Friday, October 22, 2010

Advent Wreath

Our family Advent plan hasn't been significantly revised in several years at least, so this year we're revising it.  My first order of business has been the "ceremony" surrounding the Advent wreath.  Each evening during Advent we light the candle(s) for the week and read a scripture, talk about the theme for the week, and usually sing a carol related to that theme.  Each week we hang an ornament on a small Christmas tree, to reflect the theme for that week.  This year I think I want to have a theme song or chorus for all of Advent, if I can find something suitable.  I have changed the scriptures we're using and the theme for each week, and I may even ditch the pink and purple candles in favor of natural ones--I'm not sure about that yet.  I am still not sure about the symbol we'll use for each week, partly because I don't have my ornaments accessible right now and I'm not sure I have suitable ornaments for the symbols I've tentatively chosen.  Three of the four scriptures correspond to portions of Handel's Messiah, so we'll probably incorporate that as well.

Expect this post to be revised periodically, up to the beginning of Advent 2010.

Much of what we're doing this year comes from "Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children," a favorite resource for spiritual training.

Our intro for each candle-lighting "service":
We are in the season of waiting and hoping.  Our Advent wreath reminds us of our waiting, because each week we wait for a greater and greater light.  The prophets [week 4: gospel writers] are very special friends of God.  They tell us God’s word to help us know the wonderful things happening for us.

Week 1
Scripture:        Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness
                        have seen a great light;
                        on those living in the land of the shadow of death
                        a light has dawned.
Music:             Messiah Part I, No. 11
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
Art:                The Light of the World, William Holman Hunt

Symbol:         Sun or star or candle
Crafts:             Toilet paper roll candles
                        Light holes craft from Preschool Art, p. 131

Week 2
Scripture:        Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born,
       to us a son is given,
       and the government will be on his shoulders.
       And he will be called
       Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Music:            Messiah Part I, No. 12
                      O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Art:                Adoration of the Lamb, Jan van Eyck
Symbol:         Crown

Crafts:             Print out crowns to decorate
                        Fabric transfer from Preschool Art, p. 115
Week 3
Scripture:        Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
       though you are small among the clans of Judah,
       out of you will come for me
       one who will be ruler over Israel,
       whose origins are from of old,
       from ancient times.  “
Music:             O Holy Night
Art:                 The Census at Bethlehem, Bruegel
Symbol:          Bethlehem star, most especially the Natal Cross
Crafts:            Black paper silhouettes of buildings on dark blue paper, then put glue in star shape and sprinkle with glitter.
           Stained Glass Melt from Preschool Art, p. 116

Week 4
Scripture:        Luke 1:26-38
One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God's power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible for God!"

Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant! Let it happen as you have said." And the angel left her.
Music:                 Handel's Messiah Part I, No. 8
                            Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Art:                     The Annunciation, Titian
Symbol:              Angel or bell or fleur-de-lis
Crafts:               Paper plate angels
               Finish making Christmas gifts


  1. I LOVE this idea and am going to try it in our home, with maybe a little tweeking to meet our needs. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Allison, I tweak this every year myself! lol

  3. I enjoy lighting scented candles in stemmed candlesticks. They look pretty and smell good. We used cranberry (red) candles, and the one for Jesus was white, and it was in the tallest candlestick. My little variation on the wreath.

    I like to use Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree devotional, too.

    Now I need to get my stuff together. Advent starts today!

    I'm going to add some of your links, too, especially the music.