Our Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent—a time to prepare the way of the Lord for his coming as our King and Savior. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating [John the Baptist’s] birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (Catechism, no. 524).”
By employing the many traditions—such as praying with the Advent wreath, making a Jesse Tree, praying around the crèche, or putting on a Christmas play at home—Catholic families can engage more fruitfully in the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
What will your family do this Advent to make it special? We invite you to create an Advent altar/prayer space. Send us a picture of what you’re up to. We’d love to see it and share it with the parish.
May each of us grow in the grace of this holy season as we prepare for the nativity of our Lord.
With hopeful expectation,