Advent wreath

Browse the collection of Advent articles for catechists from the contributors at Catechist’s Journey. Highlights include:

For even more Advent ideas, including the e-mail series Sacred Advent, visit Advent Resources from Loyola Press.

Emmanuel, the Great Catechist

During Advent, we sing the traditional hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” a beautiful song based on the “O” Antiphons from the Liturgy of the Hours (Vespers) for the octave (eight days) before Christmas (beginning December 17). One verse of that song is of particular interest to catechists, because it speaks of our longing for being taught to live according to God’s way: O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily; To us the […]

The Wandering Wise Men and Other Advent Traditions

Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. I am thankful that my school waits to celebrate Christmas, opting for a hearty Advent celebration instead. My classroom gets into the Advent celebration by including many fun traditions and service projects revolving around Advent. My classroom has an Advent wreath, and we use the Loyola Press Children’s Advent Calendar. Our school also has an all-school Advent wreath prayer service where we sing and pray together. […]

John the Baptist’s Marketing Strategies

Whenever I propose an idea for a new book to Loyola Press, one of the questions that I am asked by our marketing people is, “How is this different from anything else that’s on the market?” The better job I do of differentiating my work from anything else available, the better chance the book has of being successful. Is it possible that John the Baptist had a degree in marketing? When you consider his message, his […]

Six Ways to Celebrate Advent at Home

Advent offers unique and beautiful opportunities to make family memories in the home. The traditions of this season allow Catholics to practice our faith more deeply and with greater attention and intent. Here are some simple ideas to celebrate a faith-filled Advent. 1. Savor the darkness. During Advent, the days are short and the nights are long. Just as we long for the warm and sunny days of summer, we long for the light of […]

Advent: Getting the Help We All Need

Perhaps more than any other liturgical season, the season of Advent reminds us that we need help! It is a season that reminds us that we are in need of an intervention—a savior—someone who enters into our reality and lifts us up and out of the “muck” that we find ourselves trapped in. The “muck,” of course, is sin, and our Savior, of course, is Jesus Christ. In order for us to overcome the effects […]

Family2Family Advent Connections

Several years ago the faith community within which I ministered adopted the Advent theme “Taking Hope to Others” for our seasonal focus. The idea was to encourage members to find ways of living out the hope the Christ Child brings in real and practical ways. I pondered what this might look like for my religious education families and how busy suburban families could possibly find ways to “take hope to others.” I struggled, as many […]

Advent Bookmarks

We know that the excitement of Christmas is top of mind for children in December, even as we try to teach them the patience of waiting in Advent. This year, help young children remember the gift of Jesus at Christmas with our Advent bookmarks coloring sheets, available in English and Spanish. The bookmarks are from Finding God Kindergarten. Invite children to use the bookmarks in their textbooks or hang them on the family fridge as […]

10 Ways to Celebrate Advent with Your Class—Without Rushing to Christmas

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Catechist’s Journey this week by sharing catechetical top-10 lists each day and giving away Loyola Press prize packages. Enter for your chance to win the Dear Pope Francis Family Kit today; details below. With stores decorating for Christmas as early as Halloween, movie channels already showing holiday flicks, and restaurants playing Christmas music in November, it’s easy for the young people we serve to want to jump […]

Celebrating Advent by Making Wreaths with Your Families

As our young families gathered on the first Sunday of Advent, the buzz of excitement was undeniable. Our parish hall was transformed into an Advent workshop where they created their very own Advent wreaths. Before me lay a sea of long tables at which the families worked, chatted, collaborated, and prayed. Christmas music harmonized with the hum of warm and friendly conversation; the atmosphere was most certainly alive with joy. Together, our families wove the […]

When and How to Introduce Advent

The first week of Advent begins on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. While that is usual, it forces me to make a choice in how to introduce Advent: Do I talk about the season early, before Thanksgiving? Or do I wait until after the holiday break, when the season has already started? I’ve alternated my approach through the years, but I usually like to at least introduce Advent before the holiday, inviting the young people to […]

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