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Cathedral News

Advent 2014

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Advent may be the most easily recognizable season of the year, as we and the world around us prepare for the joy of Christmas with all its familiar trappings— strings of lights, trees and greenery, holiday music, delicious food and thoughtful gifts.  

We here at Grace Cathedral love all these beautiful preparations for Christmas. We also observe Advent as a time of spiritual reflection and anticipation, getting ready for the birth of Christ. The word “advent” quite literally means “arrival” or “coming.” During this season we anticipate — and prepare for— the coming of Jesus into our own lives and into the life of the world. We hear the prophet John the Baptist cry, "Prepare the way!" We listen as the expectant Virgin Mary sings, "…he has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things."  

We still live in world where hunger, violence and injustice exist and so, during Advent, we slow down, taking time for reflection and prayer to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.  And as we get ready for the joyous mystery of Christmas, we share the good things we have with others.    

As is our tradition, we hold an Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols on the first Sunday of Advent (this year November 30). Inspired by English Cathedral practices, our Choir of Men and Boys offers both traditional and modern music alongside prophetic Biblical texts as the procession moves through the church, symbolically bringing light and bright hope into the darkness.

Watch the video below for a fun and relatable explanation of Advent, then read on to see what is going on during Advent at Grace Cathedral. 

Sunday, November 30 - Advent begins 

3 p.m. - Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols
4 p.m. - The Advent Tea, a festive potluck of sweet and savory treats. Bring your favorite finger foods to share. 
4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Serve at the Winter Interfaith Shelter.  Sunday and through the first week of Advent (ending Friday, December 5).
7 p.m. - World AIDS Day Interfaith Service at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco


Sunday, November 30 - Friday, December 5
4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Serve at the Winter Interfaith Shelter.

Sunday, December 1 and Sunday, December 8  

Christmas gifts for our neighbors at the Mentone Hotel
Bring joy to others this holiday season! Purchase a simple gift ($25 and under) for a resident of Episcopal Community Services supportive housing. Sign up for a requested gift at any Eucharist on December 1 or December 8.

Monday, December 2

Sunday, December 8 and Sunday, December 15

Christian Formation for Advent: ".... He fills the hungry with good things..."
9:30 a.m., in Gresham Hall 
Our worship, our fellowship, and many of our outreach activities center on sharing food - with each other and with the hungry. Why is that? As we look towards the birth of Christ, the Rev. Nina Pickerrell, Cathedral Deacon, and the Rev. Andy Lobban, Minor Canon for Social Outreach lead a guided conversation about our food-related programs and their Biblical and political foundations.

Sunday, December 8, Sunday, December 15 and Sunday, December 22

The Annual Advent Sale
after the 11 a.m. Service, in Gresham Hall  
Handmade holiday treats and crafts for sale - scarves, preserves, rum balls, holiday breads and more!  All proceeds go towards scholarships for our annual Family Retreat.

Monday, December 9 and Thursday, December 12 

Advent Outreach: the Winter Interfaith Shelter   
5-8 p.m., St. Boniface Catholic Church (offsite)
Volunteers from the cathedral cook and serve a healthy meal to men being housed through the Winter Interfaith Shelter Program. Sign up at

Sunday, December 15 and Sunday, December 22 

Advent Ingathering for the San Francisco Food Bank  
at all services - bring donations to the barrell near the rear of the church
Share your holiday abundance with hungry people in our community bringing healthy, non-perishable food items to donate to any of our services  

December 24 and December 25

Celebrate Christmas with us!

Christmas Eve


Christmas Day

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