An Advent assembly
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the meaning of Advent and its importance for Christians.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Be Prepared!) and the means to display them.
Note: you may prefer to use the actual items in Slides 1-5, in which case you will need to have available a bag that contains a pair of football boots, a bag of popcorn, a box of eggs, a paintbrush and a camera.
- Ask the children what the word ‘prepared’ means.
Listen to a range of responses.
Suggestions should be based on the idea of ‘getting ready to do something’.
- Tell the children that you are going to show them some pictures of objects (or the objects themselves, if available). You would like the children to consider what someone might be preparing for with these objects.
Listen to a range of responses for each object.
The children’s responses should be along the following lines.
- Football boots could be needed before going to football training, playing in a football match, attending a PE lesson or going to football club.
- A bag of popcorn might be needed if you were going to the cinema, or preparing for a movie night at home.
- You might need eggs if you were going to bake a cake; cook scrambled, fried or boiled eggs; make an egg salad; or make some pancakes.
- A paintbrush would be useful for an Art lesson at school, doing a painting at home or painting a model such as an aeroplane or boat.
- You might want a camera to take photos of special occasions such as birthday parties and weddings, for holiday snaps and for everyday use, such as photos of pets, friends and family.
- Ask the children what they are looking forward to as we move closer to Christmas.
Show Slide 6.
Using the pictures on the slide, ask the children what preparations will be made before Christmas Day arrives. Answers might include:
- buying and decorating the Christmas tree
- buying and wrapping Christmas presents
- using an Advent calendar to help count down the days to Christmas
- writing and sending Christmas cards
- writing a letter to Father Christmas
- writing a Christmas list
- baking and decorating a Christmas cake
- buying and eating mince pies
- hanging up a stocking on Christmas Eve
- putting out a carrot for Rudolph
Time for reflection
Ask the children, ‘Does anybody know the word used to describe the time of preparation for Christmas?’ (There is a clue on Slide 6!)
After establishing that the answer is ‘Advent’, ask the children what the word ‘Advent’ means.
Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas. Christians consider it to be a time to prepare and think about why we celebrate Christmas.
Ask the children, ‘What is the Christian reason to celebrate Christmas?’
Establish that Christmas celebrates the birth of God’s son, baby Jesus.
Show Slide 7.
Christians believe that God wants us to use Advent to prepare our hearts for Christmas. It is a time when we can take a quiet moment away from the busyness of Christmas preparations to think about the birth of baby Jesus. Christians also take time to remember the reason for Jesus’ birth. They believe that 33 years after Jesus was born, he would die on the cross to show his love for people and to make a path of forgiveness for the wrong that people have done.
Thank you for the fun and excitement that we have during Advent.
Thank you for the cards we get to write, the Advent calendars we get to open and the Christmas presents we get to wrap.
Thank you for this time of preparation, when we can think about the birth of baby Jesus.
May we all enjoy this time of preparation and seek to bring happiness to others at this time.
‘Away in a manger’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnwO_0DrpCk (1.59 minutes long)