Advent has always been my favorite liturgical season. Even before I came to understand its theological significance, I loved it because it encouraged me to prepare for Christmas. As the nights grew longer and blankets of snow seemed to cloak the world in silence, I longed for the celebration of Christmas morning. Advent created a space in which that anticipation and hope was welcome.
Years later, I am a practicing Christian, and Advent is still my favorite time of year. Now I don’t simply prepare for Christmas by buying gifts and listening to music. I pray; I worship; I journal. Last year, my practice took shape in Advent Illustrated. This year, our community is joining together for Advent again in Advent Illustrated: Waiting ‘Round the Wreath!
About Advent Illustrated
Advent Illustrated is a four-week Bible journaling study during the season of Advent, in preparation for Christmas. What is a Bible journaling study? It’s exactly what it sounds like – a Bible study with a journaling component that allows you to take what you’re learning and turn it into devotional art. You do not need to be an artist to join us for Advent; every skill level is represented in our group. If you don’t feel comfortable making art in the margins of your Bible, you are more than welcome to buy a separate notebook in which to journal.
What is Advent?
Advent is the first season of the liturgical year, or Christian calendar. The liturgical year is a series of seasons and celebrations that keep an eye on the life and ministry of Jesus; Advent is the season before Christmas in which we prepare for the birth of Christ. It last four weeks, and this year begins on November 27th.
About Our 2016 Theme: Waiting ‘Round the Wreath
Many people who celebrate Advent in their churches or homes use a wreath to mark the weeks leading up to Christmas. In the wreath are four candles: three purple and one pink, representing Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. Each Sunday of Advent, a blessing is said while one of the candles is lit. In some traditions, there is a fifth, white candle in the middle: the Christ Candle, to be lit on Christmas day. For our study this year, we will be journaling the themes of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy alongside the Advent candles in preparation for Christmas.
Advent Illustrated 2016 Cost, Dates, and Logistics
How will Advent Illustrated be made available?
The 2016 Advent Illustrated guide will be available as both a print book and an eBook. The print book can be ordered via Amazon to any country to which Amazon delivers. The eBook can be downloaded anywhere in the world, and you may read it on a computer, or print a copy for your own records.
How will Advent Illustrated be structured?
There will be four weekly themes: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. Each week will include rest days, Scripture days featuring selections from the Old and New Testaments, Story days featuring selections from the Nativity story, and Song days featuring music from the Nativity narrative. There will be 6 different plans, so that you can choose to journal only once per week or all the way up to six days per week. These plans will all be included in the Advent Illustrated guide.
How much will Advent Illustrated cost?
We are committed to making our resources affordable and accessible to everyone. For that reason, we continue to do pay-what-you-want pricing for all of our studies. This year, our recommended price for Advent Illustrated is $10, but our base price is $5, meaning that you can pay $5, $10, or any price above $5 that you want.
What if I cannot afford the $5 base price?
Not everyone is in a position to spend any money on a Bible study, no matter how small the cost. For that reason, this year we are introducing Advent Illustrated Scholarships. You may fill out an application to be an Advent Illustrated Scholar and receive a free eBook copy of Advent Illustrated. When people buy the Advent Illustrated book, they will have the option of purchasing a scholarship for someone else. Each time a scholarship is purchased, a new person will be taken off of the Advent Illustrated Scholarship waiting list.
Will I need to buy a wreath?
No! We will have a weekly “blessing” video in which Sara, the founder and leader of Seasons Illustrated, reads us a prayer and lights one of the candles in the Advent wreath. If you would like to participate by buying your own wreath, you are more than welcome to, but it is certainly not a requirement, and everyone may participate whether they have a wreath or not.
Do I need a separate Bible?
If you participated in 2015’s Advent Illustrated and have the means to buy a separate Bible for Advent Illustrated this year, you may want to consider doing so in order to have the space in your new Bible for new journaling entries. You can also, however, journal in a notebook, which is often more cost-effective, or use a combination of the two! The following links (which are affiliate links) are my personal recommendations:
You do not need to use my recommendations and you are welcome to journal on anything that you please.
Do I need fancy art supplies?
No! Some people enjoy having many art supplies to help them in their practice, but almost all of us got started with the same things you already have in your house: pens and colored pencils. You do not need to buy art supplies to journal with us, although you are welcome to if that is what makes you feel comfortable in your journaling.
When do we start?
Advent begins on November 27th, 2016. The print book and eBook will be released in mid-November and will be available for pre-order first!
How do I sign up?!
To sign up, please join our Facebook community, Seasons Illustrated Bible Journaling, where we will announce the pre-orders, release dates, and all other information! We are so excited to have you joining us!