A Free Advent Planning Webinar (Recording & Summary) for "How does a weary world rejoice?"

On October 25th, 2023, we hosted an Advent Planning Webinar for anyone using (or interesting in using) our Advent series, “How does a weary world rejoice?” In this time, we dove into our theme, shared some tips about how to use the materials, and talked through ideas for implementation. Below is the recording. We hope this can be helpful to you as you plan and prepare.

We’ve also summarized much of the conversation that occurred in the chat. We are amazed by and grateful for the wealth of knowledge and inspiration within the larger Sanctified Art community. Be sure to read through the Q/A’s and crowdsourcing ideas at the bottom of this page.

In the webinar, we shared a Quick Links PDF with links to all the resources and materials discussed. If that document might be helpful to you, you can download it here:

Outline of the Webinar Recording:

00:00:00—00:15:43 Welcome and introductions

Welcome and introductions from the Sanctified Art creative team alongside participants’ introductions shared in the chat. Introducing all the guest contributors who helped create the “How does a weary world rejoice?” resources. We also shared daily delights and prompted participants to share those in the chat.

00:15:44—00:23:22 How we developed the theme, “How does a weary world rejoice?”

Telling the story behind this theme and discussing the importance of joy in our lives. We also shared how the series follows the stories in Luke 1-3.

00:23:23—00:50:14 an overview of all the materials

An overview of all the resources in the bundle as well as bonuses and supplements, with comments and ideas for how to use each component. Consider this an “insider’s guide” to all the resources. If you would like to share just this segment with staff, colleagues, or volunteer leaders, below is a link to the overview video:


00:50:15—1:01:41 Experiencing the resources

A short segment in which we share a poem from the series and engage in a brief visio divina practice. If you are curious about visio divina, we model this spiritual practice during this segment. Participants offered responses to the art in the chat. We spoke aloud some of their responses and reflections.

1:01:42—1:24:00 crowdsourcing ideas

In this final segment, we engaged with the conversation in the chat and responded to the questions in the Q/A box. While you can’t see that discussion in the video recording, we verbalize many of the ideas in the chat, and much of our conversation is summarized below. We concluded by playing our theme song for the series. We invite you to join our Facebook Group to continue to collaborate with other pastors and ministry leaders.


Q: Do we have permission to play the theme song in a livestream?

A: Yep! It is not a copyright violation on our end for you to play the song in worship (in-person, online, livestream).

Q: Will there be a music video for the theme song?

A: Yes! We’re still editing the music video, but will release it before Advent begins.

Q: Where do we order the paraments & banners for altar display?

A: We have two printed-to-order banners that feature the Advent icon and cosmos background. The small banner is printed on a weather-resistant material and includes grommets. It could be displayed outdoors or indoors. This size might work well as a parament for the pulpit. The table tapestry is printed on a blanket fabric and it is hemmed along the edge. It’s not best for outdoor display, but could be displayed as a cloth for your Communion Table.

Mock-up of an altar display utilizing our custom design print-to-order paraments & banners.


Q: Our Communications Director would like to know if the downloads can be editable? If we want to change the phrasing of the title or other things, are the files editable? Or can an editable version (in InDesign or other formats) be offered?

A: We have formatted most of the documents as PDFs because that is the most accessible file type for all the many programs and applications our patrons use. To maintain the integrity of our formatting and copyrighting, we do not currently offer editable files in inDesign or Adobe. However, if you have Adobe Acrobat, you should be able to edit the PDF documents if you’re wanting to do small content edits, but we do ask that you make a note such as, “prayers and themes adapted from Advent materials by A Sanctified Art.” That helps maintain the Sanctified Art brand and distinguish our work from materials that are adapted. If your communications director has particular files they would like to have in order to create custom files we may be able to provide them. If you email us at contact@sanctifiedart.org with specific requests, we’d be happy to discuss further. We also hope the branding story and the branding bundle are helpful for your communications director to format custom files for your context so that it matches the branding of the other materials.

Q: can we share the devotional booklet in a digital format?

A: Definitely. We understand that printing and distributing the booklet is not realistic for every congregation, and those serving in hybrid contexts may need access to digital versions. Included with the devotional booklet is a Printing Guide, which includes links to alternative formats. It includes a link to our e-reader version of the devotional, which is hosted on a platform called FlippingBook, making it easy to flip through and read the devotional on your computer, phone, or tablet.

Q: I'm thinking of doing a healing rite after an Advent worship at some point. Is there a liturgy or resource for this?

A: Yes, the “Liturgy for the Weary” resource in the Advent bundle can be used to host a Longest Night or Blue Christmas service, or any other offering to acknowledge the weariness and grief many of us carry. The resource includes both a communal worship liturgy as well as an individual liturgy for members to use at home or by themselves.

Q: I’m having problems printing the devotional booklet in the correct format. Is there tech help available?

A: Absolutely! To start, please check the printing guide included with the devotional booklet files, as it contains troubleshooting help for some of the more common issues. If you're still having issues, please feel free to send us an email at contact@sanctifiedart.org and let us know what's going on, what printer you're using, etc. We'll do our best to help.

Q: Any suggestions for using the social media calendar and the social media graphics that come with the advent calendars?

A: Yes! If you purchase the full bundle, you will receive a curated social media calendar with posts for the whole series (Advent through Baptism of the Lord Sunday). The social media calendar pulls excerpts and photos from the art, commentary, poems, and hymns. It provides photos and captions. It’s designed to reinforce the materials your congregation will experience in worship, in Sunday School, in their devotional, etc. This year, we have also crafted an Advent calendar with daily prompts for practicing joy in a weary world. The calendar comes with 31 graphics, one for each day of December, that you could also share online. As for using both, you could schedule two posts per day, as that would only further support your online community throughout the season. You could also share the graphics from the Advent calendar in a daily text to your community, or include them in newsletters. Since they don’t require a caption, they may also work well on Instagram or Facebook stories. Feel free to utilize them all in multiple ways!

Q: Any chance we could get that book list you referenced?

A: In the sermon guide, there are several books, podcasts, and articles listed as recommended reading & listening for the series. We strongly suggest that preachers review the sermon guide ahead of time in case there are books and materials you want to add to your library. These are all outside materials that we are simply recommending since they inspired and informed our ideas (we do not own the copyright for any of these recommendations). We encourage you to invest in the work of these creators and authors. Here is a photo of the books we reference more than once in the sermon guide. All of these are great additions to your library:

book recommendations for advent

Reading suggestions for the series.


Q: If we were to create a paper lace banner using the detailed design, about How many people working how many hours would be needed?

A: Great question! This is highly variable group to group, but we would say that tracing an 8 foot long banner would take 4 hours with two people. Cutting would take around 10 hours for 1 person OR 1 hour for 10 people! Additionally, we’ve had experience completing banner projects with groups of about 4-5 people participating over the course of 3 sessions. If you can be flexible with the duration of each session, we recommend pacing it like this: 1. projecting and tracing, 2. cutting, 3. installation. But also, the creative process is unpredictable. Part of the spiritual formation we hope you gain along the way includes embracing flexibility and welcoming imperfections.

Q: It has been our tradition at our church to give our pastor the Sunday after Christmas as a day of rest.  Can you start to include curriculum for the Sunday in between Christmas and Epiphany?

A: Absolutely. The Advent series actually continues for 7 weeks through Christmas and concludes with Baptism of the Lord Sunday. We have included liturgy, art, poetry, curriculum, and more for the First Sunday after Christmas, as well as Baptism of the Lord Sunday. We definitely keep this in mind when creating materials, as it is common for pastors to be on vacation after Christmas, so we want to support you in taking rest.

Q: How can we use the hymns in PowerPoint to stream on Facebook Live and YouTube?

A: The original hymns written specifically for the series are currently offered in a few formats. We have a PDF with sheet music for each hymn, designed for music leaders. In that PDF are the lyrics so you can copy/paste them into whatever program you use for worship streaming and projection. We also have the image files of each hymn so you can drop those into your bulletins for the congregation to sing along. Depending on your set-up, these images may also work for your worship projection and streaming.

Q: Is your blog different than your facebook page?

A: Yes, we regularly offer free seasonal materials on our blog. You can find our blog on the main navigation at the top of our website. You are also currently reading a post on our blog. ;)

Q: HOW DO we access the patron access page?

A: If you order the full bundle, there are far too many files to sift through and download at once. Therefore, as soon as you place your order, you will be emailed a link. When you click that link, you will download a PDF with a password and link to what we call the “Patron Access Page,” which is a password-protected page on our website where all of the resource files are organized. We hope you will treat the Patron Access Page as your home base for the season, returning to it often to download the exact files (or formats) you need. This page also contains all the pertinent information for each resource in case you have questions. Additionally, at the bottom of that page we progressively add supplements as they are released, so please check back to make sure you have access to all the materials. If you need help getting to the Patron Access Page, email us with information about your order: contact@sanctifiedart.org.

Q: Is there a way to see samples of these resources?

A: Definitely! As soon as new resources are released, we offer free samples to our newsletter subscribers. Check any recent Advent-related emails from us to preview those samples (linked at the bottom of the newsletter). Otherwise you can sign up using the form below. The samples will be granted to you on this page as soon as you enter your email.


Q: Ideas for a small group study?


We are using the devotional booklet for small groups. We usually read the poem and discuss the scripture/art/commentary together.

Note from SA team: The sermon planning guide is a great resource for a shaping a small group study, particularly with a group that wants to dig deep into scripture and/or discuss articles, podcasts, or books together. For each week in the sermon guide, you could use the guiding Q’s for discussion prompts. You could select podcasts or articles from the weekly recommendations and send those out to the group ahead of time to read and absorb so you can discuss them when you are together. If you wanted to read a book together for Advent, we recommend Inciting Joy, Essays by Ross Gay. Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen would be a great book to read together after the series to continue discussing the themes.

Q: How are you using/displaying the visual art?


We have taken the art and artists statements with the corresponding scripture and have made prayer stations for them.

In the past, we’ve printed the art on large posters and displayed them in our entryway so they can be experienced as you enter worship.

We print the images with artist reflections as our bulletin.

Last Lent I printed posters and put them on the altar… but I’m looking for new/other ways.

We've used the art within projection in worship. We've also projected the images on the wall rather than the text of the scripture. It allows people to focus in on the image and ponder its connection.

We’ve used the art for Lectio/Visio Divina in lieu of a sermon. I’ll be gone one week of Advent, so that’s what they’re doing when I’m gone.

Q: How are you using the devotional booklet?


We use the devotional in small groups on ZOOM and some in person.

Will be using it in group study midweek.

We print off the devotions to gift to everyone! And then our small groups are encouraged to all do it together. 😄

We send a devotional to homebound and to those who are part of our prison ministry.

We are going to make our Pastor Bible study use the devotional and do lectio & visio divina. That will provide context and space for discussion.

Q: How are you using or adapting the words for worship?


I'm from an ELCA background, and we have begun using the prayers for illumination in worship (not necessarily a part of typical Lutheran liturgy). It was received so well that we've kept that aspect of worship year-round. Thanks for introducing it to us!

We don't have a call to worship, so I've adapted them into opening prayers. We've also moved the Advent Candle lighting to right before time with children and sermon. I know the kids will be happy to be closer to the candles when they are being lit.

We are using the affirmation of faith as part of our invitation to the Table. Christian Church (DOC).

Q: How are you using the poems?


I love to use the poems to set the tone of the homily and reintegrate a key phase as a wrap up.

We often use the poems in our Visio Divina sessions.

Q: How are using the children’s materials (curriculum, pageant, worship bulletins)?


We call the Children's Bulletins "Worship Journals" and print enough so that adults can also pick them up and color along as they worship. Members of all ages have appreciated this way to be 'tactile' (active, engaged) as they listen to the sermon, etc.

For Christmas Eve, we’ll host the children’s pageant.

Q: How are you adorning your sanctuary or chancel? are you using the designs to create banners?


We met today and will be hanging a 12’ globe + hands in our sanctuary—it took a little convincing but our team is totally on board now!! We ordered a 12 foot beachball from Amazon that we’ll be painting and suspending from the rafters. It will be painted like the globe from the logo, with large two-toned hands made of paper. I also plan on creating a prayer board for our “joys” and “wearys” on a large 4x6 foot world map. Throughout the season we’ll attach our prayer requests with color coordinated cards to the map.

We’ve started making “Weary World” ornaments for our sanctuary Christmas tree using the instructions here.

I used a fine black marker to simplify the complex design just a bit by joining some of the elements. We will trace and watercolor.

Our youth painted the banner last year.

Because we’re doing an expanded Advent, I had fun painting backgrounds for our 3 extra weeks.

Last year we recycled plates and tea cups, filled the cups with sand, put in votives and turned those into “Advent wreathes/take home Advent candle lighting.” We are considering the use of 4 plants and then adding words per plant versus lighting a candle (watching green growth in the midst of weariness; something like that…).

We use various kinds of table cloths and tulle to create a base and then will use some gold specks of paint as well.

This thread and this thread in our Facebook group discusse ideas for art projects.

Q: How are you dealing with the calendar this year (2023) since 4th sunday of advent is also christmas eve?


We’re doing an “expanded Advent.” It includes the 3 weeks preceding the Advent we are used to. So the 3 extra weekly themes we added were: “We Pay Attention,” “We Take Risks,” and “We Lift Others.”

We’re starting Advent early. Half of our congregation cannot attend evening Christmas Eve because of family obligations. We also have a lot of couples where one is a member at our church and the other is Catholic.

We are starting a week early. Dec 24th morning worship will be family-friendly. Christmas Eve and 5pm evening will be traditional Christmas Eve worship.

I love that the theme for 4th Sunday of Advent is “We sing stories of hope.” We're probably doing a hymn sing that morning!

We are starting Advent on Nov 26th with a hanging of the greens and looking to how we will include your images.

We have folks who just don’t drive at night anymore, so we’re doing morning Christmas Eve, and then partnering with another congregation for evening.

Advent begins for us on November 26th. Christmas Eve will be the Children’s Pageant at 11:00am and candlelight services at 2pm and 4pm—we can darken our sanctuary even during the day.

We are going to begin Advent on November 19th. Last year our church did expanded Advent and it was very meaningful and people requested that again. It will also allow us to fully experience the series without giving up parts of it for the Sundays we have our children's program and choir cantata.

A (non-exhaustive) list of daily delights.

During the webinar, we invited participants to share a daily delight—something that brings you joy in your day to day routines. We’ve captured many of the delights here in a non-exhaustive list.

Watching Tiny Desk concerts (on NPR) and yelling, “yeah!!!” after each song with my 17-month-old daughter.

My blue reading chair.

My morning mint tea with honey in my favorite mug.

The way my toddler comes home from school repeating a new word she learned: “purrr—ppl.”

Chocolate chip cookie dough my teenage son makes us… that we often eat raw.

The brilliant colors of fall in the midwest.

The changing autumn leaves!

Birds outside.

Sewing brings me joy!


Watching the leaves change 🙂

My daily delight today was Story time with our Preschool, and Banned Book Story Time with our Online Community.

Delight in watching pollinators in the garden.

Coffee & sunshine.

Morning walks and Sabbath hikes.

My dog sitting in my office next to me brings me joy.

Our one year-old’s laughter.

Walks in nature.

People growing and serving.

Being able to walk to work.

The laughter of my kiddos.

Walking in my vegetable garden.

Our teenagers sitting with us at the family table to simply talk and connect.

Walking in the woods.

It is crazy hair day at my kids’ school and my daughter went to school with fairy lights woven into her hair.

Gorgeous fall foliage!

The silly positions my big doodle dog finds for his deep dreaming.

Warm fall day.

Blue sky and puffy white clouds.

The sun rising through the trees in my backyard!

Being able to sit outside for this moment.

Finally—sun! Blue skies! Fall foliage!


The sunrise coming into my bedroom every morning.

My morning cup of tea brings me lots of joy.

My girls and who they are growing to be!

Time with my family

An unexpected conversation with a workout coach/leader this morning that brought both of us joy.


Puppy walking.


Buds for next year's leaves already formed.

My dog!

Watching the preschool kids sing "this is the day that the Lord has made."

Walking our kids to school, enjoying the autumn colors.


Clouds of starlings.

Watching my kids practice the things that they love: soccer, show choir, piano, boxing, etc.

Pumpkins (just bought a bunch to carve at youth group tonight).

My husband’s terrible dad jokes bring me joy!

Two huskypoos who never cease to find joy!

Gardening, hands in the earth, getting to see the results.

Artistic endeavors.

Trees is an all their seasons.

Sugar Maples in Autumn.

The smell of autumn—decaying leaves and smoke. Seriously!

Nature brings me joy and I love to photograph it!

My granddaughter.

Hearing children in the building and parents laughing in the parent's group that met this morning.

My 16 year old son who lives to learn.

Hiking and my dogs and cats and kids.

Hearing and sharing stories with my Aging with Grace Wednesday morning group.

I serve a transitioning community. The joy in this season are the families and young children who are finding a place in our community.

My morning hot beverage—currently RYZE mushroom coffee.

The self-assurance of my 3 year old.

The new episode of Dear Hank and John is up! (Nerdfighters know)

I love Tiny Desk concerts too!

My dog and my kids bring me joy. And they’ll be the first to say, in that order. ;)

Beautiful fall foliage outside my window (and my toddler!).

My cats.

Pups greeting me at my door every morning!

Anything creative.

Spending time with my son—and listening to his perspective.

Joyfully serving where I can.

Joy is helping my congregation move toward considering how to become ONA (Open and Affirming).

The holy space of my home.

Bringing my 9 year old to her first book signing this week.

The beauty of nature in every season.

Being with my family.

Making time to read for pleasure.

Looking into my yard and seeing the birds in the birdbath.

Smelling Martha’s homemade veggie soup because she didn’t bring the rest of us any!

Living on the Maine coast!

Joy of movement thru dance —oh. . . and Jacob Collier on Tiny desk👍🏻!!

Puppy reels as a stress reducer!

I am blessed with a Bernese Mountain Dog who makes me smile every day!

Running is a newly discovered daily joy.

Connected to moments in nature, and the sense of humor of my tween & teen.

Connections with friends and family; garden produce; music of all kinds.

My kitty greeting me vocally and on my lap every morning.

To wake up early and have a quiet early morning. For this morning's quiet time I listened to Simon de Voil's sacred music.

Spending 1-2 hr/day practicing and memorizing piano pieces.

Checking the henhouse laying box for fresh eggs... its still a surprise and delight!

My 6yo daughter, our cat, and whatever I happen to be knitting.

Witnessing my teen daughter create her path and follow her dreams.

Part-time local walking is my joy.

I love working wood using hand tools.

Joy found in nature, gardening, meditation/

Time on my back porch.

Watching the interactions between my 6 year old and 8 month old.

High-fives and interactions with the preschoolers of our church's day school.

My first Sanctified Art experience! So excited!!