'Be a light in the darkness this Advent' - Archbishop
The season of Advent, which starts this weekend, has rarely been so important as a time to bring light and hope to those in darkness, says the Archbishop of Wales.
Marking Advent Sunday (November 29) Archbishop John Davies says that while church services will be very different this year, due to Covid restrictions, Advent remains a time of much needed hope as we prepare for Christmas.
He invites people to join him, and all the Church in Wales bishops, in prayer every day at 6pm during the season, between now and Christmas Day, and also to be agents of light for others in need of hope and support.
Archbishop John says, “For so many people, present circumstances remain dark and anxious and so celebrating the coming of light, moving from darkness into light, is so much more important than perhaps it has been in the past. We all need hope, we all need something to dispel that gloom of darkness from our hearts and our minds.
“The Church and its bishops are very sensitive to that need. That mood that seems to prevail in so many places, the mood of gloom. We are asking people in the season of Advent, as we run up to Christmas, to focus on its real and profound meaning – that preparation for the dawning of light, the breaking into the darkness of that same light.
“We are asking people to join us every day in Advent at 6pm by praying for each other, by praying for our nation, for its communities and its people. We are asking people to focus on what they can do to be agents of light. Volunteering in so many different ways in their communities, their localities, to helping, to bearing light to people who are in need of hope and support at this time. I think this year, Advent has rarely been so important for us to focus on that light, that hope and the strength which we bring to others.”
Watch the Archbishop’s full Advent message:
Bishops’ Advent Call to Prayer
Cathedrals light up for Advent Sunday
All Church in Wales' cathedrals and greater churches will be transformed into beacons of light on Advent Sunday.
Our largest buildings will be floodlit or lit up from inside on November 29 as a symbol of Christ’s light and love in our communities.
Traditionally, churches mark Advent Sunday with services which begin in candlelit darkness and end with the church fully lit, to represent the coming of God’s light into the darkness of the world.
With services limited this year, all churches are invited to join in the light-up after dark and shine out on Advent Sunday.
It is hoped they will post photos of their light-up on social media with the hashtag #DarknessIntoLight
Churches across Wales are developing plans to hold Covid-safe services. Many will be (free) ticket-only in order to manage numbers and ensure social distancing. Congregational carol-singing is not permitted this year but church choirs will be performing many of the much-loved Christmas carols. Online services will continue too.