Family Advent Prayers
#1
Hello all.

I'm looking for some ideas for Advent family prayers. We have three young children; the oldest is almost 4. We've been doing the Advent candles the last few years. Last year we found an Advent calendar, but honestly I didn't really know what to do with it (open the door, read the verse.....well, ok, that was that). I'm curious what other ideas people have for night prayer time during Advent with little children. Is there any good reading materials for Advent family prayers that people have made use of?
Reply
#2
At that age I would probably stick to learning Christmas carols.  I know, technically we are not supposed to sing the happy songs until Christmas day, but the kids have to learn the songs, not just Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.  We also listen to Christmas music in the car and the kids love it.
.
Some people put small candies in the Advent calendar.  I don't have an opinion one way or the other on that.
.
Advent arts and crafts, with some focus on candles and the colors purple and pink.  Use these to decorate the house and tree.
.
Look online for manger scene arts and crafts, try Pinterest for inexpensive ideas.  
.
Cut-out Christmas cookies in more "religious" shapes - stars, donkeys, creche/house, etc.  You could use a gingerbread cut out and use different colors to decorate the cookies for Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, etc. Explain why these particular shapes are special.
.
When you drive around and see houses decorated for Christmas, look and admire the lights and tell the kids why we use lights at Christmas and if you find a manger scene, stop and look and point out the characters and their meaning.  The same at the stores or the mall.
.
Don't sweat it. Relax and have fun. Enjoy your Christmas season.
.
Spend less time and effort on Santa.  I don't mean "no Santa!" but at this age you still have a lot of control so you can have less Santa at home and more Jesus.
Reply
#3
I always had an advent wreath as a centerpiece on the table and we would light the candles and say the prayers each night before dinner.  We'd sing, O Come O Come Emmanuel after dinner before blowing them out.

We would also make a Jesse Tree.  There are kits available from homeschool sites.  It involves cutting and coloring the symbols and tying one to a large bare branch each night.  It's a good one for showing the lineage of Christ.

Dec 6th is St. Nicholas feast.  Instead of Santa Claus we would celebrate that by putting our shoes next to the fireplace and hanging the stockings.  We always told the kids the truth, that it was really Mom and Dad pretending to be St. Nicholas, since we didn't want them to think we were lying about the real presence or other things. We just hyped up that it was fun to pretend. :) So we read or watched a video about St. Nicholas and how he saved the daughters from being sold (into sex trafficking actually :O) by putting gold in their stockings.  In the morning there would be chocolate gold coins and other goodies and books in their shoes and stockings.  St. Therese talks about this tradition in Story of a Soul.

When my ex-husband was a little boy he went to the priest and asked him if Santa was real because he knew the priest wouldn't lie.  When the priest danced around the issue, he knew Santa wasn't real. :/

I made puppets of Saint Nicholas, with his Bishops' mitre and staff, and "Black Peter" and would get behind the couch to put on a puppet show where he explained that he wasn't the reason for Christmas, but Jesus is.  Black Peter was a Moor (It's an old Belgian/European custom) and the bad guy who said he would put straw or coal in the stockings of the bad kids and start wildly throwing straw at the kids from behind the couch. LOL   :D When my kids got older they said that was racist. ::shrug::  :rolleyes:

We set up the empty creche at the beginning of Advent and to make it softer for the baby Jesus, every time we made a sacrifice for Him we would put a piece of straw in the creche.
 
Some years we had Mary and Joseph start on their "journey" from one end of the house and move closer each day to the creche. lol :)

Other than the stockings, I didn't want to light the lights or play Carols until Christmas morning and then start celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, so as to stay focused on Advent, but over the years got overruled. ::sigh::

On Christmas Eve we would turn out all the lights and have everyone carry a candle in a procession and a lucky one carrying the baby Jesus on a purple pillow through the house singing The King of Glory, ending at the creche where we would read the passage on His birth and place Him in the manger, after which, the rule was no talking, only blowing out the candles and silently going to bed.

Before opening the presents on Christmas, we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, have prayers of thanksgiving to God for His Son and for each other and the good things we have received this year.  

Then crown cake and/or camel sugar cookies on Epiphany. 

I didn't start everything in one year, just added a little more each year. ;)

Mary Reed Newland's book, The Year and Our Children gave me most of my ideas.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sacred Heart lover's post:
  • Imperator Caesar Trump
Reply
#4
(11-15-2019, 05:22 PM)CarolusP Wrote: Hello all.

I'm looking for some ideas for Advent family prayers. We have three young children; the oldest is almost 4. We've been doing the Advent candles the last few years. Last year we found an Advent calendar, but honestly I didn't really know what to do with it (open the door, read the verse.....well, ok, that was that). I'm curious what other ideas people have for night prayer time during Advent with little children. Is there any good reading materials for Advent family prayers that people have made use of?

This page has info for you: https://www.fisheaters.com/customs.html#advent

During Advent, focus on St. John the Baptist and his telling of Christ's coming, and build up an increasing sense of anticipation. Things to do the latter might include the customs surrounding the nativity scene (keeping the manger empty 'til Christmas Eve, moving the 3 Kings ever closer 'til they reach the creche on the Epiphany, etc.), letting the kids put a piece of straw in the manger each night for every good deed they did during the day, celebrating the Golden Nights' with their O Antiphons, using an Advent calendar, lighting the Advent wreath candles, making a Jesse tree, etc.
T h e   D u d e t t e   A b i d e s
[-] The following 2 users Like VoxClamantis's post:
  • Imperator Caesar Trump, Jeeter
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)