Advent

Advent: In Community

Explaining Advent

Depending on your context, people may have different understandings of Advent. Check out these videos as an option for opening doors to deeper conversations:

  • Advent videos by Casey Fitzgerald feature Scripture passages spoken by storytellers of various ages.
  • Advent in 2 Minutes—this wordless video explains Advent in a fun and informal way.

Advent Activities

  • This post from Theresa Cho contains a variety of Advent-themed interactive prayer stations and intergenerational worship ideas that engage all ages.

  • Download, print, and distribute these wonderful, free Praying in Color: Advent Templates pages from author Sybil MacBeth. They are a wonderful way for all ages to mark the daily journey to Advent with prayers and drawings.

  • Intergenerational Ideas for Advent is a treasure trove of faith-forming intergenerational Advent tools.

  • Invite the whole church to prepare together for the coming of Jesus through a Jesse Tree project. Jesse Tree: Intergenerational Idea for Advent and We: Expectations both include ideas for how to do this. Read how one CRC hosted a WE Jesse Tree event.

  • Everyone in God’s family can participate in creating their own Reverse Advent Calendar while visiting interactive worship stations like the ones created by Presbyterian Church Educator Krista Lovell.

  • In the Advent: At Home section below you’ll find ideas for Advent Prayer bags and Advent in a Box. What if you took those ideas one step further and created Advent kits for everyone in your congregation to take home in November? What all-ages activities might you include?

  • A posada is an Advent candlelight procession and celebration that reenacts Mary and Joseph’s search for a place where Mary could give birth to Jesus. In Mexico and other countries, it is traditional to hold posadas in neighborhoods on the days preceding Christmas. A posada teaches that by welcoming the poor and the needy we are welcoming Jesus in our midst. (See Matthew 25:40.) Room in the Inn: Ideas for Celebrating Posadas is a free resource from Forward Movement that includes practical suggestions for congregations that would like to hold posadas as a way to engage children and neighbors.

  • If you have a church library, create a table display of Christmas storybooks for families to borrow.

Advent: At Home

Advent Activities

  • The post Go On, Play with Your Nativity Creche provides families with ideas for using a nativity scene to engage their children with the Christmas story. The video Every Day in December brings playing with your creche to life. (The video shows Willow Tree nativity figurines, but any nativity scene of your choosing will work.)

  • Share with families these ideas for making a Jesse Tree to use at home.

  • Point parents to the wonderful, free Praying in Color: Advent Templates pages as a way to personally mark each day to Advent.

  • Two Super Simple Advent Ideas for Families shows how stones and wooden blocks can help families celebrate Advent.

  • #PictureAdvent presents an idea that will resonate with families whose kids who enjoy taking photographs.

  • Share this idea for Advent Prayer bags with families with young children. Better yet, enlist the help of some volunteers to prepare the bags in November as an Advent gift for the families at your church. For school-age children, check out these ideas for Advent in a Box.

  • This list of the Top Ten Advent and Christmas Ideas includes a printable booklet for families.

  • In her post describing an easy Advent wreath that families can make at home, Heather Sleighthold says, “Believe me, your children won’t remember what kind of candles you used, or how fancy the whole setup is. What they will remember most is this time with you—of getting to help and be included. And it will also make an impression on them about what the season of Advent truly means, and the joy that can be found in the waiting.” We agree!

Advent Books

Advent Devotions

  • These Advent Devotions use a simple Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless format and work well with or without an Advent wreath.

Advent Music

  • Families with young children will enjoying viewing and singing along to the Hey, Mary! video.

ⓒ 2018, Faith Formation Ministries, from the Family Faith Formation Toolkit (crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits)