I recently had the opportunity to plan and lead an Advent Quiet Day for my home benefice of 6 semi-rural churches. The theme was ‘Women of Advent’, thinking about the lives of Sarah, Elizabeth and Mary, and how during Advent we purposefully wait for the birth of Christ by returning to the voices of our past we hear in Scripture. The day was divided into 3 parts, each comprising of a passage of Scripture, a short reflection and a poem, before a time of collective silence, and finishing with a short communion service.
Planning the day used many of the skills I’ve learnt at Cuddesdon: Biblical studies in both Old and New Testament were useful for the historical, contextual and factual basis of the reflections, as well as the preaching skills we’ve been taught. The modules spent understanding Common Worship, Eucharistic theology and liturgy helped in planning the worship at the end, in terms of knowing how to put services together, and why, as well as being able to tailor the worship to the theme of the quiet day. The recent social justice and community engagement weekend fed into the reflection on Mary, as did the elective workshop with poet-priest Rachel Mann for the reflection on Sarah.
Leading a quiet day is different to ‘just’ attending, yet I learnt a great deal through the preparation, and it was a privilege to be able to share more of the way I relate to God through these women of our faith and heritage.
Cara Smart, Part-Time Pathway