A New Beginning This Advent

As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior. The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct […]

Advent: Of Elves or Angels?

Advent is a time of expectation and excitement as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Within Advent is the unfolding of beautiful readings that build from one week to another, along with complimentary music, colors, and the rituals surrounding this liminal time. The opening of Advent calendars or the many other creative ways of […]

Jesse Trees Aren’t Just for Advent

The theme for a recent session was “Jesus fulfills the Revelation of God found in the history of the Chosen People.” I realized I could make the connection this week by adapting an activity typically reserved for Advent—the Jesse tree. As the young people entered the room, I invited them to work on a worksheet […]

Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act […]

The Advent Prayer Grab Bag

Traditional Advent activities include Advent wreaths, calendars, and Jesse trees. While these are all great ways to help children celebrate the season, I like using something different: the Advent prayer grab bag. The prayer grab bag takes its inspiration from the popular party game of grab bags. I ask my group if anyone has ever […]

Advent in the Classroom

Advent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons. I really enjoy the many activities that the parish, the school, and my classroom use to prepare children for the birth of Jesus. Our parish has a “giving tree.” We have a large Christmas tree near the altar. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments that list […]

Waiting Is a Lesson in Advent

The liturgical calendar offers us two seasons of waiting: Advent and Lent. The Advent season of waiting in joyful hope for the birth of our Lord Jesus often gets overlooked in the rush to prepare for Christmas. Children are notoriously impatient (as are many adults), so Advent is a good opportunity to teach the value […]

Free Advent Resources

As you know, Advent begins on Sunday, November 30, 2014. Last year, I created an Advent PowerPoint that was very popular. This presentation includes a script (in Notes Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of this wonderful season. When you download the presentation from authorSTREAM, you can […]

Keeping Advent from Getting Lost in the Holiday Shuffle

The parish is abuzz with questions already: “Have you started your baking, shopping, planning, list-making, wrapping…?” No sooner has Halloween moved on than we find Christmas bursting onto the scene in every grocery store, department store, catalog, and flyer. It is a cycle that encourages us to be always thinking of and preparing for “the […]

Actively Waiting for Advent—Free Prayer Packet

We wait at the doctor’s office. We wait in traffic. We wait in line at the coffee shop. We wait our turn. We wait for a sign from God. We wait to be heard. We wait. Advent is waiting, also, but not in the listless, zoned-out way like we might wait at the local coffee […]