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.

The “Three Comings of the Lord”: Finding Jesus Christ During Advent

Advent is a season of waiting. But who are we waiting for? Baby Jesus seems like the obvious and most popular choice. But if we listen closely to the Collect prayer at Mass the First Sunday in Advent—which asks the Father to make us ready to “run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming”—it sounds like we’re waiting for Christ’s second coming at the end of time. That’s true, too. But […]

Creating Sacred Space for Advent

What does it mean to call something “sacred?” According to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (InterVarsity Press), “a sacred space is a place where God is encountered in a special or direct way by virtue of which the very place becomes holy and set apart from ordinary space.” This Advent, embrace the season as a sacred space and do so from the ease of your e-mail inbox. Sacred Advent is a daily e-mail prayer break during […]

Get in Touch with Hope for Advent

Advent often seems like just a busy “home stretch” before Christmas “break.” Normally, there is little opportunity for parish leaders and catechists to prepare themselves for the season. We who serve others often think of ourselves last. However, if we do not develop a personal spirituality for Advent, we are not really in a position to teach others its significance. As has often been said, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Authentic spirituality for […]

7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness This Advent

The wonderful season of Advent is only a few weeks away! Advent is a season designed for us to focus on our spiritual wellness as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. With that in mind, I humbly recommend my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, as part of your Advent reading, along with the following connections to the themes of Advent as found in the Scripture readings for this season. See yourself as […]

School-Wide Advent Wreath Prayer Service

I love the way we celebrate Advent at my school. Every Monday the entire school—all 515 students and their teachers—gather in the auditorium to pray and sing traditional Advent carols. Our tradition is simple and beautiful. In the center of the auditorium is a table, upon which sits an Advent wreath with a purple bow. The wreath cradles four pillar candles—three purple and one pink. A group of cantors stand off to one side, and […]

The Jesse Tree—Free PowerPoint Presentation

One popular Advent tradition is making a Jesse tree, which helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus’ birth. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent people, prophesies, and events that recall God’s promise and its fulfillment. With a focus on Old Testament figures, the Jesse tree is a particularly good activity for sixth graders studying salvation history. It’s also great for any junior […]

Kindness Angels

What’s your favorite project to work on with students in your group? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a variety of creative ideas. Today we’re highlighting one lesson called “Kindness Angels.” This lesson is ideal for the Advent season as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. It can also be used throughout the year for busy families who are looking to engage in a meaningful way. […]

Making Advent a More Holy Season

I just came across these two videos that provide enrichment for the Advent season. The first video is via Catholic News Service and features youth minister Emily “Em” Anderson (St. James Catholic Church, Falls Church, VA) providing some insights into how to make Advent a more holy season. I especially like her suggestion of praying the Liturgy of the Hours during Advent. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDfix2aokos The second is Bishop Barron’s reflection on Advent as preparation for a […]

Waiting and Preparation: Teaching Advent and Christmas

What should Catholic children know about Advent? They should know that it is a season of waiting and preparation, not fulfillment. In contrast to the frenzied Christmas shopping season, the patient waiting that characterizes Advent has its own particular beauty. More than that, it helps us understand something important about Jesus: he is the awaited Savior of the people of God. Use the rich symbols and stories of the season to help children experience Advent […]

Keeping Focused This Advent

Ah, it’s Advent. I don’t know about you, but it sometimes looks as though Christmas is already here, with all the Christmas sales and all the holiday decorations. As I sat in the pew on Sunday, I kept thinking about all the shopping I still had to do—there are only so many shopping days left before Christmas! I hope we’ll all be able to refocus now on our Advent journey. The craziness of Black Friday […]

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