Come play with us! Trinity Family Ministries will be curating “Play”lists throughout the coming year, all centered around your spiritual life and practices at home We know you're busy, so these aren't to-do lists! They are simply some ideas and practices to help integrate spiritual time into your family life, however and whenever you can. Choose what works for you!
What is Advent?
The word Advent means "arrival or coming," and during these four weeks we are getting ready for the arrival of Jesus - Jesus in the manger, Jesus in our hearts, Jesus in the world. We wait and we prepare for the birth of the Christ Child. In the words of Godly Play, “the king who was coming is still coming, and this is full of mystery”. The mystery of the incarnation – how is it that God became one of us? This “play”list is designed to give you ideas and options for observing the season of Advent in your home. Pick one or two things and spend a little time each day or each week preparing to enter the mystery that is Christmas!
1) Advent Word provides visual and written meditations during the liturgical season of Advent. Each morning the meditations are distributed on email, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Around the world, prayers ascend in response to the meditations. People post their reflections amplifying the prayers during this holy season. Or use the word and meditation as a private journal prompt. Explore the different ways that people respond to the daily words, whether written meditations, drawings, photographs, or poems. 2) Family Faith Practices: This Advent calendar rotates through very simple practices with the headings of LIGHT, PRAY, SERVE, SHARE, and CONNECT. Designed for families to do together, each activity is simple and easy to follow. 3) Praying in Color: If you like to doodle or draw your prayers, this calendar is for you. More information about the practice of Praying in Color can be found here.
Weekly readings and activities for families with younger children. 2) Do Not Be Afraid (adults/older children): Weekly devotions for adults and families with older children. If you live alone, use the discussion questions for journaling or reflection. 3) The Womb of Advent: Mark Bozzuti-Jones offers a unique perspective on the season of Advent. Along with Scripture readings and prayers, he offers four weeks of meditations that focus on the growth of Jesus in the womb of Mary as he approaches the day of his birth. Free to read online.
Make an Advent Wreath
The tradition of the Advent Wreath dates back to the Middle Ages. The four candles of the wreath symbolize the four weeks of Advent and our growing hope as we near the day of Christ's birth. There are many ways to create an Advent wreath using what you already have at home. It can be as simple as four candles on a plate. Some use a fifth candle in the middle of the wreath, representing the light of Christ. If you have birthday candles, tea lights, or electric candles, use those. If you feel inspired to decorate it further, you might gather greens, pinecones, or sticks from outside, or use other items that remind you of waiting, hope, and the dawning of a new year. Each Sunday of Advent, light a candle on the wreath; first one, then two, three, and finally four. Hold silence. Name a hope. Offer a prayer. Even if you don’t create a wreath, you might honor silence and a time of prayer each Sunday. The fifth candle is lit on Christmas Eve, welcoming and celebrating the light of Christ. -The Rev. Jennifer McNally Here are some prayers you can use with your Advent wreath!
Advent Godly Play Stories
Told by Canon for Children & Families Charissa Simmons:
1) Music for the liturgical season of Advent as we wait with expectation and hope for the coming of Christ, selected by Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. 2) Trinity Music's Advent Spotify playlists:
Other Advent Activities
1) Make a paper nativity! You can color and cut out a few figures each week to build your nativity throughout the season of advent. Click here to learn how. 2) Advent Activity Pack: This activity pack for children and families includes a variety of ideas from some of our favorite faith formation resources. Some of the activities are especially appropriate for young children, some are intended for intergenerational groups, some will work well in a virtual setting, and some are just right at the kitchen table or in front of the fireplace with family members of all ages! 3) In the book Night Tree by Eve Bunting, a family decorate a tree with food for wildlife every Christmas. What could you do outdoors to make Advent and Christmas happier and more meaningful for the animals or people around you?