Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Fourth Advent Candle: JOY


Pronunciation: ‚j•i

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaud‡re to rejoice; probably akin to Greek g‡thein to rejoice

Date: 13th century


1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety

2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss

3: a source or cause of delight

The candle of the Fourth Sunday of Advent is colored either purple (traditional) or blue (contemporary). It represents JOY.

Friday I found great joy in lunching with my son, Nick; it was the first time we had been together for a meal in more than a year.     

Holy One, as Christmas draws near, there is a sense of excitement in the air. We can feel a joy in our lives and see it in those around us.

Still, for some of us this is a sad time because of unhappy things that have happened in our lives, because of loved ones who have died and whom we greatly miss as we share the blessings of Christmas.

Help us to have the joy that does not depend upon earthly happiness but rather on you.

Help us to have your joy so that we may share it with a joyless world.


Joy to the World ~ Whitney Houston


  1. How lovely for you to see your son and share a meal, Nick. You are both very alike.

    Is that one of your own prayers? It's beautiful and fully mirrors the time of year.

    A blessed and joyous Christmas to you, Nick, and I hope you have a vastly improved 2009!

  2. is that coca cola i see you drinking? i quite fancy a coke myself!

  3. It's wonderful that you got to go for a meal with your son. :)

  4. This time of year does tend to remind us of the sorrow and loss that we feel. All emotions are more intense right now. But that, of course, includes joy.

    So glad you have joy and your family.

  5. Puss-in-Boots: Thank you. The prayer is a modification of one found in the United Church of Christ Book of Worship.

    I made some additions and changes to the second paragraph.

    Maxxo: Actually, I was drinking Dr. Pepper!

    Akelamalu : Thank you! Nick and I dawdled over lunch for two and a half hours. And this afternoon my 14-year-old grandson is coming over to stay with me while the rest of the family does something in which a 14-year-old boy has absolutely no interest! That’s another joyful blessing for me!

    Squirl : Yes, sorrow and loss are certainly amplified in the holiday season. Addressing that is the primary change I made in the prayer.

  6. I resonate with the third line of the prayer. Joy that depends on earthly happiness is very conditional and tends to be a roller coaster. Joy that comes from the Source, from just the existence of life, from the beauty of it ALL always permeates through all of life.

    My heart smiles at the photo of you and your son. I know how much your family means to you, and I know how much wisdom and joy you have to share with them.

    Thank you for the wonderful post, my friend.

  7. Carol: You are most welcome, my dear friend.

    Joy can seem so illusive when it depends upon getting our worldly needs and wants met. I think real joy comes from recognizing the small gifts that we so often take for granted. For example, that has become, for me, simply breathing or cuddling with Alex.

    Friday, when I shared the meal with Nick III, was a simple pleasure but it brought me great joy.

  8. Nick, that is a beautiful prayer, full of peace and hope for the future.

    Best wishes, CJ xx

  9. A beautiful post.

    How wonderful to spend time with your son and then your grandson. That kind of gift is perhaps most precious of all, and it is the perfect example of JOY.


  10. Nice prayer... and so glad you had the opportunity to experience your own Joy!

    I left you a comment on the Kitty-Kat Christmas tree posting :)