Happy New Year
The Season of Advent begins this Sunday with the First Sunday of Advent, the first day in the Church’s year.
The Season of Advent is an invitation to pause in silence to recognize the signs of the coming of the presence of the Lord. Advent has a two-fold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnity of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and Calendar, 39).
“In these four weeks of Advent, the liturgy leads us to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus, while it reminds us that he comes into our lives every day, and will return gloriously at the end of time. This certainty enables us to look trustfully to the future, as we are invited to do by the prophet Isaiah, who with his inspired voice accompanies the entire Advent journey.” -Pope Francis (Angelus, December 1, 2019)
As the beginning of the Church year and the beginning of a new liturgical season, advent is a good time to renew the practice of your faith in your home and in your family.
We have some suggestions:
Use an advent calendar or make your own. Here is one for families: https://www.usccb.org/resources/Final_Advent_Calendar_2020_1.pdf If you make your own, make sure to start with the First Sunday of Advent on November 29 and end with Christmas Eve on December 24.
Incorporate an Advent wreath into your family prayer time. Find an explanation of the advent wreath and a prayer for blessing your family advent wreath here: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year-and-calendar/advent/about-advent-wreaths
There are books with prayers for every day of advent that you can use with your wreath. One of our favorites is Welcome Baby Jesus: https://g.co/kgs/fgkXMu
You can also sign up for daily reflections that work well with your advent wreath or by themselves:
Bishop Barron: https://dailycatholicgospel.com/adventreflections
Dynamic Catholic: https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever.html
Reflections For Kids:
Brother Francis: https://watch.formed.org/brother-francis-the-days-of-advent
Holy Heroes Advent Adventure: https://www.holyheroes.com/Holy-Heroes-Advent-Adventure-s/48.htm