One of the wonderful things about having the children home all day id that we can do so much more for the different Liturgical Seasons. The last week or so I have been teaching them about Liturgical Seasons in the church. Now we can incorporate Advent right into our whole school day and live the season in a meaningful way. This would be completely impossible if they were in school all day.
Last year in Advent I hosted a St. Nicholas party ably assisted by the good people at the St. Nicholas Center. We had a great deal of fun making St. Nicholas puppets, learning the life of this great saint and then that night we put out our shoes and were surprised by the treats left in them. I will continue this tradition.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is December 8th. After Mass we will read Tomie de Paola’s Mary Mother of Jesus.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is on December 12th. We read the beautiful story of St. Juan Diego and the promise of Our Lady in Tomie de Paola’s lovely book Our Lady of Guadalupe and make paper roses. This year we may even try to make a tilma.
December 13th is the feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr. On this day on Sweden it is customary for the eldest daughter to don a white gown, crimson sash and stockings and a wreath with candles on her head. She then awakens her family at dawn to serve them hot coffee and saffron bread. I could probably get Katie in the outfit (not real candles – grandparents relax) but I am thinking she will balk at getting up at dawn. However it is a Croatian custom to plant the Christmas wheat on the feast of St. Lucy. So if I can scare up some wheat seeds we will do this. The story of the martyr will have to be carefully edited for my little ones but it is a worthwhile exercise to teach the importance of purity and living God’s will for your life.
On December 17th we begin the “O Antiphons”. We touched on this a bit last year but I would like to delve more deeply this Advent. These antiphons address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, based on the Old Testament prophecies and types of Christ. “The “O” Antiphons are the verses for the ancient hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The first letter of the Messianic titles: Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia spell out Latin words ERO CRAS, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” (source: .Catholic Culture). It is a really rich study of redemption, one which I hope will become more meaningful to us each year.
So that is the plan for Advent. Of course, we will continue Math, Science, Latin and all of the other things but for Art, Music, Literature and Writing this season shall provide it’s own curriculum.
Hopefully I will get around to posting a more complete booklist soon