A few years ago I made an Advent wreath for our family and started our own prayer tradition. We light the candle before Sunday dinner and say an Advent prayer. After dinner, we blow the candle out and go to Sunday evening Mass.
In the past year or two I’ve assigned a week to each kid. They find a prayer and lead that week’s Advent reflection. This year I listed out the theme for each week of Advent and let them pick the one they wanted. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. I had the first week: Hope. This is the prayer that we said last night around our table:
Dear Heavenly Father, it’s the first Sunday in Advent, a season of anticipation and hope—a time to reflect on every good thing you’ve already done for us in Jesus, and the glorious things yet to be realized.
You’ve made promises you alone can keep; you’ve pledged a hope you alone can fulfill. We praise you; we bless you; we worship you. As Advent progresses, fill us to overflowing with gratitude, humility and joy.
I love Advent for many reasons. This simple wreath and prayer circle is one of them. I try to set up small traditions for my kids to build memories and tie us closer together. I don’t know if all of the traditions will make their way to their future families but I hope at least a few of them do.