Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Women’s Christmas Retreat 2017 – A Gift for You

January 5, 2017

Wise Women Also CameImage: Wise Women Also Came © Jan Richardson

Happy New Year and Merry Epiphany, almost! In celebration, these three wise women are stopping by with a gift for you. You might know that some folks celebrate Epiphany (January 6) as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women set aside time to enjoy a break and celebrate together at the end of the holidays.

It’s become a tradition for me to create a new retreat each year that you can use on Women’s Christmas or whenever you need some time for respite and reflection, alone or with others. This year’s retreat is titled “Walking the Way of Hope” and includes readings, art, questions, and blessings. You can download it as a PDF.

There is no cost for the retreat. It’s my Women’s Christmas gift to you, with such gratitude for your presence on my path. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, visit this page at my Sanctuary of Women blog:

Women’s Christmas 2017: Walking the Way of Hope

I would love for you to pass along the gift by sharing the link with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you’re connected.

In this new year, I pray that you will know the gift of hope, especially when it feels most elusive. I am so grateful for you and for the hope you provide for me. Deepest blessings to you. 

P.S. Our festive Advent discount on annual subscriptions to the Jan Richardson Images site continues through Epiphany, plus a few days! An annual subscription enables you to download any images for use in worship during the year. Advent rate: $125 (regularly $165). Extended through January 9. Click Subscribe to sign up.

[To use the Wise Women Also Came image or order it as a print, please visit this page at Jan Richardson Images.]

Women’s Christmas 2016 – A Gift for You

January 6, 2016

Wise Women Also CameImage: Wise Women Also Came © Jan Richardson

Happy New Year and Merry Epiphany! In celebration, these three wise women are stopping by with a gift for you. You might know that some folks celebrate Epiphany (January 6) as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women set aside time to enjoy a break and celebrate together at the end of the holidays.

It’s become a tradition for me to create a new retreat each year that you can use on Women’s Christmas or whenever you need some time for respite and reflection. The retreat, which you can download as a PDF, includes readings, art, questions, and blessings. This year’s retreat, titled “Home By Another Way,” was inspired by my search for home in the wake of Gary’s death.

There’s no cost for the retreat; it’s a Women’s Christmas gift especially for you! You can do the retreat anytime you wish, alone or with others. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, visit this page at my Sanctuary of Women blog:

Women’s Christmas 2016: Home By Another Way

I would love for you to pass along the gift by sharing the link with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you’re connected.

Blessings to you, and Merry Women’s Christmas!

P.S. Our festive Advent discount on annual subscriptions to the Jan Richardson Images site continues through Epiphany, plus a few days! An annual subscription enables you to download any images for use in worship during the year. Advent rate: $125 (regularly $165). Extended through January 10. Click Subscribe to sign up.

[To use the Wise Women Also Came image, please visit this page at Jan Richardson Images.]

At The Advent Door!

December 18, 2015

MagnificatImage: Magnificat © Jan Richardson

Friends, I have been remiss in posting a note here to let you know that during this season, I’m over at my blog The Advent Door! I would love to have your company there as we travel toward Christmas. In addition to reflections for the Sundays of Advent (including this coming Sunday, Advent 4), I have recently posted an article that shares some of my journey in traveling through this season with grief. The article is titled “This Luminous Darkness: Searching for Solace in Advent and Christmas,” and you can find it here.

In the days to come, I’ll be sharing reflections and blessings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then I look forward to being back here at The Painted Prayerbook in the new year!

Sending much gratitude and so many blessings to you in this sacred season.

Women’s Christmas 2015 – A Gift for You

January 2, 2015

Wise Women Also CameImage: Wise Women Also Came © Jan L. Richardson

Happy New Year and Merry (almost) Epiphany! In celebration, these three wise women are stopping by with a gift for you. You might know that some folks celebrate Epiphany (January 6) as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women set aside time to enjoy a break and celebrate together at the end of the holidays.

It’s become a tradition for me to create a new retreat each year that you can use on Women’s Christmas or whenever you need a space of respite and reflection. The retreat, which you can download as a PDF, offers readings, art, and blessings that invite you to listen to your life. This year’s retreat explores the theme of thresholds, those betwixt and between places that emerge when we have left what was familiar but have not arrived at what lies ahead. Sometimes chaotic but full of possibility, thresholds are a great place to pray, imagine, and dream. The retreat is designed to help you do this.

There’s no cost for the retreat; it’s a Women’s Christmas gift especially for you! You can do the retreat alone or share it with friends. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, visit this page at my Sanctuary of Women blog:

Women’s Christmas: Illuminating the Threshold

I’d love for you to pass along the gift by sharing the link with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or any other way you’re connected.

Blessings to you as the new year begins, and Merry Women’s Christmas!

P.S. Our festive Advent discount on annual subscriptions to the Jan Richardson Images site continues through Epiphany/January 6! An annual subscription enables you to download any images for use in worship during the year. Advent rate: $125 (regularly $165). Visit Subscribe to Jan Richardson Images.

[To use the Wise Women Also Came image, please visit this page at Jan Richardson Images.]

At the Edge of Advent

November 24, 2014

End and BeginningImage: End and Beginning  © Jan Richardson

Advent, almost! With the new season beginning this Sunday, it’s time to head over to my blog The Advent Door, where I’ll be offering a few reflections during the coming weeks. I’ve posted a new reflection there for this Sunday; you can find it here: Advent 1: Blessing When the World Is Ending.

I’m especially excited to be launching Illuminated 2014, our all-new online Advent retreat. The retreat begins this Sunday, and if you haven’t already registered, I would love for you to join us! The Illuminated Retreat is a wonderful way to enter into Advent without stressing your schedule. There’s info below, plus a couple more things I want to share with you as the season begins.

ILLUMINATED 2014
This online retreat is not about adding one more thing to your holidays. It is about helping you find spaces for reflection that draw you deep into this season that shimmers with mystery and possibility. Offering a space of elegant simplicity as you journey toward Christmas, the Illuminated Retreat fits easily into the rhythm of your days, anywhere you are. Begins November 30. For info and registration, visit ILLUMINATED 2014. Individual, group, & congregational rates available. A great gift for yourself and others!


Jan Richardson Images

ADVENT SPECIAL AT JAN RICHARDSON IMAGES
The Jan Richardson Images site makes my artwork available for use in worship, education, and other settings. You can download single images or sign up for an annual subscription, which gives you unlimited downloads for a year. During Advent and Christmas, we’re offering a festive discount on annual subscriptions: for just $125, you can sign up for an artful year (regularly $165). The site offers many images for Advent, Christmas, and beyond. More info at Subscribe to Jan Richardson Images. You can also order any of the images as an art print!


Interview

INTERVIEW WITH FAITH & LEADERSHIP
I talked recently with Faith & Leadership about Advent, art, grief, and our call to be people who put the pieces together. Read the interview here in the Advent issue of their online magazine.

Blessings to you as Advent arrives!

An Illuminated Advent – 2014

November 7, 2014

Illuminated Advent Retreat

For the past six weeks, I have been on My Big Road Trip. It has been such a gift to take to the road, with little agenda or schedule, and receive the treasures of hospitality and solace I have found on the path between Florida and Canada. Now it is nearly time to return home. As I prepare to go, I’m so aware of traveling not only toward Orlando but also toward Advent, with great anticipation as I dream and imagine what the coming season might hold.

I am eager to begin the all-new online retreat that I’m offering for Advent, and I would love for you to join me! If you are hungry for a simple way to move deeply into this season, this retreat is for you. Some details are below, along with a link to our main info and registration page for the retreat.

ILLUMINATED 2014: An Online Journey into the Heart of Christmas
November 30-December 27
All new for 2014!

Are you hungry for an experience that invites you into Advent without stressing your schedule? This online retreat is not about adding one more thing to your holidays. It is about helping you find spaces for reflection that draw you deep into this season that shimmers with mystery and possibility. Intertwining reflection, art, music, and community, this online retreat provides a space of elegant simplicity and a distinctive opportunity to travel through Advent and Christmas in contemplation and conversation along the way.

This is an Advent retreat for people who don’t have time for an Advent retreat (and for those who do!). You can easily enter into it in the way that works best for you, from anywhere you are. You don’t have to show up at a particular time or place, and you’re welcome to engage the retreat as much or as little as you wish. This is for you: a space to breathe deeply and to experience renewal that will make a difference in how you move through the season.

Individual, group, and congregational rates are available. You can also give the retreat as a gift! For retreat details, FAQs, and registration, visit Illuminated Advent Retreat.

Blessings to you as Advent draws near!

Epiphany: This Brightness That You Bear

January 2, 2014


Image: This Brightness That You Bear © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Epiphany, Years ABC: Matthew 2.1-12

They set out; and there, ahead of them,
went the star that they had seen at its rising,
until it stopped over the place where the child was.
—Matthew 2.9

Many of you know that my amazing husband, Garrison Doles, died unexpectedly at the beginning of Advent, after experiencing complications during what we had anticipated would be a fairly routine surgery in mid-November. (I invite you to read this remembrance and blessing I wrote for Gary, if you haven’t seen it.) I am so grateful for all those who encircled us from near and far while Gary was in the hospital, and who are continuing to encompass our family during this time of stunning heartbreak. Every prayer, every word, every good thought has been such a tremendous gift in this dark season.

Gary and I are astoundingly fortunate in our families, who in these past weeks have held the light for us in ways that I can barely begin to thank them for. But this Christmas, I wanted to make the attempt, to at least try to offer up some words to honor the extraordinary lengths they have gone to in order to walk this journey with us. I wrote a blessing for them; today’s image is for them as well. I gave these to them on Christmas Day.

On Christmas Day I also shared the blessing and artwork with those who joined me in the online Illuminated Advent Retreat, by way of thanks for how they traveled with me through a season that was so different than I had anticipated. For Epiphany, I want to share this with you. For the light you bear in this world: thank you. If you are in a dark season of your own, or know someone who is, may this come as a gift and a prayer that you will receive the light you need.

Blessings and gratitude to you as Epiphany draws near.

This Brightness That You Bear
A Blessing for My Family

This blessing
hardly knows what to say,
speechless as it is
not simply
from grief
but from the gratitude
that has come with it—

the thankfulness that sits
among the sorrow
and can barely begin
to tell you
what it means
not to be alone.

This blessing
knows the distances
you crossed
in person
in prayer
to enter into
days of waiting,
nights of long vigil.

It knows the paths
you traveled
to be here
in the dark.

Even in the shadows
this blessing
sees more than it can say
and has simply
come to show you
the light
that you have given

not to return it
to you
not to reflect it
back to you
but only to ask you
to open your eyes
and see
the grace of it,
the gift that shines
in this brightness
that you bear.


P.S.
I come bearing a few more Epiphany gifts for you…

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS
At my Sanctuary of Women site, you can find a brand-new retreat that I’ve designed for Women’s Christmas, which some folks celebrate on Epiphany. To learn more about Women’s Christmas and download the retreat (at no cost), click the image or link below.


Women’s Christmas: The Shimmering Hours


OTHER EPIPHANIES
For previous reflections for Epiphany, including “Blessing of the Magi,” click these images or the titles below.


Epiphany: Blessing of the Magi



Epiphany: Blessing for Those Who Have Far to Travel



Epiphany: Where the Map Begins



Feast of the Epiphany: Blessing the House


AND A FESTIVE DISCOUNT
In celebration of the season, the Advent discount on annual subscriptions to Jan Richardson Images (the website that makes my work available for use in worship) will be available through Epiphany Day (January 6). For info, visit:


Jan Richardson Images

[To use the image “This Brightness That You Bear,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

A Women’s Christmas Gift for You

January 4, 2013


Image: Wise Women Also Came © Jan L. Richardson

These three wise women are stopping by with a gift for you. In celebration of Women’s Christmas, which is observed in some parts of the world on Epiphany/January 6, I’ve created a retreat for you. Designed for you to use on Women’s Christmas or whenever you need a space of respite and reflection, the retreat (which you can download as a PDF) offers readings, art, and blessings that invite you to take a pilgrimage into your own life.

There’s no cost for the retreat; it’s a Women’s Christmas gift especially for you! You’re welcome to share it with friends. For a link to the retreat and more about Women’s Christmas, visit this page at my Sanctuary of Women blog:

Women’s Christmas: The Map You Make Yourself

A Merry Women’s Christmas and Blessed Epiphany to you!

Epiphany: Blessing of the Magi

December 30, 2012


Image: By Another Road © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Epiphany, Years ABC: Matthew 2.1-12

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they left for their own country by another road.
—Matthew 2.12

Blessing of the Magi

There is no reversing
this road.
The path that bore you here
goes in one direction only,
every step drawing you
down a way
by which you will not
return.

You thought arrival
was everything,
that your entire journey
ended with kneeling
in the place
you had spent all
to find.

When you laid down
your gift,
release came with such ease,
your treasure tumbling
from your hands
in awe and
benediction.

Now the knowledge
of your leaving
comes like a stone laid
over your heart,
the familiar path closed
and not even the solace
of a star
to guide your way.

You will set out in fear
you will set out in dream

but you will set out

by that other road
that lies in shadow
and in dark.

We cannot show you
the route that will
take you home;
that way is yours
and will be found
in the walking.

But we tell you
you will wonder
at how the light you thought
you had left behind
goes with you,
spilling from
your empty hands,
shimmering beneath
your homeward feet,
illuminating the road
with every step
you take.

P.S. I have a few more Epiphany treats for you!

First: At my Sanctuary of Women site, you can find a brand-new retreat that I’ve designed for Women’s Christmas, which some folks celebrate on Epiphany. To learn more about Women’s Christmas and download the retreat (at no cost), click the image or link below.

Women’s Christmas: The Map You Make Yourself

Then: For previous reflections for Epiphany, including “Blessing for Those Who Have Far to Travel,” click this image or title:

Epiphany: Blessing for Those Who Have Far to Travel

And for the final treat: The special Advent discount on annual subscriptions to Jan Richardson Images (the website that makes my work available for use in worship) will be available through Epiphany Day (January 6). For info, visit:

Jan Richardson Images

[To use the image “By Another Road,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!]

Beginning

November 29, 2012


Image: Drawing Near © Jan L. Richardson

Very excited to be beginning Advent this Sunday! I wanted to share a quick reminder that the online Advent retreat that Gary and I will be offering begins this Saturday. There’s still time to register, and we would love for you to join us. You can click the icon below to visit our retreat page, where you’ll find an overview of the retreat, which goes from December 1-29. Know that we’ve designed the retreat so that it’s not simply “one more thing” to add to the holiday schedule, but rather something that slips into the rhythm of your December days and invites you into a bit of reflection and breathing space in the midst of the season. And it doesn’t require showing up at a particular place or time. You can do this retreat in your jammies!

Don’t forget to also check our FAQ page if you have questions, or challenges that might cause you to hesitate to register for the retreat. If you’ve already registered, there’s nothing else you need to do just yet.

I’ve also posted my first reflection of the season at The Advent Door; you can find it at “Advent 1: Drawing Near.” The Advent Door is where I’ll be hanging out, blog-wise, during the coming season, and I’d be glad to have your company there. If you’re not already an Advent Door subscriber, you can sign up to receive the Advent Door blog posts via email; check out the “Subscribe by email” box in the sidebar (near the top, just above the cover for my Night Visions book).

Blessings to you as Advent arrives! I wish you a wondrous season.