by Sheila Kearney
The learning area needs to inspire and engage your students. Here is an idea for how to decorate and arrange your learning space and prayer table for Advent.
In anticipation of the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord and the Christmas Season, surround students with images that represent the light of hope in which the world awaited the birth of the Messiah that God had promised.
On a bulletin board or against a solid wall, hang a large dark-blue piece of cloth, such as a bed sheet. Out of bright-yellow construction paper, cut out a five-pointed star for each student in your group. Write a student’s name on each star (glue craft jewels to the stars for a greater “twinkle” effect) and affix all the stars to the dark-blue piece of cloth in a random fashion, thus creating a night-sky effect. For a heightened presence of “light,” cut out extra stars, attach thin pieces of nylon thread to each one, and hang them from the ceiling. You might want to glue a few small stars onto a circular piece of dark-blue construction paper (representing the world) and affix that to the door of your learning space.
Your Prayer Table
The liturgical color for Advent is violet. Drape your prayer table with a violet-colored cloth and place on the cloth a Bible, an empty stable, and a candle (a battery-operated candle is best). In a location “distant” from the prayer table (such as a desk, shelf, or file cabinet), place the crèche figurines of Mary and Joseph. During your class prayer, light (or turn on) the candle and focus your prayer on Jesus, the Light of the World. Express prayerful joy in the Light of Jesus that you see in each person present. Each week of Advent, move Mary and Joseph closer to the manger. Before students return after their Christmas holidays, replace the violet cloth with a white cloth (for the Christmas Season) and position Mary, Joseph, the infant Jesus, and the magi in and around the stable on your prayer table.
Copyright 2013, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.
This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, March 2013
Image Credit: Shutter Stock 2510744