Saturday, November 27, 2010

Playing with Matches-Lighting the Advent Wreath for Families

The following readings are from the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and are offered as ideas you can incorporate if you are including children in your Advent Sunday candle lighting.

The readings are ecumenical in nature and can be used by any denomination without fear of being struck by a bolt of lightning. Just be safe with the matches. Remember, you are not on Myth Busters.

Lighting the Advent Candles with Children

This set of readings for the lighting of the Advent candles is based on texts from the Revised Common Lectionary, and is offered for general use with children, in public worship or at home. At each successive lighting of the candles, all texts from the preceding lightings are read in addition to the text introduced that day.

At the beginning of each lighting of the candles:

We give thanks for the light of Christ, shining in the lives of all God's people.

On the First Sunday of Advent, and at successive lightings:

With the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, we watch and wait for the coming of Christ who will bring light and peace to all the world. Light the first candle.

On the Second Sunday of Advent, and at successive lightings:

With John the Baptist, we cry out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord!

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." Light the second candle.

On the Third Sunday of Advent, and at successive lightings:

With Mary, the mother of Jesus, we rejoice,

for the Mighty One has done great things for us.

How holy is God's name! Light the third candle.

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and at successive lightings:

With Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we tell the story of Jesus, the child of Bethlehem, who came to save us, and is coming again in glory. Light the fourth candle.

On the eve of Christmas, or on Christmas Day:

With the choirs of angels, we sing: "Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to all people on earth!" Light the center candle.

On each occasion the lighting of the candles may be concluded with the following song, to the tune "Frere Jacques":

Light of Jesus (echo: light of Jesus), show the way (show the way). Shine in us forever (shine in us forever); this we pray (this we pray).

Blessings to you and your families as we begin our Advent journey!

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