Advent Garden, a special experience for early childhood through third grade students, was held Monday, December 12th.
Advent, a time of waiting and becoming, is perhaps the favorite and most precious time of year for children. There is much warmth, anticipation, and loving preparation for the holiday season. At a time of year when adults can be consumed by consumerism and rushed by busy social calendars, the essence of Advent calls upon us to slow down, breathe deeply, prepare, and wonder. We are called to spiritually walk the Advent spiral.
Our Advent Garden is a reverent, darkened room in which a large spiral path made of evergreens leads to a center table. On this table is a single, lit candle. The path is adorned with large stars, and representations of the four earthly kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, and humankind) are present along the way. Crystals sparkle and dance with reflections of the flickering candlelight. After an opening verse and story, music is gently played, then each child takes a turn walking the path all the way to the center, carrying an unlit candle, held in an apple. Upon reaching the heart of the spiral, the child lights the candle from the center flame, and walks back, outward. On the return journey, the child chooses a star upon which to place his or her candle. Not only is there great anticipation when moving toward the light, there is also wonder in the beauty of the experience, and awe at how the room grows brighter with the addition of each individual’s candle.
Matthew, one of our eighth graders, served as our reverent, helpful and noble Angel this year. Our Wonder Garden teacher, Elizabeth Kelly filled the room with soft, beautiful music to set the tone and mood for the celebration. It was a truly special experience for all who were blessed to receive it.