Creating an Advent Wreath and learning the Advent Prayer below teach children patience along with the true meaning of Christmas.
This Sunday, December 2, marks the first Sunday of Advent amongst a period of four Sundays prior to Christmas, which is the beginning of the Liturgical Year of the Catholic Church.
Advent refers to the coming of Christ in three ways; the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, the coming of Christ in our daily lives through the Sacrament of Holy Communion and His Second Coming at the end of time.
Advent is such a special time of preparation for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. There is so much to accomplish in just a short time, that often the meaning of Christmas gets lost behind the decorations, baking, and shopping. Advent is the perfect season to engage young children and older ones in the true value of anticipating Christmas morning. Through Advent, we can teach our kids patience and the importance of giving as they dream about opening gifts under the tree.
Advent Wreath Prayer
(Can be said upon lighting each candle)
God, You gave us Your Son, Jesus, because You love us so much. Move our hearts to reach out to people around us who are poor, sick or lonely. Prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
The Advent Wreath originated in Germany and is the centerpiece of Catholic families. It consists of four candles (3 purple, one pink) surrounded by evergreen branches. Starting on the first Sunday, each candle is lit until all four are aflame on the last Sunday. The flames signify the light of Jesus who is born on Christmas Day. Purple reminds us that Advent is a time of reflection and penance while the pink candle is lit on the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday).
Advent wreaths can be purchased or made with tapers and other craft items by following the steps outlined here. Michaels on Long Beach Road in Oceanside has an abundance of craft supplies to make your own advent wreath. Long Islanders living in Valley Stream may also visit Joseph T. Reilly Religious Articles on Rockaway Avenue for more Advent ideas.
The attached picture is a printable Advent Wreath activity for younger children to color and glue each week instead of lighting a candle.
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