Our Spiritual Journey Through Advent and The Traditional Holly Tea

Sharon Smith and Pauline Noel

St. John the Evangelist, Topsail

At St. John the Evangelist in Topsail, as we journeyed through the four weeks of Advent on the path that would ultimately lead us to Christmas Day, individual services were focussed on the lighting of a special candle. This procedure was based on the theme representing Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. 

It was a time of quiet reflection amidst the atmosphere of our church family.
We endeavoured to envision the scene two thousand years ago of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger in Bethlehem, and the angel said, “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”
(Luke 2:10).
At the same time, we must be mindful of the contrast between the spiritual and the secular concept of watching, waiting, and expectation.
Human nature has traditionally put a lot of emphasis on shopping, cleaning, baking, and decorating in preparation for Christmas, while watching, waiting and hoping that all material desires will come to fruition.

But Canon Jotie’s lessons delivered during these four weeks of Advent have reminded us that in our preparation for Christmas, we must not forget to include a holy Advent of watching, waiting, and expectation with the human and divine aspects coming together, as was demonstrated on December 9th, when our Holly Tea ladies, in the true spirit of Christmas, welcomed a full house of guests in celebration of the thirteenth anniversary of our traditional Holly Tea. 

Christmas is such a joyous time
Our inner feelings to evoke,
As a separate candle glowed each week,
Emitting peace, joy, love and hope.
At our Holly Tea we welcomed neighbouring guests,
To mingle with old friends and new,
Exchanging greetings for a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year too. 

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