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Making Advent Special in Sunday School

December 5, 2012
The Sunday School altar, dressed for Advent.

The Sunday School altar, dressed for Advent.

We wanted to make Advent feel different, and special, in Sunday School. By way of preparation we took our work from previous lessons off the walls and removed the other decorative posters, leaving only the fair trade woven banner proclaiming ‘Paix dans le monde’.

On the altar we placed the Advent wreath which we had made together the previous week, changed the altar cloth from green to purple, and removed the items we use each week for praying (stones, our Magnificat plate and jug, and the peace dove purchased from Palestine in which we place our candle each week.)

The children were already aware something special was happening when they had helped to light the Advent wreath in church, and when they sat down for the beginning of Sunday School they noticed all the changes that had been made. We explained that this time before Christmas is a special time during which we listen, watch and wait for the wonderful day when God comes to be with us on earth as baby Jesus. As we lit our own Advent wreath at the beginning of our prayer time we spoke the same words which had been said upstairs: ‘The day is coming. We are waiting.’

And then for our prayers, instead of taking it in turns to place a stone on the plate and saying a little prayer, this time we sat in silence as our rainstick was turned upside down behind each child in turn. During this magical watery sound we all listened deep in hearts for what God might be saying to us at this special Advent time.

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