Sunday, December 16, 2012

O Antiphons

It will come as no shock to those that know me when I say that I think crafting is therapeutic.  I love sitting down to create something, especially for someone else.

I have found over the years that time taken while making crafts can also be prayerful.  This is especially true when doing "mindless" things like crocheting.  However, every now and then I find myself inspired to make something that actually seems to be a prayer itself.  That was this case with a book I made about the O Antiphons last year.  I made it during the Christmas season last year after getting some fun new scrapbooking materials (like baker's twine from Anita and number tape from Steph & Steve).  I love the O Antiphons, and they became the inspiration for a mini prayer book.  I loved choosing verses to include, thinking about images that would represent the different days, and coordinating a layout that emphasized the waiting that the Church remembers during the seven days before Christmas.  (You can read about the O Antiphons here and here and here.)

The carrying themes for the book are the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel, the verse "I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him." (~Isaiah 8:17), and the prayer "How Long, O Lord?" which is from Psalm 35:17.  These ideas carried me through the book, and I am very much looking forward to using the pages to aid in my prayer during this last week of preparation before Christmas.  My book will be sitting out near my Advent Wreath, but I though I'd share it with you, too.  So today, here are a few of the intro pages.  Each day following, I will have the pages from that O Antiphon posted.  I hope that they aid your prayer and remind you of the waiting before the birth of Christ, the waiting for this Christmas, and the waiting for him to come again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Will Wait

Join me over with Bonnie at A Knotted Life for my humble contribution to her awesome Advent Series!

Advent Prayer Ring

This was a project that I made a few years ago with a group of high school girls.  They quite enjoyed it, and while I don't know how much they have continued to use it, but I pull mine out every year.  It was simple and cheap, and I think could go over well with some Youth Group kids or even adult Bible studies.

The process was simple.  I typed up an awesome Bible verse for each of the days of Advent and for the Octave of Christmas.  You can use the verse that I chose in this document:

We then cut up purple, white, and pink paper and glued each verse on the appropriate color.  Purple for all the days of Advent, with the exception of pink for the third Sunday, and white for the days of Christmas.  I made this intentionally so that it could be used year after year.  The days are labeled "Monday Week One of Advent" etc.

We then punched a hole in each of the corners and put them all on a binder ring.  Because we are girls, we decorated with ribbons and bells and Christmas-y type things.

The idea is to read and pray about the verse for the day.  I usually hung mine on the knob of one of my kitchen cabinets where I saw it each morning.  As I made my morning coffee, I would read the verse, pray a bit, and then add an intention for the day on the back of the card.  Because I have used the same set of cards for several years, it has been a cool way to see how those intentions have changed & stayed the same, how God has answered prayers, and how I have grown and learned.  I am glad that we made this project, and glad that I hung on to it after the first year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

What is...Advent Jeopardy?

Alex Trebek I am not. but I do love Jeopardy.

Back in college, I got a hold of an editable powerpoint file that was set up like a Jeopardy game.  You actually click on the point value and it goes to the slide with the "answer," and then another click reveals the "question."  It might as well of been gold.  The thing has been used in many classrooms for everything from reviewing the Rock Cycle to practicing multiplication.

So why not make it about Advent?  Here are a couple of Advent Trivia games for use with mid elementary to middle school kids.  Actually, I have used them with my Youth Group too, which they enjoyed.

Unfortunately, the fonts and style did not transfer quite perfectly to Google Drive, but I imagine that you can do a bit of editing once you have downloaded them to your particular version of Power Point.

There is a link to another Jeopardy game all about the Saints of December here.