Ways to Celebrate Advent this Season
1) While we remember Israel’s waiting and hoping, and we give thanks for Christ’s birth, we also anticipate his second coming at the end of time. Here’s a wordless video that explains Advent in a fun and informal way -- Advent in 2 Minutes .
2) “An Advent wreath with four candles and a Christ candle can heighten the sense of anticipation.” BuildFaith.org created a blog post highlighting “The 99-Cent Advent Wreath” which includes instructions to make the wreath and simple prayers to pray each week. You could make extra kits for grandparents or other families, so that you can share the experience at a safe distance. https://buildfaith.org/99-cent-advent-wreath/
3) Download, print, and distribute these wonderful, free Praying in Color: Advent pages from author Sybil MacBeth: https://prayingincolor.com/handouts (scroll to the bottom of the page for templates from previous years – the date can easily be whited out after printing). They are a wonderful way for all ages to mark the daily journey to Advent with prayers and drawings.
4) Remember, Advent begins on November 29, but you don’t have to have everything ready at the beginning… the season is all about getting ready, so if you start small on Sunday, you’ll still have time to organize some other elements before the second Sunday of Advent rolls around. These Advent Devotions use a simple “Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless” format and work well with or without an Advent wreath. They are set up to be used once a week. If you’d like a short Scripture passage for each day instead, here are suggested readings that link with the words we’ll be using in our Sunday services. Or check out the Bible Reading Plan from the Advent Project https://theadventusproject.wordpress.com/resources/advent-bible-reading-plan/
5) In her post describing an easy Advent wreath that families can make at home, Heather Sleighthold says, “Believe me, your children won’t remember what kind of candles you used, or how fancy the whole setup is. What they will remember most is this time with you—of getting to help and be included. And it will also make an impression on them about what the season of Advent truly means, and the joy that can be found in the waiting.” You could light one candle every day during the first week, two candles every day during the second week, and so on… or maybe it would work better in your home to focus on your Advent wreath on Sundays. Maybe you don’t need a wreath at all, just an assortment of candles, or a Nativity scene. You could sing, read Scripture, or pray together. What might work in your home?
6) Advent begins this coming Sunday, November 29! Each day this week, we’ll post some ideas for ways that you can make this a meaningful season in your own home. Families with children registered for Sunday School will be receiving Jesse Tree kits upon request… you can use these in conjunction with other activities if you wish. Some suggestions are simple, some more elaborate – choose something that you’ll be able to carry out without adding to any seasonal stress. Some sources call for candles of a particular colour; this can be helpful when working with certain themes, but in Hope CRC worship services this year, our only theme is that of increasing light as we journey toward Christmas Day. Specific colours are unnecessary. Here are two ideas https://network.crcna.org/faith-nurture/two-super-simple-advent-ideas-families to get you started.