Let Every Heart Prepare

Meditations for Advent and Christmas

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton

Oct/1998, 96 Pages, PAPERBACK, 4 x 6

ISBN-13: 9780819217554



Based on hymns, these daily Advent meditations focus on faith, forgiveness, and healing.

For centuries the words and poetry of our hymns have spoken deeply to us. Many people, in fact, find that what is heard in poetry and music sinks deeper into the soul than does ordinary prose. And so it is to the beautiful seasonal hymns that Barbara Cawthorne Crafton turns for inspiration for daily meditations during the great devotional seasons of the church year: Advent/Christmas. 

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton is a popular preacher, retreat leader, and writer who teaches at Marble Collegiate Church and at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Reader's Digest, Episcopal Life, and many other publications. She is the author of many books, including Called, The Courage to Grow Old, The AlsoLife, Jesus Wept: When Faith and Depression Meet, Mass in Time of War, The Sewing Room, Living Lent, and many others.


"Barbara Crafton, through the window of familiar hymns, touches the very depths of our lives. In a warm and caring manner these reflections seem to speak to the reader in an uncanny way--it is as though this 'one' was written for me, and that happens page after page. This collection of reflections on Advent and Christmas hymns offers the reader a real sense of hope and a source of inspiration."
—The Right Reverend Edmond L. Browning

"Barbara Crafton's Let Every Heart Prepare is a wonderful way to deepen our experience of the seasons of Advent and Christmas. From her first page, comparing prayer to pantyhose, to one near the end, reminding us that angels are not our departed relatives newly fitted out with wings, her writing is delightfully different enough to unsettle our embedded ways of thinking about Christmas. In exchange, Rev. Crafton enlarges our hearts with utterly serious but not solemn meditations on hymn fragments, inviting us into new encounter with the great mystery of God become flesh in Jesus Christ."
—Norvene Vest, author of Friend of the Soul: A Benedictine Spirituality of Work

"Lots of personal family stories and a warm narrative voice make this little book most appealing."
—Travis Du Priest, The Living Church

"Barbara Cawthorne Crafton has written a sort of grownup Advent calendar of meditations for each day of Advent and Christmastide. Using quotes from the hymns of the season, she exercises a marvelous skill at seeing through the ordinary to the holy. 'I hope that you find yourself humming familiar tunes as you read, and that the condition persists for the rest of the day,' Crafton says in her introduction. I can't think of a better way to observe the season."
—Virginia Beason, for the Interim, The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

"This collection of reflections on Advent and Christmas hymns invites us into new encounters with the great mystery of God becoming flesh in Jesus Christ."
—Youth & Family Institute of Augsburg College

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  • Advent/Christmas
  • Meditations
  • Holiday

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