One of the ways that we highlight the different seasons of the church year is by singing hymns and antiphons particular to those seasons. In Lent we drop the word Alleluia from our vocabulary and in Advent we sing the antiphon, “Our King and Savior draweth nigh, Oh come let us adore Him.”
Children love to sing. They may not always be in tune but they quickly pick up bits of songs and whole songs from church, the radio and anywhere else they hear them. Music is a good way of helping them to recognize the seasons of life.
We all do this a little anyway, don’t we? Don’t we bring out the Christmas music when it starts to feel like Christmas? I know I do, and then in the spring I play classical or Celtic music with lots of violins/fiddles- somehow those sounds say “spring!” to me.
How hard is it to bring a little bit of intention to our music choices in order to set aside a time period in our minds and those of our children?
During Advent we have been limiting ourselves to an Advent (not Christmas) hymn during family worship in the morning. It’s a very small thing, but does help the grown-ups to focus on the longing and desire that are part of these four weeks. I don’t know how much of that the children really understand, but they are building a pattern for their lives, that they will grow into in understanding.
Next year when we return to this season, they will recognize some of the songs, the songs will help them remember some of the discussions they’ve heard and (my hope is) that each year will build into a full understanding of God and his grace.
My thoughts are rather scattered this morning, so hopefully this isn’t a complete ramble!