One of my family's favorite Christmas traditions is the Advent wreath. On each of the four Sundays in Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), our family gathers around the wreath with cookies and eggnog and hot chocolate. Not only is this cozy family time, but it focuses us with joyful anticipation on the birth of Jesus.
This Sunday, December 4, is the second Sunday in Advent, but it's never too late to participate. If you'd like to join the Sundin family in this tradition, here are some family friendly, kid-tested ideas. Adjust these to the ages of any children present to create a meaningful time for your family.
Advent Week Two - The Bethlehem Candle
Candles: Light the first purple candle (the Prophets' Candle) and the second purple candle (the Bethlehem Candle) as shown. The purple symbolizes penance. Traditionally, the older children light these candles, but use your judgment.
Story: Explain how the prophets foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of the family of David. Joseph and Mary came to the little town, which was crowded with visitors for the census, and the only place for them to stay was in a dark stable.
Micah 5:2 (the prophecy that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem)
Luke 2:1-7 (how Jesus came to be born in Bethelehem)
Matthew 2:1-11 (the Magi come looking for Messiah; the Jewish leaders tell Herod of the Bethlehem prophecy)
"O Little Town of Bethlehem"
"Away in a Manger"
"We Three Kings"
During this hectic holiday season, may you find stillness and peace with the Child of Bethlehem.
Labels: Advent, Advent wreath, Christmas, family traditions