Leigh Hatts  

Advent is ‘Slow Christmas’

The first candle of Advent

The pandemic has made a lot of people lose a sense of time and season.

The virus has also caused a huge loss of income for shops resulting in the earliest ever display of Christmas decorations in shopping malls and an unseasonal appearance of Father Christmas.

If you celebrate early what happens when the real event arrives? It will be a disappointment and so lose all resonance and excitement.

The answer is join the Slow Christmas movement now.

This weekend is the start of Advent which heralds Christmas. Saturday, being the eve of Advent Sunday, will see Advent carol services in Winchester and other cathedrals. Candles will be carried in procession as they will again at the very end of the Christmas season at Candlemas on 2 February and at the Easter Vigil.

It is four weeks until we reach Christmas and as we wait for the feast there is much to enjoy and reflect on: St Andrew’s Day, St Nicholas Day (the real Father Christmas), the Conception of Mary, Our Lady of Loreto with its wonderful angel iconography, St Lucy with her flaming crown and the O Antiphons.

A legacy of the pandemic is the range of live coverage of church services. You can join Winchester Cathedral’s Advent Procession carol service online here at 6.30pm on Saturday.

***Keeping Advent & Christmas (£9.99), with details about the main days, is available from DLT at 40% off using offer code xmas21.