Advent

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1: 20-21

2018 Advent Season: December 2 - December 24

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).

Advent devotions, including the Advent wreath or the Advent calendar, remind us of the meaning of the season. Advent calendars can help you fully enter in to the season with daily activities and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  More Advent resources are listed below.

Advent in two minutes

Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out Busted Halo's two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas.

 
Matthew Kelly's Advent Daily Devotions

Best Advent Ever 2018
"What would it take for you to have your best Christmas ever?"

We prepare for everything we consider important in life, and that includes Christmas. We shop for gifts, bake cookies, decorate our trees, and visit family and friends until we’re ready to drop. Best Advent Ever is a free email program that will help you prepare for Christmas in a different way.

Beginning the first Sunday of Advent (December 2nd) and continuing every day until December 26, you’ll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down during the busy Christmas season to focus on what’s really important in life.

Click here to sign up!

 
Advent Daily Devotion Books

The parish of Saint Gregory the Great will be offering Advent "Little Books" to each family this year.  Enjoy these daily devotions as you explore the depths of Scripture and deepen your relationship with Christ. Spend some quiet time with the Lord.

Reflections will be based on the first reading for daily Mass.  Reflections begin December 2, 2018 and end on January 13, 2019.

Advent Wreath

Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent.  Ideally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used. 

The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.

The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

To learn how to bless your advent wreath, please see the link below under resources.

 
Advent Wreath Prayers

First Week: 
All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Second Week: 
God of power and mercy open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Third Week: 
Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Fourth Week: 
Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan. Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his glory and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Advent & Christmas Flowers

Donations for Advent and Christmas flowers will be accepted in memory, or in honor of, a loved one. Your name and the name of your loved one will be published in the bulletin during the Advent season. Flower donation envelopes will be available for your use.

The following items are available for dedication:

  • 2 Exterior Wreaths $75.00 each
  • 2 Nordic Star Pines $73.75 each
  • 7 Large 8" Poinsettias $47.75 each
  • 24 Small 6" Poinsettias $23.00 each

Thank you for your generosity!