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The time of joyful anticipation as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord as foretold centuries before by the prophets.
Listen to Advent homilies from our library (2021-22 & 2018-19 are year C - Luke)
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"The 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 is round 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. Amen

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 (1920-2005)

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 love?

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."

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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 say:
"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, 8-9]

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, 17]

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 Jesus

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 my call."

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 window/tab)

  • listen to helpful Advent homilies from our library 

  • ######### Watch Bishop Robert Barron speaking on: The Spirituality of Advent and Advent God's Holy Mountain - (Friends, as we begin the Advent season, here are some reflections on the second chapter of the prophet Isaiah. The Church proposes his great image of God’s holy mountain as a spiritual challenge and point of meditation.)

  • 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 Christ".

  • 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

  • The Season of Advent in the Catholic Church > Why Do Priests Wear Purple During Advent? > What Is Gaudete Sunday? > and more - on

  • Awaiting the Christ Child. An Advent meditation that encourages us to await the coming of Christ with expectation and joyful anticipation - YouTube 

  • "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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