The season of Advent is a sacred time in the life of the church. It’s the time when we prepare to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ once each year. As the days turn darker and colder (in some places!), we are reminded that the Light of Christ is coming into the world. Advent offers us an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with Jesus, and to prepare a home in our hearts, taking time to clear out the clutter and distractions so we can focus on him.
Below you will find resources for connecting with the season of Advent in new, sacred ways at home and with your loved ones. These resources are for you to share with your family and friends, so feel free to post on your social media. Just click the links!
Practices, Prayers, Devotionals
From Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families for Advent & Christmas: 100 Ways to Make the Season Sacred:
- Fasting A couple of years ago I wrote about using the spiritual practice of fasting during Advent. Though we often associate fasting with Lent, I think Advent lends itself to fasting for different reasons. I especially recommend fasting during Advent for those who are finding this Advent to be challenging for one reason or another.
- Gratitude is a practice to take up any time of the year, particularly Advent. Make a paper chain this advent where each link is something you’re grateful for. Watch it grow and decorate your house.
- Compassion and Service during Advent as a practice can be life-changing. I have an Advent calendar that focuses on this, but you can just as easily make a list of the ways you’d like to serve others this Advent and begin going through them one at a time.
Christmas Card Prayers
From Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families for Advent & Christmas: 100 Ways to Make the Season Sacred, p. 26:
“As you receive Christmas cards, put them in a basked in the middle of the dinner table or in another prominent family location. When you are ready to have Christmas card prayer time, take the cards out one by one and say a simple prayer or blessing for the family that sent it. The blessing can be plain (‘God bless the Martinez family’) or tailored (‘God bless the Chen family, as Anna goes to college and Peter starts his new job’). Take added time to tell stories about the families who sent them, read the letters that have been included, and pray God’s blessing upon the entire family. At the end of the Christmas season, before recycling the cards, take one last opportunity to flip through them, naming the recipients and giving thanks to God for their lives. Say a prayer at the end of your time together:
God, thank you so much for the families who have sent us these cards. Please bless each one throughout the year. May they feel the presence of your Spirit, even now as we pray. Amen.”
Activities for All Ages
Click on the links below to access!