Posted tagged ‘Advent’

Lesson Notes: Advent Packet

November 16, 2016

advent-activities

Family Formation’s seasonal activity packets have some unique characteristics that distinguish them from the other Home Lessons and since Advent is the first one you’ll get this year, this seems like a good time to give an overview.

  • You’ll get four of them each year; Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
  • Quite often they are not assigned a specific week for you to do them.
  • Also, they can typically be done at any point in the season.
  • Unlike the Home Lessons, where it really is the goal to do as much as possible, each activity in these lessons stands alone and you may choose to do one or lots of them.
  • Even though this one is listed at the bottom of the “Month Outline” on the sidebar of your Home Lesson covers, you’ll want to pull it out earlier in the month to do a little planning and preparation.

Advent is one of those movable feasts, not associated with any particular date.  It always starts four Sundays before Christmas, but because Christmas could fall on any day of the week, some Advents are several days shorter than others.  This year, since Christmas is on a Sunday, Advent is as long as it could possibly be.  That gives you lots of time to prepare and really spend time with the season before moving on to the celebration at Christmas!

Advent begins on November 27 this year, so sometime before then, look through this packet and find find an activity or two that will work for your family.

Gaudete!

December 12, 2015

Advent Activities

Today is the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete (gow-DAY-tay) Sunday.  The day takes its common name from the first word of the introit of this day’s Mass:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

This may be translated as: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.” Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1

Wikipedia

Rose colored vestments may be worn instead of violet and you probably have a rose-colored candle in your Advent wreath for today.  Why rose?  I like to think of it in terms of a sunrise.  In that time between darkness and day, the sky is often a beautiful pink color.  This transition is a little like the third Sunday in Advent.  We’re past the half-way point and it’s time for a little encouragement in our time of extra Advent sacrifices.  Which brings me to the next point:

How’s your Advent going?  We started out with extra prayers and sacrifices, Advent calendars and Jesse Tree readings, and it’s possible some of that has fallen to the wayside during this busy month.  No matter where you are, I’d like to encourage you to rejoice today in the good that has happened and pick it all up again for these last couple weeks before Christmas.  It’s not too late to continue to prepare your family for a deeper relationship with Jesus!

(Thanks to B for sharing the photo and I’d like to mention how great it is that her Jesse Tree and Advent calendar are down low at a preschooler’s level.)

Prepping for the Season

November 19, 2015

Advent will be here before you know it, so it’s time to get this year’s Liturgical Calendar. Did you know that this is one of the individual pieces you can buy on Family Formation’s web site?   Liturgical calendars make a great gift for godchildren or anyone else who wants to keep track of the seasons and Bible readings of the Church. They’re very reasonably priced and available in two formats both in either Spanish or English: ready-to-color or colored and laminated.

liturgical-calendar-cycle-c-ready-to-color-2015-front

The main advantage of the uncolored one you get to be both artist and student! Directions for coloring to match the Liturgical Seasons are a part of each calendar and we guarantee you’ll learn as you work.

liturgical-calendar-cycle-c-ready-to-color-2015-back

The back is also filled with great stuff Catholics should know!

liturgical-calendar-cycle-c-colored-and-laminated-spanish-front

The colored and laminated option is durable enough to survive lots of handling as you refer to it throughout the entire year. It’s a great choice if you have children who are too small for detailed coloring but still want to keep track of the color your priest will be wearing at Mass each Sunday.

Advent Week 4 – Prayer and reflection for busy households

December 20, 2014

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: The fourth and final week of Advent begins today. As we near Christmas, we spend this moment in prayer so that we are better prepared to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts and into our lives.

Light all four candles on the Advent wreath.
Read aloud 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38. (A different person might read each passage.)
Leader: When we think that we are in charge and in control, that’s when we need to remember it is God who has provided everything we have and made us everything we are.

This fourth week of Advent, the reading from 2 Samuel leaves us asking: “Do I have a dwelling place for the Lord in my heart?” This week, let’s ask ourselves, “Are our hearts a fitting place for the Christ Child to rest his head?”

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

Father in heaven, help us to remember that all our gifts come from you. When we think we are in charge, remind us that we are your people and that you are our God. And let us have no gods — not wealth, not power, not fame, not material things — before you.

God above, as you found favor in the Virgin Mary, help us live so that you find favor in our lives. Help us to be holy.

Help us, Lord, to follow Mary’s example of faith and trust. Along with Mary, help us, too, to say: “Yes, God, I am yours. Do with me as you want. Make me your hands on earth.”

Holy Spirit, inspire us to live every day as if Christmas were just a week away.

Gaudete!

December 14, 2014

Why is this Sunday different than the other Sundays in Advent?  Wikipedia is here to help us out.

benedict in rose

Advent Week 3 – Prayer and reflection for busy households

December 13, 2014

From this week’s 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: With the start of this third week of the season of Advent, we are halfway to Christmas.

So, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ and for the second coming of the Lord, we light three candles, including a special one of a different color.

Light the first two candles on the Advent wreath again, and the third one — one that is a lighter color, usually pink or white. (Choose a different person for this task each week.)
Read aloud Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28. (A different person might read each passage.)
Leader: Lighting the lighter-colored candle this week is a sign that what was dark is getting brighter, and joy is on its way. We can hardly wait to rejoice and sing at Christmas. We know that the wonder of the season tends to push all our sadness and sorrow away, so we start to feel that special feeling already.

The prophet Isaiah, in this third week of Advent, recalls for us what that joy is like. Feeling God in our lives lifts our spirits. And what is it that will make even the poor happy and the hurting healed? Praise for God and justice for others. St. Paul reminds us to pray, to be holy and to not let anything quench our joyous spirit.

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

Father in heaven, help us hear again the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the desert. Help us make straight the pathways of our own lives so that those paths lead to eternal life with you.

God above, do good and avoid evil is so easy to say, yet so hard to put into practice. Be with us in each and every moment of each and every day so that we remain blameless and worthy of your coming.

Help us, Lord, not to dampen the joy of others. Remind us this week to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing.

Holy Spirit, guide us so that our lives may be testimony of the wonders and the love of God, so that others might believe through us.

Advent Week 2 – Prayer and reflection for busy households

December 6, 2014

Again, thanks to 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 the second week of the season of Advent. 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 two candles on the Advent wreath. (Choose a different person for this task each week.)
  • Read aloud Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8. (A different person might read each passage.)

Leader: If you close your eyes and imagine you are living in the time of John the Baptist, it is easy to hear a deep, booming voice shouting, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” In the Bible passages for this second week of Advent, we hear John the Baptist repeating those words of Isaiah the prophet. They both remind us that we’d better work seriously to make straight our own paths and to clean up the wastelands in our own lives.

And St. Paul tells us how to do that: by being holy.

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

Father in heaven, during this second week of Advent, help us see clearly the times when we have sinned. Accept our sorrow for having pulled away from you, and give us firm resolve to stay close to you.

God above, help us conduct ourselves in holiness. We long to be the people you expect us to be. Help us as we strive to make our souls spotless and our hearts and minds at peace.

Help us, Lord, to remember that we were baptized for a reason. Help us realize our baptismal call to live as children of God.

And dear God, don’t let us miss chances this week to be welcoming to other people and to work in harmony with everyone. Help us as we try to change our ways so that we are good examples of people who love and follow the Lord.


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