My online journal.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Advent wreath

I'd decided I wanted to do some more spiritually-based Christmas traditions this year with the kiddos, so I went out looking for Advent wreaths and calendars to try to get a start.

Well, it turns out an Advent wreath can take many forms besides the three-purple-candles-and-a-pink-one I'd remembered from St. Colette. I was going to try to make one out of pine cones but couldn't locate the spool of florist-wire we used to make the bouquets for our wedding (imagine that: I couldn't find something I hadn't used in 9.5 years!)

Anyway, short story long, I didn't want to spend hours of assembly time, but I still liked the idea and decided to make it as simple as possible. And I found this website which not only explains the purpose of the tradition (mainly, just to visually count down the weeks until Christmas) but also gave a really neat way to celebrate it around our dinner table. It also incorporates readings from Isaiah, which I'd wanted to include but didn't think the kids would maintain interest in it through all 66 chapters (plus, have you READ Isaiah? The first half is exceptionally and graphically depressing). In my typical cheapskate way, I dug out one of our Christmas plates and the candles we'd used in the jack o'lanterns.

Anyway here goes: it's meant to be a jumping-off point for families/groups to "make it their own" but this is pretty much exactly what we're doing:

On the first Sunday in Advent

  • Light one purple candle (ours will be red and white, that's what we have)
  • Read Isaiah 60:2-3
  • Pray something like this:

    Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

On the second Sunday in Advent

  • Light two candles
  • Read Mark 1:4
  • Pray something like this:

    Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the way. We who like sheep have gone astray have found the way to you through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

On the third Sunday in Advent

  • Light three candles
  • Read Isaiah 35:10
  • Pray something like this:

    Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who brings us great joy. We who have walked in the shadow of the valley of death have found life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

On the fourth Sunday in Advent

  • Light 4 candles
  • Read Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Pray something like this:

    Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who live in discord and strife have found peace in the promise of eternal life, through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus' name, because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

On Christmas Eve after sundown or on Christmas Day
(if you have a fifth white candle in the center)

  • Light all the purple candles and the white candle
  • Read Luke 1:68-79 and Luke 2:1-20
  • Pray something like this:

    We praise you, Lord God, because on this day, your Word became flesh in our Savior Jesus Christ, was born of a woman, and walked among us as a man. Help us to imitate your incarnation, by manifesting our faith in our conduct as well as in our speech. To you, O Lord, we give our honor, praise, worship, and love, in the most holy and precious name of the One who is born today; because He lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

1 comment:

bridget said...

I have to say I am quite surprised and pleased that I am re-learning so much about our faith from my Megan. I really enjoy learning through her eyes, and she is REALLY into religion! She has really begun to understand and share with everyone she meets what the real reason for celebrating Christmas is all about!