LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Transforming the familiar Advent calendar — a cardboard home waiting to reveal prized milk chocolate — Biola University's Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts has developed the Advent Project, a beautiful composition of art, words, Scripture, music and thoughtful prayer, all online. The Advent Project brings together those traditional chocolate calendars with the deep contemplation of the days leading up to God's incarnation on this earth by revealing a new delicacy of art and Scripture each day.

A compilation of curated art, Biola’s CCCA has recreated the traditional chocolate Advent calendar into a beautiful, surprising experience in the Advent Project. Each day of Advent, a new entry containing a portion of Scripture, a devotional written by a member of the Biola community, a work of visual art or short video, and a piece of music for listening will be revealed at

The calendar starts on the first day of Advent, Dec. 1, 2013, and continues through Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2014, totaling 37 days.

For centuries artists of all persuasions have been inspired by themes relating to Advent and Christmastide. Images and musical scores related directly to the Christian church year made up the majority of the canon of the western arts. The Advent Project features works of art and music from the span of church history. It is in essence an Advent calendar for grownups.

“Advent looks patiently to the future return of Christ to bring all wrongs to right, once and for all. It accepts the tension of the already and the not yet. It welcomes waiting. It is merriment and melancholy together, beauty so sublime that, like the best art, it simultaneously comforts and rocks us to the core,” said Biola University President Barry H. Corey.

“It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the mystery and magnitude of Advent lends itself so well to artistic exploration. Like Advent, the arts also accept tension and welcome waiting. The incarnation itself lends dignity to artistic and cultural pursuits.”

The Advent Project brings together a wide variety of musical and artistic styles. There may be compositions that some might find difficult to embrace at first. However, these pieces have been carefully selected to complement one another and ultimately to create a rich meditative tapestry of prayerful thought, vision and sound. A wide range of styles and aesthetic stances — from the classical strains of Handel’s Messiah to the haunting lament of Odetta’s poor little Jesus boy — from Maja Lisa Englehart’s abstract portrait of Christ to Bill Viola’s video installation of Elizabeth greeting Mary, make the Advent Project and its commingling of the familiar and a new, continual unfolding surprise.

“Each daily devotional tells part of the story, but together all 37 days offer a rich and compelling panorama that is unforgettable,” said Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts director, Barry Krammes. “We encourage you to join us for the next five weeks as we journey with the angels and prophets — our forbearers in the faith, as we remember the mystery of the word made flesh and bring our worship and praise to the Christ of Christmas.”

For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at 562.777.4061 or