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Advent

Wednesdays in Advent at OLV

 December 1st at 7:00 PM

Advent Reflection by Fr. Larry Rice, CSP

December 8th at 7:00 PM

Novus Ordo Latin Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and Reflections by Fr. Nathaniel Resila

 December 15th at 7:00 PM

“St. Therese of Lisieux, an Advent saint” by Fr. Tom Morrette

December 22nd at 7:00 PM

Advent Communal Penance Service (Confession) in preparation for Christmas

 

Make an Advent Wreath for Your Home

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25 and is our time of preparation for our yearly celebration of the birth of Jesus into our world. Lighting the candles on an Advent wreath in the weeks leading up to Christmas is a great way to help us remember that we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. In church, every week another candle is lighted as we journey towards Christmas. As we do in church, it is customary to have an Advent wreath in our homes and to light a candle for each week of Advent. Prayers typically accompany the lighting and this can be done at every evening meal or on the first evening meal of the week. This is also the time to be creative, not guilty. For the candle lighting, if you don't often gather as a family because dinner time is hectic with activities, create a new tradition and make it a before-bedtime ritual to light a candle and say a few prayers reflecting on the day that has ended. Or if morning works better, start the day with Advent prayers holding in our hearts our hopes for the day ahead and lighting the Advent candle over breakfast. If you are by yourself, you can create your own ritual, knowing that you are joining with Christians around the world in this sacred season. Instead of sharing out loud, journal your responses to the questions asked during the sharing time. Traditionally, the youngest child lights the candle the first week, the oldest child the second week, one parent the third week and the other parent the fourth week. However, these roles can be chosen to make sure everyone is included and there is family peace.

BLESSING OF THE ADVENT WREATH: When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family in these words:

Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, he is the Savior of every nation.

Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath.

May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May he come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

 

Fourth Week of Advent - Blessing of a Christmas Tree

Christmas is almost here! Have you blessed your Christmas tree yet?

According to custom, the Christmas tree is set up just before Christmas and may remain in place until the Solemnity of Epiphany. The lights of the tree are illuminated after the prayer of blessing.

In the home the Christmas tree may be blessed by a parent or another family member, in connection with the evening meal on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time on Christmas Day.

When all have gathered, a suitable song may be sung.

The leader makes the sign of the cross, and all reply “Amen.”

The leader may greet those present in the following words:

Let us glorify Christ our light, who brings salvation and peace into our midst, now and forever.

R/. Amen.

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing:

My brothers and sisters, amidst signs and wonders Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea: his birth brings joy to our hearts and enlightenment to our minds. With this tree, decorated and adorned, may we welcome Christ among us; may its lights guide us to the perfect light.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Titus 3:4 (lines 4-7)  or Ezekiel 17:22  (lines 22-24 4; I will plant a tender shoot on the mountain heights of Israel.)

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

R/. Thanks be to God.

The intercessions are then said. The leader says:

 

Let us ask God to send his blessing upon us and upon this

sign of our faith in the Lord.

R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.

That this tree of lights may remind us of the tree of glory on

which Christ accomplished our salvation, let us pray to the

Lord. R/.

That the joy of Christmas may always be in our homes, let

us pray to the Lord. R/.

That the peace of Christ may dwell in our hearts and in the

world, let us pray to the Lord. R/.

After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer.

The leader says the prayer with hands joined:

Lord our God,

we praise you for the light of creation:

the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.

We praise you for the light of Israel:

the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom of the Scriptures.

We praise you for Jesus Christ, your Son:

he is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace,

who fills us with the wonder of your love.

Lord God,

let your blessing come upon us

as we illumine this tree.

May the light and cheer it gives

be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.

May all who delight in this tree

come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

The lights of the tree are then illuminated.

The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:

May the God of glory fill our hearts with peace and joy, now

and forever.

R/. Amen.

The blessing concludes with a verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:

O come, thou dayspring, come and cheer

our spirits by thine advent here;

disperse the gloomy clouds of night

and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

 

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