I know Advent has some similarities with Lent. How can one have a good ADVENT? What ought we be doing?
I guess good things and maybe giving some stuff up more so than normal. Wish me luck on doing so!
I think of Advent as more a time of quiet anticipation rather than penitence. It’s a time for prayer, for contemplation, for wonder. I think the hardest thing about Advent is finding quiet time – or perhaps making it a priority – when busy-ness takes over our lives.
We wait in anticipation for the 'Birth of our Savior" and should be joyful in what Christmas really means. We should also look to our brothers and sisters who are in need of a helping hand.[ this ought to be done all year round ] and do what we can for them… Spiritually meditate on what the birth of Jesus means to us, why He has come into the world, where His journey through life will take Him. May your heart be fill of Love and may the Baby Jesus embrace you and yours.
It was a Christmas Vacation reference
Thanks for polluting an othereise lovely topic. Is there some reason you think the world needs more ugliness?
Just wrote this for this upcoming Sunday bulletin. Thought it seemed appropriate in response here:
FROM THE DEACON
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord”. We hear these iconic words in our first reading this Sunday from the prophet Isaiah. As I put pen to paper (well okay, fingers to keyboard) to write this note, our good pastor is preparing for the upcoming busy season by taking few well deserved days off with family in Vermont. He is no doubt praying, as he often does, for snow. Not to worry though, my prayers are cancelling his out.
Nonetheless, we would all do well to take our cue from both him and Isaiah and use this time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. During Advent we anticipate both the coming of the baby Jesus at the nativity, as well as the coming of the Risen Jesus at the end of time. In preparing for these dual “comings”, we should keep in mind that Advent is NOT the Christmas season, but is in fact a time to anticipate and prepare, both temporally and spiritually.
The Advent season has these characteristics: It is a season of,
1) Hopeful longing,
2) Joyful expectation,
3) Prayerful penance, and
4) Spiritual preparation.
Our Church has throughout the ages, given us many traditions to assist us in this preparation. In that vein, may I be so bold as to suggest a few that may help us all prepare for the coming of Lord.
- Advent Wreath: One of the most popular ways to celebrate Advent is with an Advent wreath. Four candles (three purple and one pink), are used to count down the weeks until Christmas. Each Sunday of Advent one of the candles is lit and special prayers are said. Each Sunday of Advent has a particular theme leading up to the birth of Christ.
- Advent Devotional Reading: There are lots of great Advent books that take you deeper into the profound theology of Advent. God comes to us as a Child, and this is amazing to think about! Going through each day with devotional reading is one of the best ways to spiritually prepare yourself for Christmas, the birth of the King of Kings.
- Advent Calendars: Another popular way to celebrate the Advent season, especially popular with children, is the Advent calendar. Counting down the days to Christmas helps children to anticipate patiently and to focus on waiting for the baby Jesus to be born. You can purchase one, or make one as a fun craft time for kids.
- Nativity Scenes: Nativity sets are a classic tradition and are great to display during the Advent season. To make the display especially poignant, wait until Christmas Eve to place the Baby Jesus into the scene. The Vatican has a neat tradition of the Holy Father blessing the Baby Jesus from family nativity scenes, called Bambinelli Sunday. This takes place on the third Sunday of Advent—Gaudete Sunday. Perhaps you could ask your vacationing pastor to bless your Baby Jesus figure upon his return from “Holiday Inn”. (Vermont, Connecticut, WHATEVER. It’s all “Patriot country” anyway.)
5. Celebrate the saints of the Advent season. In addition to St. Andrew’s feast day on November 30th—the Advent kickoff— there are other saints with feast days during Advent that have special cultural traditions associated with them. St. Nicholas Day is on December 6th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (a Holy Day of “Opportunity”) is December 8th, Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day is December 12th, and St. Lucy’s feast day (and my bride’s B-day) is December 13th…
6. Another beautiful tradition is praying the O Antiphons from the Liturgy of the Hours in the eight days leading up to Christmas. The O Antiphons are the antiphons of the Evening Prayers (Vespers) during the week before Christmas. It is from these inspiring prayers that we get the lyrics to “O Come O Come Immanuel”. Each antiphon welcomes the birth of the Savior by heralding one of the resplendent Biblical titles of the soon-to-be-born Son of God as foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah.
And finally and most importantly,
- Advent Penance Services: Advent is traditionally known as the “little Lent” and is therefore a time for penitential practices. Many Catholic parishes, ours included, have special penance services for Advent. Confession is an important part of preparing room for the coming of Christ into our hearts, that is, allowing Him to draw us into deeper conversion.
I hope you all have a blessed Advent season as you “prepare the way of the Lord.”
Pop culture reference went way over your head, eh?
PS, if anyone complains or makes the ridiculous claim that thats not “pg” (something I’ve gotten in trouble in this board for) that movie is rated PG-13 and we both made literal verbatim quotes from it.
Can’t get much more PG than verbatim quoting a PG movie.
The people who find such things troubling seriously worry me when I think how much they must have to smother their kids. There’s a reason Catholic school girls have the reputation they have… severe oppression leads to severe rebellion.
Actually it’s a movie I watch every year. The language is still inappropriate for this forum.
I was under the impression the language on this forum was to be rated PG…
Christmas Vacation is rated PG…
How much more PG does it get than verbatim quoting a PG movie?
I feel there is an overly sensitive, waaaay too easily offended, very thin skinned attitude taken by many on this forum.
I do appreciate the forum rebuild though - I’ve been suspended twice now. On the old forum, I would’ve been permanently banned twice over.
(My first suspension was for quoting Trump verbatim and using censored cuss words which he used in the quote. My second suspension was for telling someone they may have received Communion unworthily and to do so is sacrilege)
I’m a Military Veteran who was raised by my father - a USMC combat veteran and a literal truck driver… let’s just say, four letter words have been part of my vocabulary since I was four years old Maybe my skin is just a bit thicker than your average bears…
Try to be a perfect gentleman, or we shall make you do push-ups.
(Full disclosure: I probably use language much worse than you when I’m really angry, but I am trying to quit.)
Flutter kicks for me, I’m a fatbody.
“On your face, scumbag!”
insert random R Lee Ermey quote
Hey, the movie is called Christmas Vacation. This is a thread about Advent. It’s off topic anyway!
For the record, I work on a university campus. People don’t even have to be upset to have four-letter words flying out of their mouths. I still think it’s ugly and wish they would refrain.
We are talking about the birth of Jesus Christ, would both of you kindly stop out of respect, please. Thank you.and God Bless:
One thing I like to do is Advent candles, whether it be some time during the day or in the evening. It’s a great reminder of expectation and encourages a spirit of recollection.
Agree, nicely stated.
Thanks, Deacon Jeff.