Celebrating Advent at ILS

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We are now in the season of Advent, and we invited our teachers to share how they are celebrating and teaching about Advent in their classrooms.

The Latin meaning "coming into" turns our attention to the three-fold coming: Jesus' incarnation - coming into the world as a baby in Bethlehem; His coming at the end - to judge the living and the dead; and His present coming - in Word and sacrament for the forgiveness of our sins.

At Immanuel, we will wait while the world begins Christmas celebrations. Instead we will pray, repent, and sing:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

More on how our classes are observing the season of Advent:

  • We have an Advent candle/wreath that we light every day. We did dye clothing purple, more to learn about the Phoenicians, and it was a nice tie in to Advent! - Miss Clevenger, 5th and 6th grades
  • The 5th - 8th graders are making Advent illuminations. Students are choosing a stanza of the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" that they find personally meaningful, which is going to be illuminated in Latin. We are working on it all month! - Mrs. Hull, 5th through 8th grades


  • In Junior Kindergarten, we've been learning Advent hymns and lighting the candles on our Advent Wreath. We also made ornaments and decorated our Jesse Tree. - Mrs. Honig and Mrs. Techau, Junior Kindergarten


  • The fourth graders are memorizing poetry about Advent. So far, they have memorized "Advent" by Christina Rossetti. This week, they are memorizing "Advent Calendar" by Rowan Williams. - Miss Leithart, 4th grade
  • We have an advent calendar up on the board as well as a couple of advent wreaths in our room. We've also been listening to Advent hymns during a portion of lunch many times over the past week. – Mrs. Gorr, 1st grade
  • We have an Advent wreath that we light in class every morning, and we've talked about the purpose of the wreath and the meaning of Advent. – Mr. Schultz, 7th and 8th grades
  • The students have been learning a poem, Advent Conceives a Hope in the Heart, by Chad Bird. – Miss Fleming & Miss Chin-Yee, Kindergarten

  • -We sing a verse of the Advent hymn of the week every day and talk about what it means.
    -We light the right amount of candles on our wreath each morning.
    -In Theology, we have been discussing all the comings of Jesus into the world, and the frequency of when he comes to us: Yearly, we celebrate Advent, Weekly, we attend church (and some receive the Sacrament), and Daily, He comes to us in His word. – Mrs. Winterstein, 2nd grade
  • In third grade we have an advent wreath with candles for each Sunday in Advent, a Latin Advent Calendar, and other decorations. These remind students that we await Jesus' coming. - Mrs. Krumwiede, 3rd grade


Our School community will gather for a midweek Advent Service on Wednesday, December 17 at 6:30 pm. Our Music Teacher, Miss German, has been working diligently with all the students in preparation for this program, and she shares with us a bit more about the program. We hope you will make plans to join us for the service!

This year, our Advent Evening Prayer service is centered around the hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (Veni, veni, Emmanuel). This hymn sings us through all seven "O" Antiphons, the first of which we will faithfully observe on the day - "O" Wisdom (meant for December 17th). After hearing Scripture readings based on these Old Testament prophecies, different groups of students and faculty will introduce each stanza in the original, 12th-century Latin text, with the congregation joining in its reiteration in English. Learning this original text has been an incredibly enriching experience for all of us. While the season of Advent reminds us of the intersection of Jesus' various "advents" (past, future, and present), this Latin text also catapults us into the company of the waiting Church from centuries ago, and perhaps for centuries to come.

Join us for all the students have to share in their leadership as Scripture readers, procession attendants, handbell ringers, and singers of both small and large ensembles across the school.

(For a little help with the Latin pronunciations for "Veni, veni, Emmanuel," please see this helpful document.)

We hope to see you next Wednesday for this wonderful service!


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