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In our home we begin our Advent ceremony by a brief recap of The Prophecy Candle ~ The First Week of Advent and The Bethlehem Candle ~ The Second Week of Advent. After we light those first two candles we proceed with the following:
The Shepherd Candle
(The Third Week in Advent)
Grandfather: “Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Grandchild: Light the third red candle and ask: Why do we light three candles?
Grandfather: The first candle is a reminder of the light of hope of the prophets. The second candle is a symbol of the light and warmth Joseph and Mary found in the stable. The third candle reminds us of the great light and joy which surrounded the shepherds at the announcement of Jesus’ birth.
Let’s read the story of the Shepherd’s search for the newborn Jesus.
Adult: “In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.’ Suddenly there was a multitude of heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:8-20)
Everyone sing: The First Noel
The first Noel, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel
Everyone sing: Joy to the World!
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven
And nature sing.
Grandfather: Father, we thank you for your gift of Jesus to the whole world. As the shepherds found Jesus in a manger, may we find Jesus in the love and joy that we share together. Help us to love one another. Help us to do our share to bring happiness, goodness and peace to the world.