From the First Sunday of Advent, beginning on the evening of November 26, 2016, through the afternoon of Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016. So how long is Advent?
Learn about Advent in Two Minutes.
Enjoy an Advent reflection: Prepare My Heart
“Advent has a two-fold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.” (Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar)
We are in Year A of the Sunday lectionary cycle, the year of Saint Matthew.
Here are the readings for weekdays of Advent and Christmas.
Check HERE to see how the readings from the Gospel according to Matthew are distributed throughout the year. For the readings assigned to each day, scroll down to the Full Liturgical Calendar, or use the column to the right, to click on the individual days or Masses.
Click HERE for lectionary-based resources for Advent and Christmas.
During Advent, we also celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patronal feast of the United States, of our diocese, of our cathedral, and a holy day of obligation; as well as the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patronal feast of all the countries of the Americas. The color for these Marian feasts is white. Memorials or feasts of saints who are not martyrs use white, and we mark the days of martyrs with red.
SOUNDS OF ADVENT
♦ O come, O come, Emmanuel
♦ On Jordan’s Bank
♦ Wait for the Lord
♦ Creator of the Stars of Night
♦ Come, Lord Jesus
♦ Canción de Adviento
♦ The O Antiphons are sung during the week before Christmas, but what are they?
Advent Family Focus Help each child notice the marks of Advent at Sunday Mass.
♦ We put on the violet vestments of Advent. This is a royal color that only the wealthy could afford in ancient times. It is fitting for the coming of our King Jesus.
♦ The statue of Mary, the Mother of God, is decorated to draw our attention to the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who came into our world as the Son of a human mother. At the end of Mass, we sing the “Hail Mary” as incense honors the Blessed Mother.
♦ As we gather round the Advent Wreath, we light more candles each week as we await the coming of Jesus–as a Baby at Christmas, as the Risen Lord present in our lives today, as the King and Judge who will come at our deaths and at the end of time.
♦ We burn incense to honor our King with sweet fragrance and to show that our prayers rise, like the smoke, to God. The round wreath reminds us that God and our life in the Risen Jesus have no end.
What do you know about Advent?
Christmas at the mall may begin right after (or even before!) Halloween, but as Catholics we wait in joyful expectation for the Lord’s coming. Why not observe our rich Advent customs and then celebrate Christmas from Christmas Eve through the Baptism of the Lord? Remember, we are Waiting for Jesus.
For daily activities, see the interactive Advent Calendar from the American bishops. There you can also learn about other customs of the Advent and Christmas seasons.
Make sure you bless your Advent Wreath.
At table, begin with the Advent Meal Prayer.
After Christmas Mass, or the first time you light it, bless your Christmas Tree.
Check the parish seasonal schedule to keep it all straight.
Wait expectantly, wait joyfully, wait for the coming of Jesus.
Make sure you check for prayers and customs on the individual days of the season. You may click on the dates at the right, or connect to the Full Liturgical Calendar below.