Simple and Holy: Six Favorite Advent Resources

The Annunciation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1850 (Christina posed for Mary)
Here are my favorite Advent resources that I have used over and over again. There are few things I haven't shared before and a few that you've heard me talk about already. Please don't try to do more than one or two things - keep it simple and just pick up on the appropriate day if you miss a few. You are always welcome to enter in.  Always.

Our Advent readings over the years have varied greatly.  When there were lots of diapers to change, I tried following different programs and crafty ways to go about readings for Advent.  What worked best for us?  When I simply read a few verses from the Advent readings and we narrated. Simple.  Holy. A lot like school.

But when I could take the time and space to read more deeply for myself, the children benefited too.  Eventually, what I liked to do was to have my own quiet reading and then I could share a simple part of that with everyone - whether it was a piece of art, Scripture, hymn, or a prayer. Simple. Holy. A lot like school.

The following books are my favorites.  They go deep into the heart and reason for Advent.

1. The Cloud of Witness
The Cloud of Witness begins with Advent readings.  Since each new week and theme begins on Saturday, November 26th would begin the Advent readings for 2016 on pages 3-4.  Read along with us and anticipate His coming.  Amazon (be sure to order the copy sold by SageParnassus2) and Riverbend Press are where it is sold. The LER fb page community is always sharing commonplace entries from The Cloud and there is also a COW fb page. Art Middlekauff keeps us all on the right page with an updated calendar, too.

2. God With Us
God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas
Edited by Pennoyer and Wolfe
Sumptuous, illuminating, and redemptive.  Be still and be quiet with fine art, thoughtful essays, and Scripture to meditate on.  Make sure you find the illustrated version. Also available from Paraclete Press.

 3. Light upon Light
3. Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany
Sarah Arthur
Sarah signed my copy with "Here's to holy dreaming!" How could I NOT love it?! I am a big fan of At the Still Point and am anticipating Between Midnight and Dawn.  Her books remind me of an expanded version of The Cloud of Witness with more contemporary authors added.

4. Waiting on the Word
Malcolm Guite
This is such a deep, rich way to enjoy poetry for Advent.  Reading Malcolm's commentary on each poem is like listening to your favorite professor wax eloquent about his favorite things.

5.  The Advent Project - Biola University
It's an online Advent calendar for your soul. An annual family favorite with song, Scripture, art, poetry.

6. Pilgrim Year
So convenient to just pull out my phone when I'm in line somewhere and experience the beauty and waiting shared on this online Advent devotional. "Pilgrim Year is a media-rich, devotional experience, using prose, art, song, poetry and story to journey meditatively through the Christian calendar year with its positive riot of fasts, festivals, saints’ days and rich traditions."

For even more book recommendations, here are all my posts about Advent and Christmas books:

A Christmas Read Aloud
What to Read For Christmas
Full Hearts
On Christmas Traditions and Books
Good King Wenceslas
The Canticle of the Bees
Longing and Waiting 
Christmas Books!
Christmas Books 2014 
Simple and Holy: Favorite Advent Readings



  1. Thank you for another wonderful list of resources! :)

  2. Thank you! I've been thinking about a book of poetry for Advent and Waiting on the Word looks wonderful!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I'm excited to use some of these this season.

  4. Dear Nancy. Thanks for this list. May I ask what would be the best book to start for my husband and my 6yo child? I can only buy one at the moment. I would like one with poems. I have the Cloud of Witness but I'd love something more contemporary. Thanks.