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Advent Reading List

Advent season has come upon us! Literally, since it derives from a variation of the Latin word for “coming.” Often times when one hears Advent, they may think about the early stages of setting up Christmas decorations and transitioning into household holiday traditions. Advent signifies the transition of physical space and season, and so it calls for the transition of our mental space as well. Among the wreaths and candles, we reflect on what aspects are personal to us in this new beginning, specific memories of previous Advents that reveal lessons to us now, and lessons we seek out for our future growth.

We’ve asked several church members for literature that comes to mind in preparing for Advent and have compiled them into a reading list below. There’s poetry that can be used as devotionals and for family gatherings, informative and inspiring paperbacks, and children’s books. We hope each text feeds your spiritual goals for this new coming!

Short Reads

AdventReading TheMoodofChristmasHThurman 250pxThe Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman

African American theologian Howard Thurman boasts a collection of contemplative and compassionate yuletide writings, all of different lengths and of prosodic and poetic forms.

Kneeling in Bethlehem by Anne Weems

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou

Believe by Desmond Tutu

Cultural Reads

AdventReading GreatestHitsACollins 250pxStories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas by Ace Collins

Collins discusses how certain Christmas songs came to be. These classic songs and their stories will resonate well with audiences of all ages.

Christmas Customs Around the World by Herbert H. Wernecke

Stories Behind the Greatest Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins



Extended Reads

AdventReading TheVigilWWright 250pxThe Vigil by Wendy M. Wright

This semi-autobiographical meditation combines scripture and liturgical elements, serving as a good companion through Christmas.

The Drama of Christmas by Morton Kelsey




Family Reads

AdventReading RefugeABouthRUsher 250pxRefuge by Anne Bouth and Sam Usher

This children’s book depicts the nativity story with a lens on the experience of Mary and Joseph as refugees on their journey. Through vast yet serene illustration, Bouth and Usher communicate the universality of this experience and its relevance to this day.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Charlie Brown Christmas by Maggie Testa and Charles M. Schulz

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas

Three Christmas Journeys by Ro Willoughby and David Miller

Manger a collection of poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Helen Cann