What is Advent?
Advent isn't about shopping, stressing, planning, or buying but about expecting, waiting, hoping, and praying. Advent is all about waiting for Jesus Christ—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. First, we remember and accompany Mary, Joseph, and the newborn Jesus. Second, we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth this Christmas, so that the day doesn’t pass us by with just sentimental words and short-lived presents. Third, we anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ, who will come in power and glory and establish his kingdom of peace and justice on earth.
What can I do this Advent to prepare for Christmas?
In the midst of the husle and bustle of the holidays try and pause and to enter more deeply into this beautiful season of Advent where the message of hope, love, joy, and peace abound. Some suggestions are below on what this might look like:
- Go to Mass and Confession
- Spend some extra time in prayer
- Be patient with your family
- Speak kindly to strangers
- Consider praying the O Antiphons from December 17-23 (see description and resources below)
- Calendar of events at St. B's
- Daily emails - from Dynamic Catholic and Loyola Press (for adults) and Holy Heroes (for families)
- Resources from the USCCB and Sadlier (children's activities)
- Advent Calendars - go digital this year with an Advent calendar from Busted Halo or Loyola Press (for children)
- Jesse Tree - learn about Jesus' genealogy through this Catholic tradition, and download free printable ornaments
- Advent Article recommended by Father Steve titled The journey of Advent: to hasten towards God's love
- Color and create your own 3D Nativity craft set - for kids and adults alike!
- What are O Antiphons? Antiphon means response and the O Antiphons are seven responses that are sung or recited to introduce the Magnificat prayer at evening prayer.
- These antiphons are based on Isaiah's prophies and refer to the different ancient titles given to the Messiah. You are most familiar with the title Emmanuel from the traditional Christmas carol O Come, O Come Emmunual which means God with us from Isaiah 7:14.
- Color and create Christmas ornaments with the O Antiphons with this craft