An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools
To look at the Christkindlesmarkt in Germany as inspiration for celebrating Advent.
Preparation and materials
Have available some images of the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples could include:
- Christkindlesmarkt, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ya94u6lv
- a Christmas stall selling accessories for doll’s houses, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ycujyv99
- people browsing the Christmas stalls, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yc7mvqxd
- a Christmas stall selling Christmas tree decorations, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y7l2q36e
- a Christmas stall selling lebkuchen, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y9sb57a9
More information about the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg is available at: http://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/
You may also like to research whether towns that are local to your school hold Christmas markets.
Have available some Christmas music sung in German and the means to play it at the end of the assembly. Examples could include:
- ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (‘Awake, the voice is calling us’), available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sj-NKqR0tw (the video is 28.24 minutes long, and the singing starts at 0.32 minutes)
- ‘Stille nacht’ (‘Silent night’), available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4puLybRGSAw (2.59 minutes long)
- Just as each year has its seasons, so does the Christian calendar. We are now in the season of Advent, which means ‘coming’. It’s a time when Christians look forward to the coming of Jesus.
- In the UK, the season of Advent isn’t a huge celebration. We might have our Advent calendars with chocolates inside and, if we go into a church, we might find it decked out in purple as a reminder that this is a special time of year, but that’s about it. However, in recent years, Christmas markets have been springing up in towns and cities in the lead-up to Christmas. (You may like to mention some local Christmas markets.)
In Germany, however, Advent is a really special time. People light candles in their homes and there are special prayers and readings for each day. Best of all, there is the Christkindlesmarkt, which means ‘Christ-child’s market’. This Christmas market and others like it have been taking place in big towns like Nuremberg for centuries.
Show the images of the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg.
- At the market, you can buy the most beautiful Christmas decorations, ornately carved figures, delicate snow globes, tasty lebkuchen and a whole host of other delights. The Christmas crib scene in the centre of Leipzig even has a live sheep!
With the nights drawing in early and the weather being cold and crisp, the glühwein (spiced wine) and sausages quickly warm you up.
Everybody is getting ready. There is a sense of anticipation that you can almost touch and smell. Jesus is coming!
Time for reflection
Just as Advent celebrations in Germany use traditional words and images, many people in the UK and all over the world find the words of traditional prayers an important part of their celebrations, especially at Christmas.
Many prayers for special occasions can be found in prayer books such as the Book of Common Prayer. These words have been used for centuries at the same times each year. One such prayer is the Collect for the First Sunday in Advent, which we will hear now.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.
‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (‘Awake, the voice is calling us’), available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sj-NKqR0tw (the video is 28.24 minutes long, and the singing starts at 0.32 minutes)
‘Stille Nacht’ (‘Silent night’), available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4puLybRGSAw (2.59 minutes long)