Advent Week 1 – Prayer and Reflections for Busy Households

From the Catholic Spirit.

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, intended to be used for personal prayer and reflection or by groups of adults or adults with children. Options are noted to allow for participation by a variety of members of a household.

Leader: Today begins a special time of year for us. This week we begin the season of Advent, that period of waiting before Christmas. In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we want to take a few moments each week to pray together.

  • Light the first candle on the Advent wreath. (Choose a different person for this task each week.)
  • Read aloud Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2b-7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37. (A different person might read each passage.)

Leader: Did you ever wonder why God didn’t make it easier for us to be good?

The Bible passages that the church has chosen for this first Sunday of Advent point out two things: that we aren’t perfect, and that we could be — and we’d better be! — better people.

The prophet Isaiah begs God for help. The evangelist Paul offers up a thank-you to God for all the gifts we have. And Mark’s Gospel reminds us that the time to start living the right way is right now — this Advent — today.

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

Dear God, help us to accept that we are the clay and that you are the potter. Throughout this first week of Advent, help us remember that we are your people and that you are our God. Help us get our priorities right and put the most important things first: loving God and loving our neighbor.

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 gifts and talents you have given to all the people on earth, to our family and friends, to the neighbors we know and the neighbors we have yet to befriend.

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

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