CGS Connection – Advent Beginnings

Around the world, Catechists, Assistants and Children of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are busily transitioning this week to the Advent Season and the beginning of the New Liturgical Year!

Atria of all four levels will incorporate many of the tangible changes that we also see in the Church now! The prayer cloth will be ceremoniously changed to purple, the songs and prayer words will change, and the flowers will be replaced with an advent wreathe that we’ll begin to light week by week. We are so excited to even have the possibility of lighting the fourth candle together this year! We share with the CGS children that “Purple is for Preparation!” Beginning with the one and two year olds, we sing this in a song that stays with the children and can be heard being murmured among the older groups too.

Now what is it we’re preparing for? Who adveniat? Who is coming to us? The younger children focus on Jesus’ first Coming in History. Biblical geography, the Prophets and the Gospel Infancy narratives help us in that reflection. Adding to that, the middle children are perfectly situated to also reflect on the Coming of Jesus each week in Mystery. One-third of them happily prepare for Him in their next Holy Communion, the other two-thirds eagerly await His special coming to them in their First Holy Communion! The third meaning of Advent is most heavily focused on in the third Level Atrium. The older children spend time pondering His Coming again in Majesty! There are various materials and meditations in the Level 3 Atrium which help the children (and the adult) to get ready for and to share with others that, when Jesus comes at Parousia, He will be All in All! (1 Cor 15:28).

Join with us in singing for all three Comings: Come, Come Emmanuel, Come Emmanuel!

(Miss Anita is eternally grateful to Bishop Robert Gries, OSB, for his 2011 Advent reflection on WAOB® radio. His description of “History, Mystery, Majesty” have transformed her understanding of and ability to share the meaning of Advent!)