Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

First graders Rocco Casalenda and Brennen Lohmann admire the beauty of the Advent wreath.

Students in 1st and 4th grades at St. John the Baptist School in Vermillion lead the first all-school prayer service of the Advent season on Monday, Nov. 28. The weekly assembly for the PreK-6th grade school included singing hymns, reading scripture and offering prayers and petitions. Each week, the students will light an additional candle on the school's Advent wreath, symbolizing the preparation and wait for the birth of the Christ child. Advent lasts four weeks, from November 27th through December 25th in 2016.  The season of Advent is also the start of the liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church and begins on a different date each year. The tradition of the Advent wreath is quite beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life.  Each of the four candles on the wreath represent a week of Advent. Tradition holds that each candle represents one thousand years, in total the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the birth of the Savior. Three of the candles are purple, symbolizing the prayer, penance and preparatory sacrifices and good works undertaken during Advent. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, a Sunday of rejoicing because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, and Christmas is arriving soon. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord's first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.The light of the candles signifies Christ, the Light of the world.

Students in Mrs. Kristoff's 1st grade class take turns reading prayer petitions at the weekly, all-school Advent prayer service at St John the Baptist School in Vermillion.

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