This weekend we celebrate the arrival of the season of Advent, which also marks the beginning of the liturgical year. Advent is a season of devout and joyful expectation. Its four Sundays highlight our desire and longing for peace, justice and unity.
While Advent expresses the deep longing of all humanity for God, it also celebrates the three-fold coming of the Lord by:
- Remembering the events that surrounded the Lord’s coming long ago
- Celebrating his coming among us today
- Looking forward to his final coming in glory
While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated. The promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.
Week #1: November 29th – December 5th, 2020
We thank you
for the exciting season of advent.
Together we travel on a journey of hope
toward greater kindness,
peace and joy
in our school, our parish and our families.
May our Advent journey also bring hope
to our sisters and brothers near and far
who are in need.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
Suggestions for a meaningful Advent at home…
Verbal gifts – Choose one family member’s name from a hat prior to Christmas. Write a letter or a poem or draw a picture to honour your ‘pick’. The verbal gifts can be shared on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Kris Kringle – For each week of Advent, choose the name of a family member. During that week, secretly perform a small act of kindness for that person (make their bed, leave a kind note). At the end of the week, family members guess who their Kris Kringle was! (The word ‘Kris Kringle’ is a derivative from the German meaning “Christ child”).
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. ~Isaiah 40:3
Dear Lord, I want to prepare myself for your coming.
Help me to think about You and not presents or other treats.
Help me understand what I must do to get ready.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. ~Isaiah 7:14
Dear God, the birth of your Son is a great miracle!
Help me to see the miracle that is You in each person I meet, even when he or she is unfriendly or mean to me.
Though I may not see it, each person is really a sign for
You, a true miracle. Let me see the miracles in the people around me.
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ~Matthew 3:2
Dear Jesus, I want to be like You. Help me to make changes in what I say and what I do so that I can be the best me!
Help me to feel Your love for everyone.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not! Behold your God will come…” ~ Isaiah 35:4
Dear Lord, help me to help those who are afraid.
Let me offer strength and encouragement to others,
Just as you always strengthen and encourage me.
The desert shall rejoice and blossom; Like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly. ~Isaiah 35:1-2
Dear God, let me take the time to stop and smell the flowers.
Help me to see the beauty in all of your creation.
Week #2: December 5th – December 12th, 2020
Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you…~Romans 15:7
Dear Lord, You love me always. No matter what I’ve done
You are always ready to welcome me back into Your love.
Help me to accept others the same way –
to welcome them, to love them, as You would.
Watch, therefore, for you do not know on what day. Your Lord is coming. ~Matthew 24:42
Dear Lord, it’s so hard to be ready all the time. I try to prepare,
but I’m so easily distracted. Help me to always
keep a part of myself in silence, listening for Your word,
looking for Your face, finding Your peace.
And Mary said “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to Your word. ~Luke 1:38
Dear Lord, Mary was such a brave and faithful person who
said “Yes” to Your will. Help me to say “Yes” to You, Lord, even
when it is difficult, and I am scared. Help me to learn to
trust You and follow You.
In the house of the Lord shall be established…Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. ~Isaiah 2:2,4
Dear God, help us to learn to become peacemakers, Help us to
never hurt anybody on the outside or the inside.
The Lord says: “Keep justice and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. ~Isaiah 56:1
Dear God, I want to be aware of what other people need this Christmas,
not just what I want. Show me the ways I can help people who
aren’t as lucky as I am.
Week #3: December 13th – December 18th, 2020
Rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Dear God, we rejoice in all the blessings You have given us. We
thank You especially for the gift of Your Son and the joy
He has brought into our lives.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the baby goat…and a little child shall lead them. ~ Isaiah 11:6
Dear Lord, sometimes I don’t want to feel hurts. I’d rather see my
enemies just disappear. Soften my heart and help me to make
the same peace You offer to everyone equally.
The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God will stand forever. ~ Isaiah 40:8
Dear God, help me to understand that the true meaning of
Christmas is Jesus – and the He comes to us every single day
throughout the year.
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you…He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will renew you with His love. ~ Zephaniah 3:15, 17
Dear Lord, help me to forgive the people I think have harmed me
in some way. Then help me to truly forget and to follow
forgiveness with love.
I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. ~ Isaiah 48:17
Dear Lord, I feel funny asking you to help me be friends with someone
or help me to do well at school, but that’s what my days are like for me
and I want you to be part of them. Help me to turn to You
more often and to listen to what You say.