Let’s do Advent better this year with family and friends

| November 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Advent wreath, week 1This Advent, let’s not just put an Advent wreath out as a decoration. Let’s really do Advent.

Let’s gather family or friends each week of the Advent season and pray that beautiful ritual together.

We can do this.

And we don’t have to be embarrassed about it, either.

Let’s pick a day of the week and a time that works for the folks we’d like to join us.

We might have to say something like, “Hey, remember praying around the Advent wreath when we were kids? Let’s do that again this year.”

Let’s invite friends, neighbors, co-workers, grandparents, children and grandchildren.

Keep it short and sweet

Our Advent wreath ceremony ­doesn’t have to be a major production — 10, 15 minutes max.

That’s not too much to ask.

And it’s pretty simple.

The Catholic Spirit is making it easy by publishing an Advent wreath ritual for each of the four weeks of the Advent season.

Clip it out of the paper or pull it up on http://www.TheCatholicSpirit.com and make all the copies you need.

And why?

Because it will be the first step in observing, living and celebrating the new church year.

Because it will get us started remembering our call to holiness.

And just think: If we do Advent right — if we prepare the way of the Lord in our own lives, in our own households, in our own communities — Christmas, this year, may just be less about presents and more about the gift that we all received with the birth of the Child Jesus.

Advent Week 1 — Nov. 28

The following Advent Wreath prayer is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, to be used by groups of adults or adults with children. Sharing the task of proclaiming the readings will allow for participation by a variety of members of the household.

Leader: Today begins a special time of year for us. This week we begin the season of Advent — that period of preparation and waiting before Christmas.

In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we take these few moments each week to pray together.

» Light the first candle on the Advent wreath.

» (Optional) read aloud: Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24: 37-44.

Leader: Did you hear the siren? Did the alarm go off for you? The readings that the church has chosen for this first Sunday of Advent are clear as a bell.

It’s a message that has been the same for centuries: You’d better get ready if you know what’s good for you! The prophet Isaiah lets the Israelites know that change is coming, and they are going to like it, because it is going to be a time of peace, a time when all will walk in the light of the Lord.

The evangelist Paul sounds the alarm, too. Paul tells the people of his day they’d better wake up and start acting right if they want to walk in the light of Christ. Matthew’s Gospel brings us that message, too.

“Stay awake,” he quotes Jesus, and you’d better have your life in order because you don’t know when your time will be up and you will be judged for how you lived.

Closing prayer:

(Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment.)

» Dear God, help us to be ready to walk in your light. This first week of Advent, help us prepare our minds and our hearts to follow the teachings of your son, Jesus.

» Holy Spirit, guide the choices we make throughout this week so that we choose to do what honors our creator and what shows our love of others.

» Father in heaven, we offer thanks to you for the many reminders you send us to prepare our lives so that we are able to spend eternity with you in heaven.

» Come, Lord Jesus. Come into our hearts, so that when the time comes, we will be prepared to join you in everlasting joy.


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