New seasons of the Church calendar are great opportunities to begin, or restart, a practice of family prayer. Even though we are into the second week of Advent it is not too late to begin Advent prayer! With busy schedules and busy kids, setting aside time for family worship is a challenge. Family worship does not have to be overwhelming or overly complicated. A short 10 minute family prayer time either during or after a meal or right before bed time (especially for younger children) can be such a sweet time of connection – both as a family and with the Lord – that can serve as an anchor for family life.
Our Anglican tradition is rich with Advent practices that can be incorporated into family life. You probably already know about the tradition of having an Advent wreath. Here are a few more ideas applicable to families:
- Spend 10 minutes as a family praying Family Prayer (a condensed version of Evening Prayer). Use the “Reading from Scripture” section to read a short passage or devotional. For younger families, you can create a short liturgy, or use/adapt this one, to help guide prayer time.
- There are thousands of Advent devotionals out there. Here’s one that’s based on the Jesse Tree practice (coloring daily ornaments and then reading the story is a great option for younger children or students). Here’s another from Biola with art, music, and poetry that you could adapt.
- Take an evening to watch something together and discuss. There are several great movies and short films to help you reflect on the birth of Christ like this one (19 min) from the makers of The Chosen, or the film, The Nativity Story (100 min), that can be rented for a couple bucks. Finally, check out a couple of Anglican evangelist, Glen Scrivener’s short videos.
Seeking your own personal Advent devotional time? In the narthex, you can pick up a collection of insightful daily devotional readings from the Early Church to help prepare for the coming of Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation to us through the prophets.
-The RezKids & RezYouth Team: Amy Patton, Matt Prechter, Christina Westberg, Will Chester, Sarah Graham, Caleb Karnosh