publications, and I highly recommend it both as a source of personal Advent devotions and a treasure trove of poems and meditations you can use at church or in small groups. Their Christmas and Easter sourcebooks are excellent too.
3. Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
I love the O Antiphons. Every year I tell myself I am going to make an effort to go to services at the convent/retreat center in town, or some other place where I can hear them sung. Maybe this year.
4. Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink?
Hmmm...because a baby is pink? No, that can't be it. Actually I think it has something to do with the festive nature of our waiting and hoping, mingled with the solemn purple (which also reminds of Lent, another time of waiting and repentance). I have some vague recollection of something about the Pope giving out pink roses...can't remember just what that was supposed to be about....
5. What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen?
Oh good grief, the ones for dogs and cats. Can we please not even call those Advent calendars? (said Ms. Crankypants Theology Geek) How about "Countdown to Santa" calendars? Come to think of it, there are plenty of "Advent" calendars for humans that fall into the same category.
Well, I'm off to pick up the Scientist for one of our much-loved evenings at the ballet. Tonight will be our last opportunity to see the fabulous Lauren Anderson (shown here with the equally fabulous Carlos Acosta) who is retiring after this season's round of The Nutcracker. Brava! We'll miss you!