Come, Lord Jesus,
Come (An Advent Activity)
is the special time of year during which the Catholic Church prepares
for the coming of Jesus. Advent is a time of awe-filled anticipation before
Christmasa time to reflect on Jesus first coming as we look
toward his second coming.
1. Learn what Advent
2. Study a short history of Advent
3. See what liturgical colors are used during Advent and learn their
4. Learn about the Advent wreath: the significance of the colors, the
candles, the circle, and the evergreens
5. Learn about Advent and pre-Christmas customs of different countries
6. Make a classroom Advent calendar or use an online calendar to count
down the days of Advent
Allowance: 5 days.
- Day 1. Discuss
waiting: How do we wait? Explain the "waiting season" of Advent.
Explore Advent activities, the meaning of Advent, and the symbols of
- Day 2. Have the
class divide into small groups (ideally, two or three children each)
to research the Advent customs of different countries. Have each group
begin work on a presentation about one country.
- Day 3. Continue
working on the presentations.
- Day 4. Have each
group make its presentation to the class.
- Day 5. Discuss
what families do during Advent to prepare for Christmas. Make an Advent
calendar for the classroom incorporating prayers, family traditions,
and other activities suggested by the children.
a computer with Internet access; software (HyperStudio or PowerPoint)
for multimedia presentations; a large wall calendar covering the period
of Advent, with space to add text and pictures.
Note: You may want
to locate the links suggested for this activity in advance and bookmark
them for the students use.
1. Define waiting.
Ask the students: What is something that you look forward to? Answers
may range from birthdays, Christmas, and summer vacation to exciting
trips or the arrival of special guests.
2. Have the children
consider their feelings of anticipation during a period of waiting.
Talk about how sometimes it feels as if the event will never happen.
Ask the students: Do you do anything special to help make the waiting
time "go faster"? Do you mark the "big day" on a
calendar and count off the days until it comes? Do you talk to other
family members about special visitors and make plans for what you will
do when they arrive? Relate this discussion to how the ancient Hebrews
waited for the arrival of the Savior. Explain how we commemorate this
time every year during the season of Advent.
3. Begin the lesson
on Advent by visiting the Encarta Online Encyclopedia for a brief article
on the history and significance of Advent http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761570774/Advent.html.
If you wish to search further in Encartas online encyclopedia
and dictionary, you can do so at Encartas home page, at http://encarta.msn.com.
4. An excellent
essay on the meaning of Advent and how we celebrate the season can be
found online at CyberFaith www.cyberfaith.com.
Follow the Liturgical Year link on the home page to the interactive
liturgical calendar page; once there, click on the Advent icon to access
an in-depth essay about the season, its themes, its colors, and its
symbols. After the class has read the material on this site, discuss
- When does the
season of Advent begin?
- What does the
word Advent mean?
- What liturgical
colors are used during Advent?
- What do the colors
- What are the
main liturgical themes during Advent?
5. Have the class
to learn about the Advent wreath, its prayers, customs, and history.
(Note: This page is part of a larger site maintained by the Passionist
Missionaries. You can visit the sites other Advent and Christmas
pages by clicking on the links at the left-hand side of the Advent wreath
page, or you can go directly to the "Prayers and Customs of Advent
and Christmas" introduction at www.cptryon.org/prayer/adx/index.html.)
6. Children enjoy
learning the holiday customs of different countries. Divide the class
into small groups of two or three children each. Have each group choose
a country from the Yahooligans Christmas Around the World Web page
7. Have each group
follow the link to the site for its chosen country and study the customs
described. Ask the students to find the answers to the following questions:
- What December
or Advent customs are followed in your chosen country?
- Are there any
similarities between these customs and the customs followed in the
- Do the people
in your chosen country prepare any special foods at this time of year?
- Are any saints
feast days celebrated in your chosen country during December? (Example:
December 5, the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, is celebrated in
8. Have each group
share its findings with the rest of the class. This can be done in short
presentations (three or four slides) using HyperStudio, PowerPoint,
or a similar program. Each presentation should include a title slide
giving the name of the groups chosen country and a slide showing
or describing some of the Advent celebrations of that country. The final
slide or slides can offer something new or special that the group has
learned about the country.
9. Brainstorm with
the class to prepare an Advent calendar. The calendar should include
activities to do together in school and activities to do at home with
the family. Ask the children to suggest items to include on the calendar.
Look for a variety of activities and images. These might include:
- prayers appropriate
to the season (example: "Come, Lord Jesus, Come" and other
- Scripture passages
appropriate to the season (example: Luke 1:2638)
- images and symbols
appropriate to the season (examples: pictures of seasonal saints;
images of angels, wreaths, candles, and evergreens)
- suggestions for
charitable activities (examples: sending cards to a nursing home or
hospital, collecting canned foods for a food pantry, taking up a collection
for the St. Vincent de Paul Society)
- traditional Advent
activities (Christmas caroling, baking special seasonal cookies, "decking
the halls" at school and at home)
- Advent customs
and celebrations from around the world.
When you have chosen
the images and activities to include on the calendar, enter them on
the designated days and hang the calendar in a prominent place in the
1. Have the students
visit the Passionist Missionaries Children Pray: Advent and Christmas
Web page. Have the class share the weekly prayers on the site in class
during the weeks of Advent.
2. If it is possible
for the class to access the Internet every day, have them make a daily
visit to the Advent calendar www.smmp.com/Advent/Advent.htm
at the Web site of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Naperville, Illinois.
(Note: The home page for this parish is at www.smmp.com/smmpinfo.htm.)
An approved edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church can be found
on the Internet at www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
. The paragraphs that relate to Advent are #523 (on John the Baptist as
the immediate precursor of Christ) and #524 (on the preparation for Jesus
first coming and our desire for his second coming). When you have accessed
the Web site, use the sites built-in search engine to find the topics
and/or paragraphs you need.
Mary Morin, Director, St. Luke Faith Formation, Carol Stream, Illinois.
Mary began this ministry as a catechist and is now in her sixth year as
Director of Religious Education.
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