Light upon Light
If you have a passion for fiction and poetry and long to live fully into the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, Light upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany would be a good choice. Compiled by Sarah Arthur, it was published by Paraclete Press in 2014, and is filled with poems, prayers and literature reflecting on the readings for each week of the seasons.
Beginning with an invitation to use the book as a companion that delights, Arthur explains how the gifts of great literature can be like lighting one candle after another, " flame upon flame, light upon light, until the hallowed sanctuary of our quiet devotion becomes something of a shrine."
The first chapter begins with the words from this ancient medieval chant as an opening prayer drawing the reader into this time of reflection. Then appropriate scriptures are listed, followed by readings of literature by a myriad of authors and poets, with themes associated with the beginning of Advent...conversion, beginnings, incarnation and mystery. In each chapter there is a designated time for personal prayer and reflection. (Write down your thoughts and prayers in the book for the days to come and memories of your journey.) Finally each chapter ends with a prayer sending the reader out into the world to reflect on how to "love and serve the Lord with gladness and singleness of heart" at this time in the season.
Arthur closes this first chapter with the last verse of the chant (above) by Aurelius Prudentius.
Christ, to Thee with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving,
And unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory and dominion,
And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore.
May your journey through this season be filled with peace as you reflect on how "God birthed grace upon the earth."
As with all the books I have mentioned here, this one is available at bookshop.org if you wish to support your local bookstore.