Advent Candle Readings for Families with Children

Last year I bought an advent wreath and candles from my local Christian book store, and my family started celebrating advent together. My wife and I figured that this would be one way to focus our family on Jesus at Christmas.

When we bought the wreath, I wasn’t too sure what to do with it, since I come from a Pentecostal tradition that doesn’t typically incorporate this ritual into its services. I searched the internet for advent readings, but I was frustrated to find that nothing seemed appropriate for my family, which includes children. So, I mashed together some of what I found and edited it so it is suitable for families.

AdventOur children loved gathering around the advent wreath. And they each anticipated having their turn at reading and lighting a candle.

As our family gets ready to celebrate advent again this Christmas season, I thought that some other Christian parents out there might benefit from the readings that I put together last year. For some families who have already considered adding this tradition to their family, perhaps this might even serve as a gentle push in that direction.

We typically aimed to light one candle each Sunday. Sometimes Sunday didn’t work so well, so we did it on Monday or Tuesday instead. And we actually started late last year. Just do whatever works best for your family!

(Starting late does have its advantages—we got our wreath on sale 🙂 ).

Each advent reading includes readings, a song, Scripture readings, prayer, the lighting of a candle, and a couple discussion questions. I printed of a few copies of each reading for our family to share.

You are welcome to edit the files as you need to. For our family, “Child 1” = a young child who needs help reading. For every parent reading part, I tried to include at least 2 readings for each child. I think each reading took about 5 minutes.

Download the word files by clicking the links below:

  1. Advent Week 1
  2. Advent Week 2
  3. Advent Week 3
  4. Advent Week 4
  5. Advent Christmas Day

Feel free to share this with others who might find these readings helpful!

P.S. This year, advent officially begins on Sunday, December 3, 2017.

Question: How does your family celebrate advent? Leave a comment below by clicking here.

Andrew K. Gabriel, Ph.D., is the author of Touched by God: Experiencing the Holy Spirit (forthcoming) as well as three academic books, including The Lord is the Spirit. He is a theology professor at Horizon College and Seminary and serves on the Theological Study Commission for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. You can follow him on Facebook or on Twitter.

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