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Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  24 reviews
“As Lauren Winner says "Maybe it’s not right to think of feasting during the somewhat penitential season of Advent, but that is what this book is: a sumptuous feast.” 

In keeping with At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time (“a thing of beauty” and “a literary treasure trove and devotional feast,” two reviewers called it) this collection contains da
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Paraclete Press
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 ·  129 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Julie Davis
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I haven't done more than dip into this book but I already know enough to recommend it.

One of my favorite inspirational books is At the Still Point (my review here). It is an unusual devotional for ordinary time with thematically arranged classic and contemporary fiction and poetry which pulls the reader deeper into prayer and worship.

My one wish was that it would be popular enough that author Sarah Arthur would do similar devotionals for the other liturgical times of the year. With Light Upon Li
JoHannah Reardon
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a nice balance of prayer from notable Christians such as John Donne, George MacDonald, and Christiana Rossetti; Scripture suggestions that tie into the season; and readings from the likes of G. K. Chesterton to Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Beginning with Advent and taking you through to Epiphany, this compilation will bring deeper meaning to this season and help move you beyond all the trappings of this holiday season. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
Erin F.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like "At the Still Point," each chapter's theme threads its way through prayers, scripture selections, poetry, and selections from good books. Contemporaries keep the selections unexpected, each time; classics remind me this story is much larger than my today, my Advent, my Christmas. This isn't a book of prepackaged emotions -- lectio divina isn't that; you can't predict how the Spirit will use it, even the stories heard before. But from St. Francis to Dickens to Luci Shaw and John Irving, its ...more
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The beauty of the holidays is now forever enhanced by Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. Sarah Arthur’s book will be an annual part of my preparation for and journey through a season that often feels too full and yet somehow leaves me feeling emptied of the energy to focus on the true importance of the season.

This literary guide redirects me toward the sacred and holy aspects of the season in ways that I’ve not been able to do on my own. It contain
Lindsey Silvestrini
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christmas is such a magical time of the year and one of my favorite things about it is Advent. We have had a long standing tradition in our family of lighting candles on an advent log every year. This year Christmas is at our house so I get to share this tradition with my kids that I experienced growing up.

As a lover of all things written, I was excited to read Sarah Arthur’s Light Upon Light; a compilation of literature relating to advent, Christmas and Epiphany. (If you, like me, aren’t famil
I'm obsessed with this literary devotional! It introduced me to so much interesting poetry and gave a lot of depth to my Christmas season. Excited to start the Lent one next!
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I suppose it's strange that I am finishing and reviewing an Advent, Christmas and Epiphany devotional book midway through Lent. But the truth is, this books contains more beauty than you can wring out in those seasons and I wanted to work my way slowly through the last few weeks. So I did. I stretched them out and savored them. I couldn't have anticipated the turn our world would take with the pandemic arriving this month, but it has been a gift to read about light and remember that darkness doe ...more
Abby Tamkin
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book /guide was wonderful. My husband and I read some every night before going to bed: following the structure provided: opening prayer, scripture, literary reading (poem or prose excerpt), prayer and reflection, and closing prayer. And of course sometimes we mixed them up a bit, or didn't do some parts. But it was a wonderful thing to add to our day. Split up over a week, each section doesn't take much time per sitting.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Good. I like the fact that it goes into Epiphany, and I like the format, although I do not use the suggested order of service--I use the Book of Common Prayer format, and add these readings as supplements. Seems like it would work well for a variety of people and be valuable as suggestion for a parish--enough variety that everyone would find something that resonated for them.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a nice collection of readings from literature that relate to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. I especially enjoyed the selections of contemporary poetry.
Tim Otto
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and helpful way to inhabit Advent.
Elaine Reinhard
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Well written and researched. A truly inspirational guide for the season. Highly recommend for next year and also will reread next year.
Hilary Forrest
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A unique approach to celebrating Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. I found some beautiful poems to read again and enjoyed reading the selections the author chose for each week.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Michele Morin
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The problem with reviewing a book like Light Upon Light is that Sarah Arthur has done such a fine job explaining her purpose in the introduction that anything I say feels superfluous. As a guide to prayer during the season of Advent, she has compiled a rich assortment of poetry and prose from long ago and far away as well as from down the road and practically yesterday.

“Finding the works for this collection, discovering some of these authors and poets, has been like lighting one candle after ano
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read a review of this book in the Englewood Review of Books. Being a Christmas devotional junkie, I ripped out the review and carried it around in my calendar. Thankfully, I found the review in late fall and actually ordered the book. What a literary and spiritual delight for the holidays! Each week has a theme with 4 passages of scripture to read, various poems, and a portion of a work of fiction. Not being much of a poetry reader, I particularly was struck by the poignancy of the contemporar ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Light Upon Light by Sarah Arthur is a wonderful companion to the Advent, Christmas, Epiphany seasons, because of how it weaves classic Protestant prayers, Bible readings, old and contemporary poems and classic snippets of literature to complement these seasons of the year and the Christian's journey through them.

Arthur, who lives and works in Michigan, uses literature here to expand upon, and magnify and ponder anew the Biblical narrative of the incarnation, and how it daily effects the individu
Dorothy Greco
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Finally! An advent book for adult who love literature. Arthur does a wonderful job weaving Scripture, poetry, classic Advent readings, and far from ordinary advent readings into her lovely text. This is the first Advent book I've ever finished. (Which I'm sure says more about me than the many other wonderful Advent books out there!)
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I so appreciate the way these literary selections keep the wonder of Advent and Christmas alive all the way through Epiphany. A marvelous compilation of poetry and excerpts to lead one into time of reflection and prayer. I look forward to going through it again.
Joy Matteson
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best Advent devotionals out there, regardless of religious affiliation. A great last minute gift idea, the poetry and weekly meditations lead up to the last week of Epiphany. I'll be recommending this one for years to come.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotional
Unusual and eclectic readings for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Cara Meredith
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Best read slowly, for those who prefer a thematic, do-it-yourself look at scripture, poetry and prose. Gorgeous compilation by editor Sarah Arthur.
Sarah Haring
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
poetry isn't something I read much, if ever. The poetry component of this was an extraordinary gift.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This compilation of literary readings, Scripture, prayers and poetry is the perfect daily accompaniment for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Tim Hoiland
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Sarah Arthur is a fun-loving speaker and the author of numerous books, including "A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time" (Zondervan/HarperCollins, Aug 2018). Sarah specializes in the intersection of faith and literature, particularly the role of imagination & narrative in spiritual formation. Her first books were the bestselling, award-winning yo ...more

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