Season of Advent restores a horizon of hope, 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! He is
faithful." (Pope Francis 2013)
The Advent Wreath
having no beginning and no end, made of evergreens, symbolising
God's everlasting love and also that those who love God will have
everlasting life with him.
On the 1st Sunday of
Advent the candles on the
traditional Advent Wreath are blessed, symbolising the light
and love that Jesus brought into the world. The three purple
candles symbolise the time of preparation and the rose candle for joy and rejoicing
(Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd of Advent).
An Advent prayer:
As we light the Advent candles in preparation
for our celebration of the Birth of Your son, may the fire of Your
love burn away the dusts of our complacency. May we be able to see
the world as it really is, with so many of Your people living in
poverty. We ask You to light anew the flame of our passion for
justice, so that the Jubilee spirit still lives on in us.
The season of Advent celebrates two
comings in the life of Christ: one future and one past.
Advent prepares our hearts for the second coming of Christ
for he will bring history to an end by fully establishing his
kingdom. Also, Advent prepares our hearts for the celebration of
Christ’s first coming, Christmas. Advent is a season of joy for we
are grateful for Christ’s coming in the manger and Advent is
a season of repentance as we know that Christ comes again in
holiness, power, and judgment. ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II
On the second Sunday of
Advent, John the Baptist’s call to prepare the way of
the Lord is urgent, full of joy and excitement as well as concern
about readiness to face the glory of God. Amid the business of our
lives let us prepare for the coming of the Lord who brings justice,
wholeness and right relationship with God.
While a novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is
sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of
days. The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply
the "Christmas Novena" or the "Christmas Anticipation Prayer", because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint
Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.
The First Sunday
of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew. The
novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God
Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honour of the birth
of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all
at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five
times at each meal).
Saint Andrew Christmas
Novena: Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which
the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight,
in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our
Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
An Advent Reflection (contributed from Canada, December 2007)
Little Lord, what are hearts hoping
for this Advent?
It is the Season of hope and joy, peace and love. Sweet mysterious
God, coming to us in the form of a helpless baby......
Born in a stable, poor and cold, bringing to the hearts of all who
love You, the message of the crowns of grace - humility and love.
For God so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son into the
world to capture our hearts.
'Come to the Manger!', You call.
What do we see? What are You saying from the place Wisdom has
chosen for You and for us?
Animals - be kind to them for they were kinder than man to You.
Poverty and nakedness - rejected by some, forced on some, embraced
by You as a sign that You alone can change what the world has made
dirty into a source of grace, and it is You alone who can give us
our hearts desire, for only unattached to the things of the world,
surrendering the things life has inflicted upon the heart, shall we
see You clearly.
Beauty and humility - Apart from You, little King, was there any
more beauty and humility possible than the sight of the Mother You
chose, Sweet Mary, holding You close to Her heart?
Joseph - kindness and goodness, silence and strength. A teacher to
the child, and a teacher to us - if we let him.
Poor Shepherds, rich Kings........both called to show that ALL are
called. Your love makes no distinction.
Why does ours?
Straw and dirt - symbols of our heart.
Didn't many "comfortable places" exist where You could have laid
Your head? But You chose straw and dirt to say to us:
"I love You so much nothing you have ever done or nothing you will
ever do will change that love.
And I will always, always come to the heart of those who invite me,
whatever their condition, for I AM love and mercy itself.
Will you believe in such love?
Will you believe that I am capable of such love for you?
Will you lay down your pride that says your sins are bigger than my
Give to me the joy of believing that I am more loving, more
merciful, more humble than all the sins of the world combined.
And if you believe this, won't you give me the joy of believing
that you are but a tiny mess and I am big enough to fix all?
Open your hearts and say to me "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief"
and I shall come and set up my home upon the altar of your heart,
and there we shall together adore the Father, who gave life to you
that He may have it back through Me.
Today is the beginning of the rest of your life - believe in my
love for you."
Monday of the First Week of Advent; Reading 1, Is 2:1-5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and
Jerusalem. In days to come, The mountain of the LORD's house shall
be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and
"Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain, to the house of the God of
Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his
paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of
the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and
impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into
ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall
not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war
again. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the
LORD! ...[Responsorial Psalm, Ps 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7,
Tuesday of the First Week of Advent; Reading 1, Is
11:1-10 On that day, A shoot shall sprout from the stump of
Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the
LORD shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of
fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the
land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his
mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt
upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the
leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion
shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow
and the bear shall be neighbours, together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the
cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There
shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth
shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the
sea. On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the
nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be
glorious. ... [Responsorial Psalm, Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13,
Friday of the First Week of Advent (First Friday - 2011)
Reading 1, Is 29:17-24 Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very
little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the
orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the
blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the
poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no
more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil
will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare
his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty
claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob,
who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed
of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of
my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall
reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of
Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and
those who find fault shall receive instruction. [Responsorial
Psalm, Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14]
Saturday December 3, 2011; Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier,
priest (First Saturday) Reading 1, Is 30:19-21, 23-26 Thus says
the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: O people of Zion, who dwell
in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you
when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord
will give you the bread you need and the water for which you
thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own
eyes you shall see your Teacher, While from behind, a voice shall
sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would
turn to the right or to the left. He will give rain for the seed
that you sow in the ground, And the wheat that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant. On that day your flock will be given
pasture and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows; The oxen and
the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with
shovel and pitchfork. Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there
will be streams of running water. On the day of the great
slaughter, when the towers fall, The light of the moon will be like
that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times
greater like the light of seven days. On the day the LORD binds up
the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his
blows. [Responsorial Psalm, Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6]
The Advent ‘O’ Antiphons: Titles of our Lord
17th O Sapientia - O Wisdom; 18th O Adonai - O Lord of Might;
19th O Radix Jesse - O Root of Jesse; 20th O Clavis David - O Key
of David; 21st O Oriens - O Morning Star; 22nd O Rex Gentium - O King of the
Gentiles; 23rd O Emmanuel - O Emmanuel
[ I love the time of the ‘O’Antiphons’, the last days of
Advent, from the 17th- 22nd. The English titles are O Wisdom, O
Lord of Might, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Morning Star, O
King of the Nations, O Emmanuel, (which means God is with us.) They
are used as antiphons on the Magnificat on those evenings. Titles
of our Lord. It was wonderful to see them carved into the pillars
of St Joseph’s Chapel in the caves next to the Grotto of the
Nativity in Bethlehem. (Fr. Philip - 2012) ]
Our Lady (Medjugorje), past
messages:- December 13, 1984 "Dear children! You know
that the season of joy is getting closer, but without love you will
achieve nothing. So first of all, begin to love your own family,
everyone in the parish, and then you'll be able to love and accept
all who are coming over here. Now let these seven days be a week
when you need to learn to love. Thank you for having responded to
November 25, 1996 "Dear children! Today, again, I invite
you to pray, so that through prayer, fasting and small sacrifices
you may prepare yourselves for the coming of Jesus. May this time,
little children, be a time of grace for you. Use every moment and
do good, for only in this way will you feel the birth of Jesus in
your hearts. If with your life you give an example and become a
sign of God's love, joy will prevail in the hearts of men. Thank
you for having responded to my call."
December 02, 2009 "Dear children, At this time of
preparation and joyful expectation I, as a mother, desire to point
you to what is the most important, to your soul. Can my Son be born
in it? Is it cleansed by love from lies, arrogance, hatred and
malice? Above all else does your soul love God as your Father and
does it love your fellow brother in Christ? I am pointing you to
the way which will raise your soul to a complete union with my Son.
I desire for my Son to be born in you. What a joy that would be for
me as mother. Thank you."
Medjugorje message to the world, through
visionary Marija, on November 25th 2012 “Dear children! In
this time of grace, I call all of you to renew prayer. Open
yourselves to Holy Confession so that each of you may accept my
call with the whole heart. I am with you and I protect you from the
ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion
and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God. Give
Him time and He will give Himself to you and thus, in the will of
God you will discover the love and the joy of living. Thank you for
having responded to my call.”
LINKS (external links open a new
to helpful Advent homilies from our archive
Listen to our Bishop
Mark O'Toole's Advent 2015 reflection (given on the day
Pope Francis opened the Holy Door in St Peter's to inaugurate the
Jubilee of Mercy 2015-16.) Bishop Mark recalls when, as a young
priest, he was chaplain to a community of enclosed religious nuns.
An elderly sister turned to him one day after he had heard her
confession and said: "Thank you for giving me the power of
2009/10/11 archive: Bishop Christopher's Reflections
for Advent & Christmastide. A series of reflections from
the first Sunday of Advent to the Baptism of Jesus. Read or
download by clicking these links: 2009 pdf also year C
(Luke) as current 2012-13 |
2010 pdf | 2011 pdf
Pastoral Letter for the Feast of the Holy Family - 30th Dec
Season of Advent in the Catholic Church > Why Do Priests
Wear Purple During Advent? > What Is Gaudete Sunday? > and
more - on about.com
The meaning, rituals and
symbolism of Advent within the Catholic Church -
# O Come, O Come,
Emmanuel (Clare Coll. Choir, Cambridge) # -
Awaiting the Christ
Child. An Advent meditation that encourages us to await the
coming of Christ with expectation and joyful anticipation -
"The Virgin Mary Perfectly Incarnates the Spirit of Advent"
- this spirit is one of listening to God, of profound desire to
do his will, of joyous service to our neighbour. Letting ourselves
be guided by her, so that the God who comes does not find us closed
and distracted, but can, in each one of us, extend a part of his
kingdom of love, of justice and of peace." - read Pope
Benedict's address on 2nd December 2012
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