Good Afternoon, I’m so happy you are here. 

 

I would like to let you that last week’s video is up for viewing. There were technical difficulties, so I’m sorry about that.  At one point I say good bye, but there is more to the video, so keep watching.  All the content is there, its just a little out of order.

 

Last week someone asked for a study on Advent.  I thought I had more time, but when I looked at when Advent started, I realized I would need to do this study today.  Advent actually starts this Sunday, November 27th. So here we go!!

 

My family has never done Advent.  We have done a thing called, “What Jesus Wants for Christmas” from Family Life.  We have loved doing it, but this year I’m very excited about doing Advent.  I have learned so much this week doing my research.

 

I would like for this study to be for both the teachers and the children.  But if you would like a copy of my script, just email me and I’ll send it to you. 

 

The first thing I would like to look at is all the symbolism that is present in Advent. 

 

First lets look at the circle that the candles sit in.  This symbolizes God Himself, His eternity and His endless mercy, which has no beginning and no end.  The greenery around the circle of candles represents hope.  The hope that we have in God, the hope of newness and renewal in Christ, and of eternal life.  The light of the candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of Jesus Christ.  The candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which also symbolizes the four centuries of waiting and silence between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ. 

 

The colors of the candles vary with different traditions, but there are usually three purple or blue candles and one pink or rose candle. Purple represents penance and longing as we wait for the birth of Jesus.  We can also bring in the second coming here.  The Purple can also represent our waiting for Jesus to come again.  The Rose color represents Joy and Hope in the coming of the birth of Christ and the second coming.  The Rose candle is lit on the third week of Advent during which we read about the Host of Angels coming to the shepherds. 

 

Each candle is representative of a part of the Christmas story.  The first purple candle is called the Prophecy or Preparation candle.  During this week, we read about the prophecies about the coming of Christ.

 

The second purple candle is the Bethlehem or Proclamation candle.  This week we look at the prophecies of who Jesus is.  Part of the readings for this week are John 1 and Mark 1.

 

The third candle, the rose candle, is the Shepherd’s candle or the Exhortation candle.  During this week, we will look at the time before Christ birth in Luke. 

 

The fourth candle, the last purple candle, is the Angel candle or the Expectation candle.  We will read much of the Christmas story.

 

Now let’s look at the “how to” of Advent.  One of the purple candles is lit the first Sunday of Advent, a Scripture is read, a short devotional or reading is given, and a prayer offered. Then the candle is relit each night of the week during the devotion. 

 

On the Sunday starting week 2, two candles are lit and those two candles are relit every night during the devotion time.  Both of those candles are purple.  Starting on the Sunday of week 3, three candles are lit, the two purple from the previous weeks and the rose candle. These are relit every night.  Then on week 4 all four candles are lit every night. 

 

During the devotion time, you begin by lighting the candles, prayer, scripture reading, devotion, discussion if needed and then prayer. This is done every night through Christmas eve.   Then on Christmas day the Christ candle is brought out.  It is the white candle that goes in the middle of the circle.  This candle is not brought out until Christmas day because the true light of the world did not come into the world until Jesus was born.  The central location of the Christ Candle reminds us that the incarnation is the heart of the season, giving light to the world. Many families continue to light all five candles through Epiphany (Jan 6) to show that Christ‘s light shines all through the year, even after the Christmas season has past. 

 

I have put together with the help of the squidoo website, a devotion reading book for the entire Advent season.  If you would like this devotion book it will be for sale in the AFR/AFA store for $5.00.  I’m proud of this book.  It is for families with both younger and older children.  And I hope it will bring about some discussion about the Christmas season, as well as Christ’s personhood. 

 

 

Advent Websites

http://www.squidoo.com/adventreadings#module112295971

 

I also have some more websites that have additional readings for Advent.

 

Focus of the Family – http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/holidays/making-meaningful-christmas-memories/celebrate-advent.aspx

 

This lady has some great recommendations for Advent on her Catholic Advent site.  – http://wildflowersandmarbles.blogspot.com/2011/11/toward-living-advent-and-christmas-2011.html

 

This site is very picture heavy, but a really good site.  – http://aholyexperience.com/1000/AJesusAdventCelebration.pdf

 

 

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