Growing up in a "low" church, we didn't talk much about the seasons of the church calendar. I rarely heard mention of things like lent, ordinary time, or advent. It was an education for me to join a higher church as an adult and learn about some of the "rules" that come with following a more traditional church year, and I have come to really appreciate the season of advent.
As the advent wreath was placed in front of the sanctuary right after Thanksgiving, I immediately began to contemplate the weeks to come. As each Sunday comes along, and each new candle is lit, I think about the series of events that led to the miracle we call Christmas. It is a wonderful time of anticipation and preparation, leading to a great time of celebration. In fact, in this higher church home, Christmas carols are never sung until Christmas Eve. Throughout the month I'd December we sing the hymns of advent, the songs of watching and waiting.
I loved the church I grew up in and don't regret a minute of my time there. But I think sometimes churches have a tendency to throw the babies out with the bath water. And in an attempt to separate from an overly liturgical worship, sometimes important things are left behind. I think celebrating advent is one of them.