Happy New Year!!
Advent marks the beginning of a new Liturgical Year for the Catholic Church. We begin the year by remembering that we are waiting for the coming of Christ in glory. So we join our ancestors in faith from the Old Testament in their holy longing for the Messiah.
Every year we hear people talk about putting Christ back into Christmas. Advent can restore Jesus to the center of the Christmas celebration, because each day of Advent prepares us for the birth of Jesus. The whole family can participate and find the observance meaningful.
Advent is filled with many traditions and holy days that help us to prepare our hearts and homes for the celebration of Christ’s birth on Christmas. Here are a few opportunities for you to get into the spirit of Advent.
1. Advent Wreath – Advent wreaths are made of a circle of evergreen branches with four candles, representing the four weeks of Advent. Light a candle each Sunday and say an advent prayer together as a family. Share what you are thankful for and your hopes for the coming year.
Weekly Advent Wreath Prayers for the home:
Click on the picture for a Printable Advent Candle activity for kids:
For Adults and Teens there is Lectio Divina for Advent
Use these Lectio Divina guides to meditate, contemplate, and pray on your spiritual preparation for Advent and Christmas.
2. Jesse Tree – Jesse Trees are a very old Advent Tradition and first started in medieval times. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. Each day of Advent read a bible passage about God’s saving power. Make an ornament to symbolize the story and hang it on your Christmas tree.
Daily Family Prayer
Download Scripture Stories for your Jesse Tree from CathFamily.org:
Click below for Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments
3. Advent Calendar – Advent calendar is relatively new way to count down the days until Christmas day. There are different kinds of Advent calendars, from coloring pages for kids to scripture readings for adults.
For adults The Word Among Us offers daily reflections on the daily mass readings.
Go to The Word Among Us daily meditations
Below are printable Advent Calendar for kids from Loyola Press.