This is a reposting of an article I wrote around this time last year, but given the topic, the reminder remains relevant…
December 1, just a mere 3 weeks from this coming Sunday, Advent begins.
Yikes! I find that I know it’s coming, but I’m rarely properly prepared. So I figure, it’s always helpful to make a plan to observe Advent long before the busy-ness of the holiday season encroaches upon us. Below are some suggestions you may want to put into your plan and/or your family’s plan. As for me…
I think this year…
- I’m going to get a new Advent wreath. What I use now really isn’t a wreath, but 4 candle holders and no greens. I already bought my candles earlier in the year. So I’m set with that.
- I’ll read The Interior Castle by St. Theresa of Avila, and I’m considering asking some friends to read the book with me and discuss it weekly over the 4 weeks. That’s always a good way to keep to my reading commitment.
- Finally, given that Advent is a time of penance, I need to fast from something. I’ve been reading about Christ’s Passion in The Way of Divine Love and one of the things that humbles me greatly is that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, he didn’t say a thing. Nothing. I can’t imagine that. So I think for Advent I’m going to fast from complaining. Lord knows that’ll be a penance!
I pray your preparations get underway soon.
Sweet Babe of Bethlehem, pray for us. Anne
Advent is just around the corner, and it’s time to seize the moment in order to make the most of this beautiful season the Church gives us to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. I thought I’d share some ideas about what you can do this week so that you hit the ground running next week. Click on any of the links below for details.
Prayer: In spite of what the culture tells us, advent is a season of repentance. Be sure to schedule a time to go to confession, if possible bring the kids, too. This coming Saturday is First Saturday. Go to Mass and confession and pray the rosary – make this the beginning of your First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Consider praying a novena or adding the Mass or rosary to your day.
- Examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments
- Examination of conscience for adults
- Examination of conscience for teens
- Examination of conscience for children
- St. Andrew Novena starts on November 30 and is prayed until Christmas.
- Novena to the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States starts on this Friday, November 30 and is prayed until December 8.
- Participate in a parish Giving Tree program.
- Volunteer at local soup kitchen or food pantry
- Help to welcome an unborn child by volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center
- Reach out to an elderly person in your neighborhood and serve them through the winter.
Things to do with the kids:
- Jesse Tree
- A Jesse “Tea” for Advent
- Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis Xavier (Dec 3), St. Nicholas (Dec 6), Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12), St. Lucy (Dec 13).
- Check out the list of activities for December at showerofroses.
- Read on your own, or better yet, do a book discussion with some friends. Over the 4 weeks of Advent, schedule 4 times to get together to discuss a book or part of a book pertinent to the season. My personal favorite is The Reed of God by Carryl Houselander.
- Check out these recommended titles at Patheos.
- If you haven’t already done so, get you Magnificat Advent Companion.
Finally….don’t forget to get your Advent Candles!
Guardian Angels, help us to open our hearts to the grace of the coming season, pray for us! Anne