A Season of Waiting: A Stay-at-Home Retreat for Advent

This is a reflective and personal way to await Christmas, spending a few hours each week in reflection and prayer during this season of Advent. Each week has its own theme, usually taken from one of the readings for each Sunday. Each theme has four or five reflections; each reflection could take 15 or so minutes of your prayer time. The sub-themes are not sequential, so I would suggest scrolling through the sub-themes to find the one which is most interesting to you and start with that. If you want companions on this journey of waiting, you could get a few people together to discuss one of the sub-themes for the week. Alternatively, call or email one of the staff. Enjoy this quiet time during the busyness of exams and preparations for Christmas.


Advent is about learning to wait. It is about not having to know exactly what is coming tomorrow, only that whatever it is, it is the essence of sanctification for us. Waiting hones our insights. It gives us the time and the space, the perspective and patience that enable us to discriminate between the good, the better, and the best. It is waiting that attunes us to the invisible in a highly material world. The function of Advent is to remind us what we're waiting for as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter to remember the things that do. We all want something more. Advent asks the question, what is it for which you are spending your life? What is the star you are following now? And where is that star in its present radiance in your life leading you? (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year, pp 60-62 passim)

Week 1: Patience and Waiting

Week 2: Open-Ended Waiting

Week 3: Waiting in Joy

Week 4: Waiting Together