Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

December 10, 2012

Light for the World Prayer Experience

The Advent candles remind us that Jesus himself is the "light of the world" (Jn 8:12). Follow the directions for short prayer service you can use with your class in the weeks before Christmas.

Materials needed

  • taper candles (one for each student)
  • slips of paper (two for each student)
  • pens or pencils


Have the students write on small slips of paper specific elements of darkness in their own lives (e.g., a jealous friend, an incident of prejudice, a time of loneliness) and on other slips of paper specific ways that Jesus brought light to their lives (e.g., a special friendship, a caring teacher, a favorite spot in nature, peace through participation in the sacraments). Arrange a large space where the students can sit in a circle. Distribute unlit taper candles. Keep the room semi-dark. Call on one of the students to begin by sharing one occasion of darkness he or she wrote about. Repeat the process around the rest of the circle with each student sharing about darkness. Then begin the sharing again, this time with the student sharing about how Jesus brings light. After the first person shares, light his or her candle. The person with the lit candle chooses any person in the circle and lights that person's candle. The person with the newly lit candle shares how Jesus brings light and then lights a third person's candle. Continue until all of the candles are lit. Consider concluding with a song with lyrics that describe Jesus as the light of the world.

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