Advent - the Old and the New
This weekend we begin the season of Advent: the beginning of the Church year. A cycle of time that celebrates the arrival of Christ in
(in a manger at Bethlehem), in
(today through the sacraments that we celebrate) and in
(his future coming at the end of time).
comes from the Latin word meaning "coming." Jesus is coming, and Advent is intended to be a season of preparation for His arrival. While we typically regard Advent as a joyous season, it is also intended to be a period of preparation, much like Lent. As in Lent, Violet is the seasonal liturgical color; Prayer, penance and fasting are appropriate during this season (although not in as deep a penitential sense as the season of Lent).
Each week of Advent, mirroring the spirit of the Advent Wreath which consists of four candles (three violet and one rose), has a different theme:
- thousands of years ago, the faithful held fast to the prophecies that the Messiah would arrive, and they ardently hoped that God would fulfill His promises to them. The first week of Advent honors that longing. We contemplate His coming and to reach out to Him knowing that He will lead us through the darkness.
- We are called to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Following the Gospel reading of this weekend, we are called to focus on the messages of repentance and forgiveness that John the Baptist preached as he prepared the way for Jesus. During this week, we are asked to call on God to move us to action for He will answer if we do so.
- The week begins with Gaudete Sunday. This is the turning point in Advent where we move from hope and preparation to rejoicing.
means “rejoice” in Latin. The spirit of the Advent celebration lightens. This week is a time to be joyous because salvation is at hand. The rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath is lit during this week.
- In the last week before Christmas, we focus on God’s love as we prepare for the Good news, rejoicing in the truth that there is no greater Love than His. Using the example of St. Joseph, we are challenged to persevere in love and faithfulness to both God and Mary, for even though Jesus was God’s child, Joseph listened to God and cared for Him as his own.
One wonderful way to observe Advent as a preparation for Christmas is to celebrate with a blessing of the Advent wreath, much as the wreath in church is blessed. Following is a prayer that can be used at home (from
Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers
Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The blessing may conclude with a verse from
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:
O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
The season of Advent restores … a hope which does not disappoint for it is founded on God’s Word. A hope which does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! … Let us think about and feel this beauty.
Pope Francis, Angelus-December 1, 2013
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Video/Daily Reflection Series -
Brother Francis: The Days of Advent
Each day of Advent, Brother Francis will lead us on a daily journey in this special seasonal celebration of the coming of the Lord! Featuring meditations, prayers, and suggested activities to keep our focus on Christ this Christmas.
Be sure to sign up so you don't miss a single installment!
If you haven't done so already, go to
, click on the REGISTER NOW button
. Enter your e-mail address on the registration screen and you're good to go!
Do you find these weekly eCommunity mailings useful and think that family members or friends could benefit? Invite them either by having them text
on their smartphone or by signing up on our parish website at
- we'd love to have them join us!
Fr. Ed Blanchett
on Friday, November 29, 2019 at 3:00PM