Journey through Advent with Arcade Fire!
It's become something of a tradition for people to walk through the season of Advent (the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas day) by reading an "Advent devotional", that is, a set of readings meditating on the themes of Advent: waiting, preparing, hoping, obeying, the coming of Christ as a child, the second coming of Christ, light, darkness, and the salvation of the Lord.
A couple of years ago I put together my own Advent series of readings of sorts based around a rather unconventional subject: the rock band Arcade Fire. It was more of a serious effort than you might think at first glance. There are three main articles (an ANTI-Advent reflection and then a two part Advent reflection) and then two other articles consisting of lists of Arcade Fire songs dwelling on the themes of Advent (as I perceive them). These Advent focused articles were the culmination of a long series on the songs of Arcade Fire. For a list of those articles please check the end of this article.
It might sound strange to take the work of a "secular" rock band as a jumping off point to think about the coming of Christ, but I assure you Arcade Fire has given us a lot to think about in their work. If you can take something from these articles and if they can help you to journey through Advent or to learn a little of what Advent is about then they will have accomplished the task I set out to do.
Here now are the articles:
"I need the darkness someone please cut the lights!": A Very Special Arcade Fire ANTI-Advent Reflection
"We used to wait": A Very Special Arcade Fire Advent Reflection (Part 1)
"Sleeping is giving in": A Very Special Arcade Fire Advent Reflection (Part 2)
An Index: Arcade Fire Songs For Advent (on the themes of waiting, preparing, arriving, and the light
An Index: Arcade Fire Songs Mentioning Light, Darkness, Mirrors, and Reflections
Continual Themes and Subjects in the Work of Arcade Fire
Other Arcade Fire Articles:
Wake Up! Uncovering Arcade Fire's Grand Narrative
Reflektor: A Listening Guide
An Awful Sound is Coming Down: 3 Was Relationships Die in Arcade Fire's "Oh Eurydice"
The Explanation and Inspiration Behind Aracade Fire's Reflektor
The Reflected Lyrics of Arcade Fire's Reflektor: A List
6 Possible Meanings to Arcade Fire's LGBT-themed "We Exist"