Advent 2013 begins Sunday

For the third year now our family will be celebrating Advent. A couple of years ago we decided to make this a family tradition. Beginning Sunday we will gather around the Advent wreath every night for four weeks leading up to Christmas. We’ve not done very well at establishing a consistent family devotion throughout the year, but Advent is a foundation stone for our family’s spiritual life. The experience is something we look to through the whole year.

The daily devotion involves scripture reading, prayer and singing a Christmas carol. Each week focuses on a theme:

  • Promise,
  • Light,
  • Love and
  • Hope

Oh, and there’s fire! That is probably the most important element, at least in my family. The lighting of the candle is the only time that Zion and Mary are allowed to use a match. It’s a highlight!

I’ve used a short and basic little book to guide the devotion: Catherine Brandt’s We Light The Candles: Devotions Related Family Use of the Advent Wreath. There are more complicated ones, but I like the simplicity of this Brandt’s.

The best thing I’ve read on Advent in understanding its history and its spirituality has been Robert Webber’s chapter in his book Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year.

Do you have any advice on celebrating Advent with a young family? Please offer them!

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