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ADVENT DISCIPLINES AND PREPARATIONS IN BELGIUM

Advent - the special seasonal word is not often linked with "Adventure" but the journey through the penitential season preparing to welcome Christ as King as well as the new-born Saviour is celebrated in many different ways. Our picture above shows the Advent ring, each of the four candles marking one of the Sundays in Advent with the central one waiting to be lit at Christmas. This picture is from St Boniface, Antwerp in Belgium.

As Advent was about to begin, a group of men from all four congregations at Holy Trinity, Brussels came together at the Abbaye de Maredsous, for the annual Men’s Retreat weekend (pictured below). 

Canon John Wilkinson says, "There was time to pray together and with the monastic community; time to talk; time to walk; and even time to try the rail bikes at the bottom of the hill. But there was also the chance to pray and reflect alone, with talks led by John Wilkinson on the theme ‘Come Down, O Love Divine – Putting to death what is earthly in us, without beating ourselves up’. We celebrated the amazing grace of God and his call to respond to that grace in lives dedicated to Christ, with whom we ‘have been raised’ and in whom we are called to ‘set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. ‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.’ Colossians 3.1-4."

Holy Trinity, Brussels has also taken a unique initiative for this year's Advent Meditations booklet.  It has been produced from the contributions by members of the congregation, containing reflections for each day of Advent. Each is based on the daily lectionary but some also draw on images and other texts for the season.