The Proposal and Its Origin:
The Very Rev’d William H. Petersen is the founder and convener of the Advent Project Seminar in the North American Academy of Liturgy (people who are liturgical scholars and/or teach worship in the seminaries of a broad spectrum of churches including Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United Church of Christ). The aim of the seminar is to promote a calendar change in our liturgical year that would expand Advent to the seven weeks before Christmas.
Why Expand Advent?
The four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas go very quickly and are already fully enmeshed with the cultural Christmas that has come to exist. Which means time and energy for Advent is diminished. By having more time, and starting to prepare a little earlier we give ourselves an opportunity to be more intentional about really using the weeks before Christmas as a time of preparation. There are also 2 themes in the Advent Season: (1) the major theme is meant to be the “end times,” which is to say the goal of fulfillment of all the implications of Christ’s resurrection for humanity and creation. (2) the secondary theme, which has come to be more significant to most, is the journey towards the birth of Christ and the celebration of the incarnation. The combination of these two themes allow us to look to the past and what has come, but to not forget that Christ’s coming was not just about then.