By Luke Johnson | December 3, 2017
Using your Advent wreath, light the week’s designated candles each night. Recite the name of each candle each time with a phrase for the child to repeat for each candle. (Don't have a wreath? Here's how to make one of your own!)
There are many variations for the names of the different candles, but here is a simple example:
Blue 1: Patriarchs (week 1)
Phrase: “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Explanation: "Jacob’s other name is ‘Israel’. The Patriarchs were the first ones to follow Jesus.”
Blue 2: Prophets (week 2)
Phrase: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
Explanation: “The Prophets help the people to listen to God.”
Pink: Mary (Gaudete Sunday, “Joy” Sunday) (week 3)
Phrase: “Your will be done!”
Explanation: “Mary is Jesus’ mother. She listened to God. She brought Jesus into the world.”
Blue 3: Shepherds (week 4)
Phrase: “Joy to the world!”
Explanation: “The shepherds waited in the still and quiet of the night, and were ready to hear the angels’ good news.”
White: Christ candle (Christmas morning)
Phrase: “Jesus is born! Immanuel! God with us!”
Explanation: “God loves us very much, and sent his Son to lead us to him.”
You might choose to light the candles twice each day, once in the morning at breakfast and again before supper.
In our experience, our 4 year old son has loved anticipating the new candles each week, and was really excited to get to light the Christ candle on Christmas morning (since he had to wait so long for it). If your kids take to the candles, consider lighting the candles throughout the Christmas season as well.
You might also use the Jesus Prayer along with your wreath practice.
Other Prayer resources
If you are looking for other simple liturgical prayers to use with your children throughout the year, check out The Children’s Book of Common Prayer.