Practicing Celebration: Week TWO: The 5 Minute All-ages Advent

Practicing Celebration: Soul Sculpting Project: Week TWO 5 Minute Advent Celebration

A war zone, year 2006: Israeli women find themselves living in conditions that are threatening and uncontrollable. How do they deal with the anxiety?

Some of the women choose to recite Psalms. Those that recite frequently have lower anxiety levels. Sosis and Handwerker (2011 study)

Why? Reciting Psalms is a ritual. Rituals can alleviate emotional distress.

  • Multiple studies researching situations from war zones to college tests have found that rituals (religious or secular) can act as a buffer against the destructive effects of strong negative emotions.

Rituals are a tool for regulating negative emotions

Creating good rituals increases well-being; in our lives and in the lives of those we care for.

Holidays are a time for creating life-giving rituals.

Join me in celebrating the ritual of an Advent service. This one is all-age friendly.


Service for Second Week of Advent       Theme: Joseph

Materials: 2 Candles

Order of Service

1. Sing a carol: Away in a Manger

Away in a manger
No crib for His bed.
The little Lord Jesus
Lay down His sweet head.

The stars in the sky
Look down where He lay.
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.

2. Light Candles: Dim the room lights

Light first candle and say:

We light this candle in honor of Mary.”

Light second candle and say:

We light this candle in honor of Joseph.”

3. Read: Matthew 1:18-25 by candle light.

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Then Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


4. Pray: Short thank-you prayers, requests, or the Lord’s Prayer.

5. Sing a carol: Silent night (turn up the lights if you need to view lyrics.)

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother, Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

6. Blow-out the candles.

Holiday rituals enrich our lives.


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