ADVENT 2017 Teacher Resources

Beginnings and endings....end of one season...the beginning of another...end of one trimester...the beginning of a new one...Advent is kind of like this...

What is Advent? What do we want all teachers to know and do?

It's the "END" of the liturgical year as we celebrate Solemnity of Christ the King on Sunday,November 26th and  the following week begins the NEW Liturgical Year when Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd.  

For a copy of this year's 2018 Liturgical Calendar, click on this link:   (It's also a nice reference for Feast Days and such if you want to know). 

The purpose of this section is to have all teachers on the campus IN SYNC that we are beginning the wonderful season of Advent and that everyone understands our expectations.

Please prepare your classrooms to bring this important season to your students. Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd.  Bringing a new "ritual" to your classroom (whether it's a daily prayer or small activity) brings an awareness that we are in Advent.  Please read this email carefully - and don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any.  Also, keep in mind that you may want to offer a special daily Advent prayer with special intentions for peace in our world given the current global conflicts.

While Advent 2017 begins on Sunday, December 3rd, we will also highlight the MONDAYS in ADVENT as well - we will send the signal that something is different.

Monday, December 3rd, marks the start of the 2018 Liturgical Year and ADVENT season with our students.  I am asking all teachers to make it a point to teach the students about this season. Even high school teachers who are not theology teachers should reference Advent in your advisory and at the start of class with your prayers.  You can find many resources for teaching Advent on the web-make sure they are Catholic resources (I've listed some web-resources for you). 


1) We will do our first K-5 and 6-12 ADVENT wreath morning ceremony over the PA Monday, December 3rd and then each Monday of Advent thereafter. Preschool teachers will do theirs individually in their classrooms. Each classroom, especially advisory rooms, should have an ADVENT WREATH. By sometime on Tuesday next week, we will leave items necessary for you to make an advent wreath for your room or hand out at the faculty PD meeting.  We will have extra items in the SECONDARY SCHOOL OFFICE with Kathy Moore after the meeting as well (there is more room in this office). We will provide the brass ring/candle holder and the candles (3 purple and one pink). You will need to add the "greenery" around the wreath (can be made from construction paper, fabric, pine branches - you can get creative).  We will do a special, slightly longer prayer each MONDAY during ADVENT, to light our Advent wreaths. I ask that teachers DO NOT ACTUALLY LIGHT the candles with a real flame - please make a paper or tissue flame.  This way it can be lit the whole time...and we don't start a fire or set off the fire alarms.


History and Meaning of the Advent Wreath

A Video Explanation of the Advent Wreath and SymbolismÂ

Advent Activities and Crafts for Kids

Online Advent Calendar and Blessings (for older kids)

Father Barron on The Spirituality of Advent (video for older students)

ADVENT Resources from Loyola Press



Besides lighting the Advent wreaths in our classrooms/advisories each Monday, there are a few other things we will ask homeroom/advisory teachers/theology teachers to do for Advent. The Advent Committee met to come up with this year's campus activity.  Students in religious ed and school will be invited to participate. We are happy to do a unifying project for the entire parish and school. The goal is to provide each of the parish religious ed and school divisions with the same THEME, but have grade-level appropriate activities to correspond with this theme. So as a school, we'll share the same ADVENT theme, but complete slightly different activities.  Here is the link to the GOOGLE DOC OF THE DIRECTIONS. Materials will be distributed next week. 

Ideas for Your Advent Prayer Space 

  • Purple or Dark Blue Table Cloth (color of royalty)
  • Advent Wreath 
  • Empty Creche or Manger w/o Jesus (and then put baby Jesus in when you get back from break) 
  • Interactive Prayer (prayer jar, prayer notes, prayer knots, write a prayer/take a prayer) 
  • Stars
  • Prayers/Pictures for Hope, Peace, Joy and Love - change out each week 
  • story book of the first Christmas 


ADVENT FOOD DRIVE FOR PARISH NEEDY - The NHS, NJHS and ES Student Council will be conducting the food drive for the parish.

Please help encourage support of this as our St. Vincent DePaul Society at St. Benedict counts on the school's support.  We would like the whole PK-12 school families and all the RE families to participate. More to come soon. Thanks to Zora Voynavich and Rachel Nemes for their assistance.

Each year, the St. Vincent DePaul Society collects food donations from the families of the parish and school to create generous food baskets for those in our families who are in need of food. Please consider donating food and/toiletries. The school classrooms will be collecting for the first three weeks of Advent. In order to make families' lives easier, we have assigned certain categories of food and products to the different grade levels. Please consider donating items that are assigned to your child's grade level, but we are happy to take any donations. Any items not used in the Christmas food baskets will be donated to the Common Pantry. Please ask your child's homeroom teacher for more details. 

Advent Food Drive Assignments


Preschool - Meat Soups (200), Chicken Soups (200), Vegetable Soups (200), Chili (with or without meat) (100)

Kindergarten - canned green beans (100), canned beans (pinto, kidney, black, etc.) (100),

First - Canned spaghettios (and similar) (80), Fruit Cocktail (80), Canned Meat (50)

Second - Tuna (100) and Mac and Cheese (200)

Third - Canned Corn (any kind) (100), White Rice (100)

Fourth - Canned Peaches (100), Pears (80) Pasta noodles (any kind) (100)

Fifth - Canned Peas (100), Vegetable Oil (50)

Secondary by HOUSES (each house has a specific item)  - Canned pork and beans (100)(all),  

Toothpaste (80), Bede

Toothbrushes (80), Boniface

Hand bar soap (80), Scholastica

Hand Lotion (80), Gregory

Deodorant (80) - Hilda

Hotel Travel Sizes are also welcome

Clear away all outdated items and past season items -

Please take down ALL MARY/ROSARY,  Thanksgiving items and Fall items.  Part of Advent is SIMPLIFYING our surroundings.


Please keep in mind that ADVENT is a time for "waiting," a time of "darkness, waiting for light..." "preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus"  It is not like the secular world - full of lights, Santas, Rudolf's and Snowmen.

I really do not want to see SECULAR items around the school, but I know that in the younger grades (preschool and kindergarten) some activities do integrate them. I expect first grades on up to refrain from using the SECULAR stuff at all. I am asking that any secular decorations DO NOT GO UP until the last week of school (December 19th) if they need to go up at all. Please do not allow your parents to "decorate" your classrooms with lights and Christmas trees, etc. If you put a tree up in your room, keep the Advent theme or a prayerful theme to it...not Christmas (It is not Christmas yet).   Advent is actually a plain, simple time.  The colors of the season are dark blue or purple (the color of Royalty).  I will ask teachers to take down any of the "secular" kinds of decorations if they go up too soon.  Please use this time as a "teachable moment" for your students. Besides...we've all been exposed to Santas, Christmas music and such since Halloween.

ADVENT O Antiphons Explanation and Directions - For all TEACHERS 

This was the 2015 all school activity. I wanted to leave it up as a resource for anyone who would like to cover the O Antiphons in their classes. Thanks to the Advent Committee for creating such a meaningful Advent activity! Click here for the details.

Saints of Advent

Advent is a great time to have students learn about Catholic Saints - there are some "heavy hitters" in Advent:  St. Nicholas, St. Mary, St. Lucy, and more .  Grades K-12 will also be going to mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8th. Please prepare your students with some background on the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as some of the other Advent Saints.

Here are some additional resources -

Information on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (video)

Advent Saints

Information about Our Lady of Guadalupe (and other saints)