One of my favorite times of the year is Advent, that special time of year when we start off the Liturgical year and prepare for the coming of our Lord. As a catechist I always looked forward to the art projects, especially creating an advent wreath which my 4th graders would take home an continue to add a flame every Sunday leading up until Christmas. Since we are five days away from the new year, I though it fitting to look at some apps. In doing some research, I discovered a few apps that I really loved. Unfortunately, our mobile devices here at U.S. Hispanic Ministry are all iOS so all the apps only work on Apple products. We may need to find a contributor who uses android products to review apps for all of you who are not iOS users.
Advent by usis GmbH
This is a very basic app with just an advent wreath clip art image. Each Sunday one of the candles lights up and you also get a countdown until Christmas. Although, it is very simple, it reminds me of the Advent wreaths we used to create in our faith formation programs.
Christmas Advent Calendar for Christian Kids and Schools by Barcelona Multimedia
Looking for an alternative to the Advent calendar they sell at Target? You know, the one with Santa Claus or Snow men. Don’t want to deal with chocolate? This app is great as it is available in 7 languages that include English and Spanish. Each day you click on the number 1-25 leading up until Christmas. You are then shown a graphic with the day of the Advent calendar, followed by a biblical cartoon image and then a biblical quote. Once you are done, the number turns into a cute candle that remains lit. You can also press the refresh button to start over. This is a useful tool for parents and I recommend reading the previous days every day so that children hear the biblical narrative several times and each day they get a new piece that will keep them coming back.
Appvent by By d-SIRE GmbH & Co. KG
First, kudos on the name; it’s very clever. While this App is pretty simple, I was very entertained. The app consists of a lit candle. If you tilt your phone to the right, the flame tilts to the left, if you tilt phone to the left it will tilt to the right. I you blow at the candle (or at your phone screen) you extinguish the candle. I can see myself using this app for a contemplative prayer or meditation during advent. It’s safe as I don’t need to worry about having an open flame and I can take it with me wherever I may travel. If I am ever leading a prayer and there are no candles available, well, I now have this handy app. The only downside is that sometimes it is hard to re-ignite the flame.
Share your favorite advent app with us!