Three weeks and two days before Christmas and the heated discussion among my four children is not about which video games they want for Christmas but whose turn it is to light the candle at family Advent.
It’s the first week of Advent season, the observance of the four weeks preceding Christmas, a tradition started in the Middle Ages. My kids want to make sure they each have a part in the celebration.
The length of the Advent season depends on which day of the week Christmas falls on. This schedule includes all possible 28 days of Advent. For shorter seasons adjust this schedule by doubling up on some readings or eliminating the final two readings, which record events after Christ’s birth.
Sunday - Isaiah 40:1-5; Monday - Isaiah 52:7-10; Tuesday - Isaiah 40:9-11; Wednesday - Genesis 3:8-15; Thursday - Genesis 15:1-6; Friday - Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Saturday. Psalms 89:1-4
Sunday - Isaiah 11:1-10; Monday - Zechariah 6:12-13; Tuesday - Micah 5:2-4; Wednesday - Malachi 3:1-6; Thursday - John 1:1-8; Friday - John 1:9-18; Saturday - Mk. 1:1-3
Sunday - Luke 1:5-13; Monday - Luke 1:14-17; Tuesday - Luke 1:18-25; Wednesday - Luke 1:39-45; Thursday - Luke 1:46-56; Friday - Luke 1:57-66; Saturday - Luke 1:67-80
Sunday - Isaiah 7:10-14; Monday - Luke 1:26-35; Tuesday Isaiah 9:2-7; Wednesday - Matthew 1:18-25; Thursday - Luke 2:1-20; Friday - Matthew 2:1-2; Saturday Luke 2:21-35
More than any other activity, Advent can restore Jesus to the center of the Christmas celebration, because on each Advent day the birth of Jesus is read, sung and talked about. The whole family can participate and find the observance meaningful. The props are simple and inexpensive. The memories and training will last a lifetime. Although the common tenets of observing Advent are shared by many churches, each family can add its own flavor.