Cazenovia Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day, which this year is Sunday Dec. 2. The First Presbyterian Church in Cazenovia will begin its Advent Season by lighting of the “Prophecy Candle”, the first candle on the Advent wreath at its morning worship service at 10 a.m. The public is invited. A staffed nursery and children’s Sunday School is also available.
The Rev. Dr. Steven Thomas will deliver the message “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent.”
Director of Music Catharine Wheat will offer the prelude-based two versions of “O Come, O Come Emanuel” by composers Paul Monz and Robert Lau. The Bell Quartet, comprised of Joan DeFrees, Virginia LaRose, Rebecca Maur-Schmidt and Jennifer Stanley, will also play a rendition of “O Come, O Come Emanuel.” The Senior Choir under the direction of Wheat will sing “Is Your Heart Prepared For A King?” by Robert Lau. Mary Coburn, Director of String Instrument Instruction for the Cazenovia Central School District, will play a medley of Christmas Carols during the serving of communion. The service will end with an organ postlude of “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” by Stearns.
The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus in his First Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000-plus year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.
Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, first expressed by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression.
It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance.