Family Advent Week 1

Nightly Prayer: Hope

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Leader: God our Father, during this first week of Advent, we ask You to fill our hearts with hope as we journey toward the birth of Your Son. 

All: Come, Lord Jesus.

Family member lights the first purple advent candle.

Leader:  Lord, we confess that we do not always accept Your invitation to true happiness.  Often we fill our hearts with distractions and lesser things.  By Your gift of hope, help us to desire You above all else, and fully trust Your promises.  

All:  Come, Lord Jesus.

Leader: We place our trust in You, relying not on our own strength, but on the help and grace of the Holy Spirit.  Let Your gift of hope enlighten our hearts, minds, actions, and deepest desires.  Let us hope in You, seeking only You as our true source of happiness.  

All: Fill our hearts with hope! Amen.

Table Talk

The first purple candle is the “Candle of Hope.” It symbolizes the hope we have in Christ and our desire to spend eternity (and also the present!) with Him. During the first week of Advent, we wait for Jesus with hope.

  • What does hope mean?  Why do we have hope?  How do we attain hope?  What does hope feel like (contrast to hopelessness)? 
  • Why does the season of Advent begin with the theme of hope?
  • How do Mary and Joseph live the virtue of hope as they await Jesus’ birth?  What other saints or Biblical people display hope?  How?
  • What are the three theological virtues?  Why are they important?  How do they relate to each other?  (see CCC 1812-1829)
  • How would we (as individuals or as a family) be different if we fully lived the virtue of hope more fully? 
  • In what ways are you called to live the virtue of hope this week? 

From the Catechism: Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire and expect from God both eternal life and the grace we need to attain it.  (CCC, Glossary.  See also CCC 1817-1821)

Advent Beyond the Wreath: Daily Scripture Cards

Click the image for printable daily scripture cards.
  • Cut the scripture cards apart on the dotted lines, using each card as dated. 
  • Place the cards in fun locations where your child(ren) can discover and read them on their own.  Possible places: in their lunchbox, on their pillow, or at their place at the kitchen table. 
  • Optional: leave a small piece of candy or treat with each verse card. 
  • Circle back to the daily verses during family meal/prayer time.  Let conversation develop naturally — some verses may be of particular interest to you or your child, and others not.  Remember to consider the verses in context (who said it, when was it said, what story or thoughts surround the verse).  Don’t be afraid to look the verses up in your Bible!

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