The word Advent comes from the Latin word ‘advenir’, to arrive. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, which this year falls exactly on the 30th of November.
I always feel that life speeds up around about now, with the end of the school year, summery weather calling us out to the beach, and lots of social get-togethers. I miss the ‘going inwards’ feeling of Advent that I experienced growing up in Germany, where it’s cold and snowing.
When my daughter came to the Karri Kindy here 6 years ago, I really liked the four verses that the teacher brought for each week of Advent. They represent the four kingdoms of the minerals, the plants, the animals and the humans that we honour all during Advent.
I buy four advent candles, and we have integrated these verses into our family tradition of Advent. We have the candles on the dinner table on a plate with decorations around it. We light one candle per Advent Sunday, until all four are burning. We say the little verse each dinnertime, as we light the appropriate number of candles. The kids really like this ritual, and it really makes a visual picture of ‘arriving’ at Christmas Eve. Here are the four Advent verses:
The first light of Advent,
It is the light of the stones
Stones that live in Crystals
Seashells and bones
The second light of Advent
It is the life of the plants,
Plants that reach up to the sun
And in the breezes dance.
The third light of Advent
It is the light of the beasts
The light of hope that we may see
In greatest and in least.
The fourth light of Advent
It is the light of humans
The light of love, the light of thought,
To give and to understand.
On Christmas Eve, I bring out a fifth, and taller candle, which we decorate beforehand with coloured beeswax. On Christmas Eve we light this candle with the four smaller ones and say this verse:
“We light a candle shining clear Eternal Light may enter here.
That shineth in the holy night
To make us children of the light.”
Thank you to Karri Kindy for bringing these verses into our family ritual for Advent time.
Post by Silvia Lehmann