Tonight’s Session – Advent Prayer Service

This evening’s session will be an Advent Prayer Service in the Church and my guess is that by the time all is said and done, it’ll be at least 45 minutes before we get back to the class room. This, of course, does not leave me with too much time, so instead of trying to cram in a lesson on the Old Testament, I plan to spend the remainder of time focusing on Advent. I plan to do an expanded version of our opening procession. Usually, we process around the classroom. Tonight, we will process from the Church to the school building! Each child will carry a symbol for the prayer table which, tonight, will include:

  • a purple cloth
  • an advent wreath
  • the advent wreath candle holder
  • a large round dish to hold the wreath
  • 4 advent candles
  • Bible
  • holy water
  • chime
  • candle
  • CD player

As we process, we will be accompanied by a beautiful version of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by Linda Ronstadt. When we get to our room, we’ll set the prayer table and the kids will immediately pick up their tea light candles and go to their sacred space. Once they are settled in, I will lead this guided reflection that I wrote a couple of years ago on the theme of Emmanuel.

When we are done with the guided reflection, my guess is we will have only a couple of minutes left, so I plan to have them tear out some pages from their Finding God textbook to take home which review how to go to confession: this because next week they celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

All in all, I look forward to a very prayerful evening!


About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Thank you, Joe, for all your wonderful resources. I receive so much inspiration for teaching my 5th grade religion class, by subscribing to your blog. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

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