Welcome to the First week of Advent! What is the real meaning of Advent? What can you do as an individual or community for Advent?
Here are some great ideas to help bring our families into a deeper experience of ADVENT and truly celebrate the reason for the season.
Advent prayers from Fr. Gerry:
The Advent Wreath
The Advent wreaths a circular garland of evergreen branches representing eternity. Set on the branches of the Advent wreath are four candles; 3 purple candles and one pink candle. A more modern tradition is to place a white candle in the center of the wreath. As a whole, the candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world.
Each week of Advent on Sunday, a particular Advent is lit. Catholic tradition states that the four candles, representing the four weeks of Advent, each stand for one thousand years, to total the 4,000 years from the time of Adam and Eve until the birth of our savior.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ.
The leader prays:
"Stir O'Lord,Your might, we pray you come, that defended by YOU, we may deserve rescue from approaching dangers brought on by our sins, and being set free by you, obtain our salvation. Who lives and reigns, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen"
This first candle represents hope or expectations the coming Messiah.
The Bethlehem Candle
On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit. This candle typically represents love. Some traditions call this the "Bethlehem Candle,"symbolizing Christ's manger.
The Leader prays: "Stir up our hearts O' Lord, to prepare the ways of your only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be worthy to serve you with purified minds. Who lives and reigns, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, word without end. Amen"
The Shepherds Candle
On the third Sunday of Advent the pink or rose colored candle is lit. The pink candle is primarily called, "the Shepherd's Candle, and it represents JOY."
The Leader prays: " Incline your ear to our prayers O' Lord, we beseech you; and make bright the darkness of our minds by the grace of your visitation. Who lives and reigns, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen"
The Angels Candle
The fourth and last purple candle, often called the "Angels Candle" represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.
The Leader prays: "Stir, O' Lord, your might, we beseech You, and come and with your great power come to our aid, that by the help of your grace, that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by your merciful forgiveness. Who lives and reigns, with God the Father , in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.Amen"
On Christmas Eve, the white candle is lit. This candle is called the Christ Candle. and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color white represents purity, Christ is the sinless, spotless,pure Savior. Those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and are made whiter than snow.
Music is a profound way to pray but we can’t forget the value of silence. Here is one more worship song to pray for ADVENT.
For Families with children k-6:
For Kids in grades k- 5:
For Kids in grades 6-7:
What do you know about ADVENT? What traditions does your family have during this time? How do you remember the true meaning of the season?
So.......... after watching those videos-who are YOU waiting for? How will you be ready for ADVENT? Some ideas to help... one way is to find ways to use the gifts that God has given you to help others.......for a example click the link below.
For YOUTH in Grade 8-12:
It's the first Sunday in Advent.... Let's remember what this is really all about.. Not even a pandemic can stop us form preparing the way.
I invite you to pray for a special experience of Advent in your heart this year. Pray for God to help you see all the ways that even in the middle of new challenges facing each of us that we receive the gifts that Jesus has for us , if only we accept him to work miracles that we can't even expect. Behold the wonder and grace that is born of every day and especially in a heart that is open to Jesus finding a home in you.