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Celebrating Advent

The Advent season is a time of preparation directing our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the

advent candles anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. Below is a list of things you can do to make Advent a wonderful time for all in your family or parish.

Lectio Divina For Advent

Lectio divina is a form of meditation rooted in liturgical celebration that dates back to early monastic communities. It was a method practiced by monks in their daily encounter with Scripture, both as they prepared for the Eucharist and as they prayed the Liturgy of the Hours.

Use these Lectio Divina guides to meditate, contemplate, and pray on your spiritual preparation for Advent and Christmas.

Lectio Divina Para El Adviento

La Lectio Divina es una forma de meditación arraigada en la celebración litúrgica, que se remonta a las comunidades monásticas. Era un método practicado por monjes en su encuentro diario con la Escritura, tanto mientras se preparaban para la Eucaristía y al orar la Liturgia de las Horas.

The use of the Advent Wreath is a traditional practice which has found its place in the Church as well as in the home.Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent.  Ideally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used.

The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.

The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent. When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family.

Blessing Of A Christmas Tree

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Blessing Of A Christmas Manger Or Nativity Scene

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In its present form the custom of displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ owes its origin to St. Francis of Assisi, who made the Christmas crèche or manger for Christmas Eve of 1223.
The blessing of the Christmas manger or nativity scene may take place on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time.
When the manger is set up in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another family member.

View Printable Blessing

For more resources on Advent visit usccb.org

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