Keeping Vigil – an Advent Reflection
The glory of the Lord will shine on you
Like the sun he will rise over you
God’s glory will appear in your midst
The prophet Isaiah
To keep vigil means to wait and watch. When we keep vigil we gather our scattered energies and we become present in watchful attention. Silence and prayer are the marks of a vigil, as are candles. The light symbolises hope and promise. In our church year we are about to enter this time of waiting and watching.
Next week is the first week of the season of Advent – the four weeks leading to Christmas. There is something absolutely beautiful and utterly profound about Advent: words and images of light, hope, promise, waiting and longing, such as those of Isaiah, above. There is gentleness, beauty and tenderness in the images and music of Advent. It really is a holy season when everything – the liturgy, Scripture – all speak of a reality both beyond and within what is known, a reality that will break upon us like the coming of dawn, as Zechariah says in his beautiful prayer in Luke’s Gospel.
Ms Kerry McCullough
Spirituality and Liturgy Coordinator