Instruct children to draw an Advent wreath on a sheet of paper, and then have them cut out three strips of purple construction paper and one strip of pink—these will be the candles. Have children glue the four candles to the wreath drawing. Have children cut four flames out of yellow and orange construction paper and paper clip the flames to the wreath drawing. After discussing William Holman Hunt’s painting and its meaning, have children “light” a purple candle by gluing or taping the flame to the candle. Say: During Advent, we light the Advent wreath to prepare the way for the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. Let us pray to the Lord to guide us in our prayers and lives during Advent. During each week of Advent, “light” the other candles and pray silently.
In William Holman Hunt’s painting, we see that the door does not have a doorknob or handle, which means it can only be opened from the inside. Have young people think about the people or things in their lives that they have closed the door on or are scared to open. Give examples, such as being scared to stand up to a friend or not opening the door to a new challenge. Allow young people a few minutes for reflection and invite young people to journal their thoughts. After a few moments, lead the group in a prayer: Dear Jesus, you are welcome in our lives, but sometimes it is hard to open the door. Please give us strength to be open and welcoming, to see beyond the darkness, and to let the light into our own lives.