An excerpt from Good Dirt: Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany…
Traditional Advent wreaths have four candles to represent the four weeks of Advent, three purple candles and one pink. (The colors can vary depending on the church tradition.) The wreath itself is usually made of evergreen branches to represent everlasting life in Jesus. The circle of the Advent wreath signifies God, who has no beginning and no end. Some modern wreaths have a single white candle, lit on Christmas Eve, in the middle that reminds us that Christ is the focus. Our family has remade some of the Advent traditions.
I’m not a big fan of pastels, so each November, I let the kids choose new candles in anticipation of the coming of Advent. Instead of the birth order deciding who lights the candles, we simply take turns. A good time to celebrate Advent is during the dinner time meal.
Unfortunately, for us, it doesn’t work so well. My husband works shift work, and many times he’s not home during dinner. So we may celebrate at breakfast, lunch,dinner, or even stop in the middle of the afternoon. If he can’t make it we proceed without him, praying for him in his work. We begin our celebration by lighting the candle(s) for the corresponding week.
Singing is a product of celebration and worship. Humans instinctively sing when we’re happy and often we sing when we are in “awe” of something or someone. Think of all the love songs in this world. Advent is both a raucous celebration and a reason to worship—to sing our love songs to God. If you are not much of a singer you may be inclined to skip this section; please don’t. Give it a week, sing with all you have, and see if your body, mind and spirit don’t follow.
If you are celebrating Advent with your children, they will love it and in fact they need it. A great way to learn is through song, by repetition. For that reason we encourage you to sing the same song each day for one week. By the end of the week you may be sick of it, but your children will have learned it, and hidden those words of love, joy, celebration, and worship in their hearts.
What does your practice of Advent look like?
What songs move you into worship?