How We Do Advent in Our Domestic Church

On Sunday our pastor at St. Agnes promoted Advent booklets with family prayers that had been put together for the parishioners to take home and use. He emphasized the importance of our domestic church and keeping the liturgical seasons there as well. There are so many options for Advent and it might have to do with the overwhelming secularization of Advent with Christmas decor everywhere. We try to keep things simple at home and slowly get the house ready for Christmas. We start with the Advent essentials in out home, Advent wreath and Jesse Tree.

This is our Jesse Tree:

It sits on our family altar.

This little tree was M and my first Christmas tree, and when we moved into a house we decided to switch it to the Jesse Tree. I have been not very good at cross stitching our ornaments, so we mostly use our hand-drawn paper circle ornaments. Maybe that should be a goal for this pregnancy, to get them done… I grew up with the Jesse tree and always loved hearing the story of Salvation history from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ every day for all of Advent. I want this to be a part of my children’s experience of Advent as well. We take the readings from this book, The Jesse Tree: Story and Symbols of Advent.

Under the tree we also have an empty manger to remind us of what we are waiting for in Advent, Jesus.

We have one main Advent wreath this year with beeswax candles:

We had fun rolling the sheets of wax into candles. These ones are only supposed to burn for 4 hours. Anyone know of longer burning beeswax Advent candles?

Since we do not always dine in the dining room, I set a small one up in the kitchen nook for use at breakfast, lunch, and dinners in the kitchen. My husband is casually into minimalist art, but he wishes we had just done rocks on a stick of bamboo.

Some have accused this of not being a wreath; they clearly do not understand minimalism.

I, also, put together a simple front door wreath which I will switch over to Christmas themed when the time is right.

The other daily thing we do for Advent is open the door on our little paper Advent calendar. I have seen many beautiful reusable calendars, but this is what we use for now.

Our church handed these out last year. I have no idea who made them.

What does your family do for Advent?