From our 2006 archives: Advent wreath prayers and activities for children

November 23, 2014

Reposted from our 2006 archives.  I believe all the links below work, though I may be able to provide better / updated versions of these links, and will try to do so soon.

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We see a lot of search queries in our site meter with folks looking for Advent Wreath prayers or Advent crafts and activities for young children.

While we’ve linked some children and family-oriented resources in our Resource Compilation, not many of them were as helpful as I’d hoped. So I went on a search for a few more resources — especially those that would easily print out on one or two pages.

Here are the some of the best resources I’ve found today:

Crafts and Activites

1) Children’s Advent Crafts and Activities (for pre-school children)
I found this link on the MOPS website. It provides a Bible reading, a craft, and suggested activities for each week of Advent. Very appropriate for Sunday School classes (ages 3-6).

2) CatholicMom.Com’s list of Advent Activities for Children — this spans a much wider age range of children. Loads of Activities Here.

Children’s Advent Prayers for lighting the wreath, etc.:

The Passionist Community has a very nice set of prayers for young children during Advent. Here’s a prayer they offer for using in lighting the Advent Wreath candle each day:

O God,
as light comes from this candle,
may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
warming our hearts and
brightening our way.
May Christ our Savior bring life
into the darkness of this world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming.

Here is their list of 4 prayers for each week of Advent.


Advent Favorites: A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer and an Advent Kyrie

November 23, 2014

Note – 23 Nov 2014:  Please note the embedded links may not yet work.  I need to update them all, but I’m traveling with little internet access for the coming week, and I wanted to at least get this online as a resource since Advent begins next Sunday.

From Our 2006 Archives

A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer and an Advent Kyrie

This responsive intercessory prayer could be used any week of Advent during a family Advent Wreath lighting.

A Responsive Advent Wreath Prayer:

Leader: Christ came to bring us salvation and has promised to come again. Let us pray that we may be always ready to welcome him.

Reader: Our response is “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Reader: That the keeping of Advent may open our hearts to God’s love, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That the light of Christ may penetrate the darkness of sin, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That this wreath may constantly remind us to prepare for the coming of Christ, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Reader: That the Christmas season may fill us with peace and joy as we strive to follow the example of Jesus, we pray to the Lord.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Leader: As we wait for the coming of Jesus, let us pray in the words He gave us:

All: Our Father …

Source: http://www.stlouisparish.org/html/adventtraditions.htm#advent6

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I also just came across a somewhat similar Advent Kyrie for weeks 1 and 2 of Advent from ELCA pastor Thomas L. Weitzel: It’s based on O Come O Come Emmanuel (and the Advent Antiphons)

Advent Kyrie (weeks 1 & 2)

A. O Lord, have mercy and come to us.
C. Come, Lord Jesus.

A. O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation:
C. Come and teach us the way of prudence.

A. O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai:
C. Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.

A. O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage:
C. Come quickly to deliver us.

A. O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, the anointed of the nations and their Savior:
C. Come and save us, O Lord our God.

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Advent Kyrie (weeks 3 & 4)

A. O Lord, have mercy and come to us.
C. Come, Lord Jesus.

A. O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can close, you close and no one can open:
C. Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.

A. O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting:
C. Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

A. O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people:
C. Come and save us all, whom you formed out of clay.

A. O Emmanuel, our King and our Lawgiver, the anointed of the nations and their Savior:
C. Come and save us, O Lord our God.


From our 2006 Archives: Advent Wreath Blessing and Lighting Prayers

November 23, 2014

from our archives, originally posted in 2006 .

Note – 23 Nov 2014:  Please note the embedded links may not yet work.  I need to update them all, but I’m traveling with little internet access for the coming week, and I wanted to at least get this online as a resource since Advent begins next Sunday.

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Advent Wreath Blessing and Lighting Prayers

The following are some general prayers. I will be posting specific prayers for each week of Advent every Sunday.
Update: the Advent Week 1 candle lighting prayers are here.

Two prayers for Blessing the Advent Wreath

Blessing for the Advent Wreath (by laypeople):

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified,
pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath
and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts
for the Coming of Christ,
and may receive from thee abundant graces.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath (by priests)

Priest: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe.
You sent your Son to be the Light of the world
and to spread his light of love to all.
Bless us and accept + these wreaths of light made from our hands.
May their ever increasing brightness be a sign to us
of the approaching nearness of your Son,
that we might prepare in joy for his humble birth in a manger
and be ready to receive him at his coming again in glory;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Layperson: Amen

(From Celebrating Advent and Christmas: A Sourcebook for Families.)
© 2001 by Women for Faith and Family, http://wf-f.org

(I found it at: churchyear.net)

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Various General prayers I’ve found for Advent Wreath candle lighting
(I will be posting specific prayers for each week of Advent separately, beginning tomorrow)

Lord, our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of all people, he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, he is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this Advent wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

–source: CatholicMom.com (I posted this prayer last year as a devotional with artwork and a meditation included.)

O God,
as light comes from this candle,
may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
warming our hearts and
brightening our way.
May Christ our Savior bring life
into the darkness of this world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming.

Source: http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/child/adv.html

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Here are some of the best resources I’ve found with background about Advent wreaths and their symbolism, as well as prayers for lighting the wreath

ChurchYear.Net is MUST reading

They offer a breakdown of what each candle has often been considered to symbolize:

Certain candles have been given various names. Some systems name the candle thusly:
1. Hope (purple)
2. Peace (purple)
3. Joy (rose; the corresponding Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday”)
4. Love (purple)
5. Christ (white)

Alternately others define it like this:
1. Patriarchs
2. Prophets
3. John the Baptist
4. Mary the mother of Jesus.
5. Christ the light of the world

And they have excellent prayers for each week of Advent, with accompanying Scripture verses. I’ll be posting those weekly prayers, along with others each Sunday.


Luke, James, Malachi

November 23, 2014

Then he spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him, though he bears long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 )
      Jesus, please help me pray according to the mind of your Spirit. I want to pray in a way that makes a difference for the kingdom. Thank you.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:7-8 )
      Holy Spirit, bring me to the patience and perseverance that produces results in prayer.

And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness (Malachi 3:5a)
      LORD, your witness is true.

Against sorcerers, (Malachi 3:5b)
      LORD, bring to repentance, deliverance, and new life all those caught up in the occult.

Against adulterers, (Malachi 3:5c)
      LORD, restore marriage and family life in this land.

Against perjurers, (Malachi 3:5d)
      LORD, let your truth prevail.

Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, (Malachi 3:5e)
      LORD, hear the cry of those who are oppressed.

And against those who turn away an alien– (Malachi 3:5f)
      LORD, help us remember that we too were once aliens who were far away from your kingdom. Transform the debate over immigration by your word and your Spirit.

Because they do not fear me,” Says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:5g)
      LORD, give us a right understanding of who you are and your authority and majesty.

WORD: Pray for my word to burn in your heart.
WORD: Keep seeking me. Keep seeking my word for you.
WORD: Accept my love for you.
WORD: I have called you — return to me with thanksgiving.
WORD: Look to me — I AM your hope and your strength.
WORD: Come into my arms — I AM waiting for you.
WORD: You are in my care — give all your fears to me.
WORD: Cry out to me for my little ones who are being led astray.
WORD: Seek my face — turn to me and I will turn to you.
Psalm 78:72, WORD: Let me be the shepherd of your heart.
      Lord Jesus, Son of David, shepherd me.

Daily Lectionary
Friday: 102 * 107:1-32; Mal. 3:1-12; James 5:7-12; Luke 18:1-8
Saturday: 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13) * 33; Mal. 3:13-4:6; James 5:13-20; Luke 18:9-14;

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Prayer Table Report ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM (Monday, Nov. 10, 2014; 10:15-11 a.m. in front of our church on Division Street. Absolutely gorgeous fall day with sun, no wind. John Banfield, James Bryant and Deacon Alan Hart presiding at His table today.)

t — received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.
a — anointed with Holy Oil.
f — received free non-perishable food we offer.
c — received free clean, used clothing we offer. (We also gave out NEW winter hats. We are all out of gloves and socks but we expect a new shipment soon.)

f,c — NANCY — Came by for things she needed/wanted, declined prayer.

a, f, c — REBECCA — Got prayer for healing for her sore throat, laryngitis. Gave us good news: her nephew MICHAEL is walking again. (He is the 2-year-old boy who was beaten by an adult male in August and suffered a broken leg.) Prayed a thanksgiving for Michael’s healing.

a,f, c — DARCY — Always comes to the table for a blessing of protection and safety.

t, f — ED — This man always takes a cross to give to someone else he knows, and he always takes ONE can of food for later in the day for himself.

a,t — LUCY — First-time visi8tor to the table. She asked for a prayer for good health and for God to protect her.

a, f, c — CONSUELA — This woman is very ill and comes to the table regularly with the help of a woman aide who helps her walk. We asked God to continue and complete the healing in Consuela.

a, f, c — YVONNE — Third time in three weeks this woman has come for prayer. She is new to the neighborhood. Got prayer for a general blessing.

f,c — BOB — Very friendly, big man who is grateful for clothes he gets from us. Prayed for continued healing for his heart.

a — DAVID — This is a Vietnam war veteran who not only comes for prayer often but has sent others to us. Asked for prayer today for his health. He has had heart palpitations and has lost a lot of weight this year. David also brought several large cans of tuna fish to give out to people.

a — JAMES — He came to the table this summer when he was having problems with an accelerated heartbeat and fainting spells. He has since had heart surgery and is going in soon for more. We prayed for health and protection for James. He declined to take any food or clothing.

MARSHALL — Man who used to curse at us now trusts and befriends us. He did not stop, but walked by with his hands in his pants pockets and yelled to us, “God is great!” Indeed, He is!

      Note: Unfortunately, about 10-15 other people came for food and clothing alone. I could not get all their names and invite them to prayer in time. Sometimes, people just come for the food and clothing and are not interested in getting prayer … at first, anyway. We have also seen that sometimes it takes a few visits before they are comfortable with prayer.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, November 20, 2014, 4:50 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, and Chuck Rinaldo from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Dan (staff) — He experienced being used in prayer this week. He asked prayer for his daughter.

Ted (volunteer) — His granddaughter Camille has started a new drug (she gets two IVs a week for ten weeks). She continues to suffer from Lyme’s disease.

Charlie (volunteer) — He asked prayer for the people who are suffering in Buffalo.

Gary (staff) — He asked prayer for his many burdens. We also prayed for the message he would give to the community meal.

Ben (young man) — He had given his life to Jesus a couple of months ago. He came over to greet us and get prayer.

Bruce (volunteer) — He now has four grandsons under three. His thumb that we prayed for last year continues to do well.

José (man) — [already had a Dennis Adams cross on]

+ Ricos (young man) — He asked prayer that he would not lose focus, that he would stay steady in Jesus.

Stephen (Jewish man) — greatly distressed by the murder of the three rabbis.

+ 199 Joanie (woman) — She has been to NA meetings at Christ Church. She gave thanks to God that she can walk again and for her health and her family and friends and pets. “Thank God I can praise him.”

Albany Intercessor


Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

November 23, 2014

Psalm 97:1-5 (NIV)

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Yes, Lord, let the shores on the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the  Sea of Galilee rejoice that You reign.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
Father, righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. We do not apprehend the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms over Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. But You do. Pour out Your contempt on demonic princes and loosen the belt of the strong man, disabling his stronghold over the Holy Land. (Ephesians 6:12, Job 12:21)
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
We praise You, Lord. O Lord my God, you are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent and lay the beams of Your upper chambers on their waters. You make the clouds Your chariot and ride on the wings of the wind. You makes winds Your messengers, and flames of fire Your servants. (Psalm 104:1-4)
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.


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