Tag Archives: Forward Movement Christmas

A call for submissions: O Antiphons

We’d like to take a minute to talk to you about participating in Forward Movement’s 2018 Advent/Christmas meditation project! Below, you’ll find some very important instructions.

About the project: The O Antiphons are an ancient set of prayers that remind us of the names and characteristics of the Messiah. Antiphons are phrases used like a chorus or a refrain during prayers, and the O Antiphons are particularly moving examples of different ways Jesus Christ moves and has his being with and among us. They also reference the prophesies of Isaiah and the coming of the Messiah.

By Castorepollux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The O Antiphons (so called because they each begin with “O”) are traditionally used as part of the Vespers (an evening prayer service) said from December 17–23. We invite people to explore the O Antiphons throughout the seasons of Advent and Christmas, lingering with each attribute of Jesus for several days. Here are the readings and an inspirational playlist.

You are invited to reflect upon your experience with these attributes of Jesus. Each reflection (written or visual) should focus on one O Antiphon and/or the scripture citation for the week. For example, you might want to talk about Jesus as the Key of David, or you might be particularly drawn to one of the lyrical sections of Isaiah. Ideal entries will contain a blend of personal reflection and Bible study.

You may submit up to three offerings for consideration.

Written meditations should be no more than 350 words (including a prayer) and may be either original prose or poetry. The prayer may either original or taken from The Book of Common Prayer and cited appropriately with page number.

Visual reflections may include photography, images of woodcuts, pen and ink, etc. The submissions must be at least 300 dpi and reproducible at 5×7 and in black and white only.

All entries (written and visual) must be submitted electronically through this form by January 15, 2018. Featured writers and artists will be notified of their inclusion by February 1, 2018. Submissions that don’t follow the guidelines may not be considered.

ICYMI: Week of 12/22

We’re guessing many readers may be en route to Christmas celebrations tomorrow (if not already), so we’re running an abridged In Case You Missed It a day early this week. So you don’t miss it!

With four candles lit, the talk in the #Episcopal and @fwd_mvt world has naturally turned to the weekend’s Christmas celebration. But that celebration doesn’t have to end on Sunday. In fact, wrote Scott Gunn in this week’s newsletter, the best time enjoy the season may be in the relaxing time after Christmas Day. This year, will you savor all 12 days?

Grow Christians has launched a new project to help you do just that. Titled #12Days, the project offers daily activities, readings, songs and more, all designed for the whole family to enjoy the whole Christmas season—and each inspired by a lyric from ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’ It’s a great way to enjoy some fun and faithful family time after 12/25.

Also on #GrowChristians, we loved what Marcus Halley wrote about the story of Thomas and the nature and role of doubt in faith: ‘Jesus Welcomed St. Thomas’ Doubt: What About Mine?’

If you’re a regular Priest Pulse listener, you already know about the great podcasts Ben and Colin have been producing this year—and if you’re not, their ‘Very Merry Priest Pulse Family Christmas’ is a perfect place to start. Lots of nostalgic Christmas fun, and perfect if you’ve got a plane or train or car ride ahead!

We wrap up with today’s image from the Journey through Advent app, per Jay Sidebotham’s illustration—as colored by Twitter user @auntiesdollhouse.

A lovely message to carry with us into this holiday weekend. Merry Christmas!

Forward Today: Enjoy the Gift of Christmas

In this week’s edition of our weekly newsletter, Scott reflects on Christmas–a season we can (and should!) celebrate for the full 12 days.

Dear friends in Christ,


Christmas is nearly upon us. Gifts have been purchased. Meals have been planned. Sermons are done. Anthems and liturgies are rehearsed. Perhaps a strategy for last-minute trips to the mall has been crafted. Maybe you are a person who sings in a choir or is involved with the liturgy of Christmas. Maybe you are a person who cooks a big meal. Or maybe you are a person who enjoys the work of others at home or at church. Whatever our role, soon we will sing our praises and enjoy family traditions.
It would be pretty easy to move on from Christmas on December 26. That’s what our culture is about to do. But we know a different way. The season of Christmas begins with our Christmas Eve celebration and carries on right through January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. It’s twelve days long! That’s where the song came from!


By Mihalko Golev [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons


This year, Forward Movement wants to help you enjoy the gift of Christmas for a full twelve days. Our website devoted to faith at home, Grow Christians, will offer something on each one of the twelve days of Christmas. Loosely inspired by the song, each day will bring an activity or something to reflect on. You can follow along by signing up for emails at growchristians.org or visiting the site. We’ll also be sharing the posts on Forward Movement’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.
After all the busy-ness of getting ready for Christmas, enjoy the full season! I love singing carols and listening to Christmas music for the whole season, when I can celebrate the wondrous gift of the season without the worry and anxiety of preparing and doing.
May you be richly blessed in these final days of Advent and then celebrate the peace and the joy of Jesus Christ for the full Christmas season.
In quiet hope and silent preparation, I am,


Yours faithfully, 
Scott Gunn
Executive Director


To get future reflections from Scott in your inbox, subscribe to Forward Today.

Welcome to #12Days, a Daily Resource for Christmas

Forward Movement invites you to celebrate the full season of Christmas with a gift of 12 Days. This free resource produced by Forward Movement and created by author and mom Mary Ann Frishman features daily mediations on the gift of Jesus that can help your family celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, starting December 25 and running through January 6, Epiphany.

Using the familiar framework of a beloved English Christmas carol, 12 Days shines a light on simple ways to engage faith and deepen conversations among family and friends—including thoughtful questions for discussion, optional activities, suggestions for Bible reading, and familiar songs to sing. Christmas lasts longer than we often allow ourselves to enjoy—come and stay a little while longer. The mediations will be posted each day on GrowChristians.org and can be easily shared at home, in the car, on a trip, and on your social media channels at #12Days. Come, let us adore him!