The smell of spruce branches and the sound of Christmas music fill the fellowship hall at Woodynook Christian Reformed Church in Blackfalds, Alberta, the week before the Advent season officially begins.
Members of the congregation busy their hands and prepare their hearts for the upcoming season by creating Advent wreaths together. They also receive devotions and explanations about how to use them with their wreaths at home. This is the third year the worship committee has prepared for the Advent season in this way.
Klaaske deKoning described why the congregation began this ministry. “Visuals are important in both church and family life; we wanted to get young families involved in a meaningful, focused, devotional celebration of Advent. Making wreaths together as a family, learning how to use the wreath and devotions connected to it, would be a way of starting and keeping a meaningful tradition going.”
Angela Bennik, a member of Rimbey CRC, and her daughters Hannah and Macie joined their grandmother, Agnes Meyer, at Woodynook to make the wreaths together.
“We really like this idea and think it’s a great, practical way to get kids involved in preparing for the Christmas season,” explained Bennik.
Jen Doef, a member of Woodynook, agreed. “My favorite part is the fellowship with other families and sharing our Advent traditions together. My kids loved the devotional that was provided and, of course, the lighting and blowing out of the candles. It’s a wonderful tradition to start with your family.”