The Church year begins in Advent, which are the four weeks just prior to the Festival of Christmas. Often the first Sunday of Advent will fall on Thanksgiving weekend.
Advent is a time of preparation of the heart for the coming of Christ. It is a time of turning back towards God (repentance), of reflecting on how Christ has been present and is trying to be born in us again and again.
Our Sunday worship has a simpler, more contemplative tone as we wait for the great coming festival.
The color of the season is blue (reflecting hope) or purple (reflecting repentance). The Church is decorated simply with a few greens. Both the chapel and the church have what is called an Advent wreath with four purple candles, one for each Sunday. They are lit in succession as we move through the season. Many people of St. Stephen's make their own wreaths for use at home in this season and special prayers for personal use at home are provided.