Advent and Christmas Resources
There are many resources around the Advent and Christmas theme but here are just a few to get started. Alot of them are available through Durham Cathedral's Shop.
All Things New. St John's College Nottingham's Advent Book for 2012. Readings and Prayers through Advent. The meditations and prayers have been written by staff and students at St John’s College. Our prayer is that the Advent book we produce will bless those who read it by providing a framework for them to stop, think & pray.
Windows on a Hidden World by Jane Maycock As a priest, married to a vicar, with four school-age children, Jane Maycock is all too familiar with the struggle not to be engulfed by busyness in the run-up to Christmas. As a result, the reflections she has written for this lovely book are engagingly infused with real-life happenings, even as they invite us to stop and consider what Advent really means. The author draws on the insights of the biblical authors, poets such as Robert Southwell, and contemporary hymn writers including Timothy Dudley-Smith, to present a series of windows through which we can explore the main ideas surrounding the season. We are taken through the themes of wilderness and of God's choice, and examine the place of conflict and confrontation in Christian faith. We look more deeply at the familiar nativity scene, and at the idea of the second coming. Underpinning Windows on a Hidden World is the conviction that we are bound up in an intimate relationship with a God of love.
Creative Ideas for Advent & Christmas contains a wealth of inspirational easy-to-do ideas for the busy weeks in the lead-up to Christmas. All the ideas use readily available materials and have instant appeal. Many can be slotted in to any situation, used to illustrate the story of Christmas, or just done for pure enjoyment as part of the exciting 'getting ready' time. Some use seasonal objects that are easy to find in the shops, such as paper chains, or things that many people will have in their Christmas box, such as last year's Christmas cards.
The activities are ideal for children aged 4-11, but will be enjoyed equally by people of all ages. There are 80 ideas in total, many of which could become part of traditional family, church and community celebrations each year.
Going for Growth is the Church of England website supporting ministry with children and young people. There are lots of links from here to ideas and resources around the church year and seasons including Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. The information and ideas using 'Jesse Tree' offer a way to trace Jesus' family line or the story of salvation using a different symbol for each day of Advent. It's a great way of anticipating Christmas and may offer a fresh approach to the season.
Pocket Prayers for Advent and Christmas. Contains prayers, carols and hymns celebrating the festive period.
Structured to provide a prayer a day throughout the festive period, this new addition to the popular Pocket Prayers is divided into practical themes, such as 'Waiting...the season of Advent' and 'Welcoming...the joy of Christmas day'.
Do Nothing .... Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a difference by Bishop Stephen Cottrell. Now, Do Nothing... Christmas is Coming turns to what, for many, is the busiest time of the year. For every day of Advent, Stephen Cottrell provided short, practical steps to help us slow down, take time out - amd resist the pressure of the Christmas whirl.
People and Places. Advent, says Nick Harding, is the ideal time to reflect on some of the characters and places we meet in the Christmas story. Fifteen people and places are explored in this book through suggested readings, comments, ideas, games and prayers.
The Unsheltered Heart: An at home Advent Retreat
Candles and Conifers: Resources for All Saints and Advent by Ruth Burgess. Written by the Iona Community members, associates, friends and others, this is a collection of seasonal resources for groups and individuals - prayers, liturgies, poems, reflections, sermons, meditations, stories and responses.
Hay and Stardust: Resources for Christmas to Candlemas by Ruth Burgess. Covers the season of Christmastide, including Christmas Eve, Holy Innocents' Day, Winter and New Year, Epiphany, Homelessness Sunday, and Candlemas. This is a companion resource book to candles and conifers. It also contains eight Christmas plays, including a puppet play.
Celebrating Christingle. Planning a Christingle Service? Here is a resource for all involved in preparing such an event, combining fun sketches and historical background with six fully worked-out orders of service.
Get messy and explore Christingle in a fun and interactive way.
Christingle is a great theme to use for a Messy Church, as anyone who has spent Advent or Epiphany knee-deep in oranges and dolly mixtures will know.Messy Church, if you haven't come across it yet, is church for people of all ages based around craft, celebration and eating together, usually happening once a month.You can find out more about Messy Church at http://www.messychurch.org.uk/ and about Christingle at http://www.christingle.org./
Gift is a six-week course which helps children prepare for Christmas. Using a theme which is familiar to them at this time of year, that of Gift, it leads them through an exploration of what the birth of Jesus means to them today.
The course is organised so that each week the children consider a different aspect of gift. They listen to the word of God and then respond to it in a variety of creative ways. Clearly structured so that it is easy to follow, the course provides a reflective balance to the feverish, external preparation for Christmas, offering an opportunity to reflect on the meaning behind the tinsel. The CD-ROM in this Leader’s book contains everything needed for the children.
A Jesse Tree for Advent is a wonderful resource, providing a visual focus for the school and setting the Christmas story in a wider context. Each of the 15 assemblies is based on a character from the Jesse Tree, and suggests a symbol to hang on your tree from among the photocopiable templates included.
You can also get ideas and resources from the following links.
Worship resources from Kevin Mayhew
CMS Share the Light a resource for Advent
Wildgoose Publications Christmas in the Iona/Celtic tradition
If you have come across any resources you think others may find useful email the details, by clicking here, and they can be added to this page.