Advent Prayer Service


by Jean Grant

Prepare students for Advent with this prayer service.


Preparation: Prepare a prayer table with a traditional Advent wreath. Prior to the prayer service, gather the supplies needed for each child to create a paper Advent wreath craft. Distribute these at the conclusion of the prayer service. Assign reader parts to three students.

Begin with the song “Stay Awake, Be Ready” or another Advent hymn.

Leader: Let us all gather around the prayer table with our classroom Advent wreath. Advent means coming. In this Advent season, we will open our hearts to wait for Jesus, the Messiah, the light of the world. Each week of Advent, we will light another candle on the wreath. The light grows brighter as we approach the Nativity.

Reader 1: A reading from the book of Matthew (read Mt. 2:6).

All: Jesus, you are the light of the world.

Leader: The Advent wreath begins with a circle of evergreen. It reminds us of our everlasting life in heaven made possible by the coming of Jesus, our Savior. On our wreath, we place pinecones, which are symbolic of new life made possible through the Resurrection of Jesus. Berries are added to remind us of how we are fed by our Church.

Reader 2: A reading from the book of Matthew (read Mt. 1:21-23).

All: Jesus, you are the light of the world.

Leader: We light the three purple candles on the first, second, and fourth weeks of Advent. We continue to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Jesus, our Messiah, is coming with great love for each of us. On the third week, Gaudete Sunday, we will light the rose candle. We are so close to the Nativity then. Our hearts leap with joy at the nearness of Christmas, and Jesus’ birth.

Reader 3: A reading from the book of Luke (read Lk. 2:8-14).

All: Jesus, you are the light of the world.

Leader: We will all create our own Advent wreaths now, listen to the music, and place ourselves in the presence of Jesus, our Messiah and Savior. As we add a “flame” to a candle each week, we will pray:

Jesus, you are the light of the world. Help us each to be a light to others.

Play recorded religious music softly while students assemble their wreaths. Add a new paper flame to the children’s wreaths each week and say the prayer above. Have students take the wreaths home for Christmas. 

Jean Grant teaches at St. Charles Borromeo School, St. Charles, MO.


 

Source: Today’s Catholic Teacher, November/December 2008
Advent Prayer Service
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