Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent by Candlelight

A reader of my blog, Sheri Deloach, agreed to be a guest blogger on my site this week.  Below you will find her photos and descriptions of the women's Christmas tea hosted every year at her church in Waco, Texas:  

"I wish that every woman could be a participant in an Advent by Candlelight! This is the fifth year that our church has had this event, and it continues to be a highlight for our women along with other women from different churches."  

"Several months prior to the event, the prayer team prayed faithfully that this event would go well and glorify Christ."  

From Sheri's descriptions, those prayers were answered.  Below is a sample table decorated for the tea.  

"A friend and I were hosts for the one of the tables," Sheri said,  "After deciding on the theme, ‘ The Nativity’, and the basic colors of cobalt blue, white, and silver, things fell into place " 
"We provided dessert for our guests and the church served coffee and wassail. Our guests were seated and we served them from beginning to end. It is nice to be served and even nicer to be the server!"

"The program was awesome, given by a woman from San Antonio who portrayed Mary, mother of Jesus. She was dressed in white, with a scarf around her head, barefoot as she walked into the auditorium to strains of ‘Mary did you know?’"

Virgin in Prayer by Sassoferrato, 1640-50
"The dramatist started by telling how an angel appeared to her and told her that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the Messiah! Mary made the story come to life. She accepted that it was God’s plan for her to be the mother of Jesus. The drama included Jesus’ life from childhood to manhood. The actress revealed, Mary’s emotions as a mother.  With the ending of his life on the cross, we felt her raw emotions." 

"Thankfully, we know that Jesus arose from tomb, transformed with a new body. He lives on high with his father, God in Heaven. As true believers we will be with Jesus one day!"  What a cause for celebration! 

With Christmas only a week away, you may want to wait until next year to plan an advent tea, or you could start now and plan an Advent by Candlelight for Epiphany. This holiday, sometimes called  Twelfth Night, is celebrated on January 6th to commemorate the Messiah's revelation to the Gentile Magi.   
Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico & Filippo Lippo
To simplify your planning, Sheri included the instructions below for planning such an event. 
Hostess Information

Our church's tables fit ____ (you fill in the number).  Please call (insert name of your organizer) with your list of names by (date) ___, and ALSO when you add or subtract  a guest at your table.  Don’t feel obligated to fill your table.  We have some ladies that have signed up and need a place to sit. Postcards will be provided to mail to your guests to remind them of the event. 
  • We will supply white table cloths and clear plastic plates for serving your desserts once they are sliced or cut. 
  • You can add runners, placemats, etc.
  • You provide Christ-centered table decorations; no secular pieces, please.  
  • Candles are a must!
  • You will also need to bring:
    • Dessert plates (plastic plates will be placed on top of your dessert plates)
    • Coffee cups
    • Water pitcher
    • Silverware
    • Napkins
    • Utensil to serve dessert 
    • a large serving tray
  • Please also bring enough dessert to serve your table. 
  1. Plan to have your table decorated and set by 6 pm. The room will be open by 10:30 am, if you want to decorate early.                                                                
  2. When you arrive for the evening:
  • Place your dessert on the “dessert table” against the wall.  
  • Prepare your dessert on individual dessert plates that are provided and leave them on your serving tray on the dessert table.  .  
  • Put ice in cups.  The guests will have two opportunities to get their own coffee at the coffee stations: 1) at the beginning during “visitation of tables” and 2) while you are serving the dessert. 
  • Greeters will be available the night of the event to show guests to your table. 
  • Schedule:
    • 10:30 a.m.– 2:00 p.m.    Doors will be open to decorate tables.
    • 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.              Doors will open again to decorate tables.
    • 5:45 – 6:15 p.m.               Prepare desserts and leave on dessert tables
    • 6:30 – 6:50 p.m.             Visitation of tables.  Encourage ladies to get drinks.
    • 6:50 – 7:05 p.m.              Invocation 
    • 7:05 – 7:35 p.m.               Program
    • 7:35 – 7:55 p.m.               Dessert and more coffee
    • 7:55 – 8:30 p.m.              Benediction and Fellowship
Sheri, thank you so much for sharing all this practical and inspirational information.  Hopefully this will encourage others to organize an advent tea at their church! 


  1. This was such a lovely post...Thank you Sheri, for the helpful information. Thank you too, Maurie, for being such a gracious host!
    May your Christmas be filled with the joy which comes from knowing Him...somehow, I know it will. :) !!

  2. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of your ideas, and the wonderful pics. I always enjoy seeing the creative gifts God has given His precious women. Merry CHRISTmas!
    Cindy :)

  3. Marcia,
    This is wonderful and more than I imagined or expected ! It glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah and that's what our Advent by Candlelight was about! Thank you so much for all your work to make it happen so that we may share it with others in our 'small world'! God bless you and Merry Christmas to you and your family!