Advent and Christmas at Home 2020
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
John 1: 1, 14
Christmas will be very different this year. Many of our cherished traditions will not be able to happen. Nevertheless, we can and must make it meaningful and memorable, both in church and at home. Today, more than ever we need to be reminded of the profound message of Christmas that God is with us, always, even and especially in these difficult times.
We hope that the tools we are providing will be helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or suggestions.
In preparation of Advent:
• Create your Advent Wreath: A traditional Advent wreath consists of a circle of evergreen branches with four candles inserted in it. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. These candles can all be white. Ideally three of the candles should be purple representing the color of advent which symbolizes that Advent is a time of prayerful preparation. The remaining candle is rose. It is lit on the third Sunday of Advent also known as Gaudete Sunday. That is the Sunday the celebrant at Mass wears a rose vestment. Gaudete means “rejoice” because we are half-way through Advent on our way to Christmas.
The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes how we get closer and closer to Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ first coming into the world. At the same time it symbolizes our anticipation of the second coming of Christ at the end of time.
On the evening of Saturday, November 25 or in the morning of Sunday, November 26 gather with the members of your household and use this Blessing of an Advent Wreath.
• Attach a Wreath to your Front Door: though we are social distancing from one another, we are looking for signs that unite us. A wreath on your door can be a sign of our unity in awaiting “God with us.”
• Prepare your Advent Calendar: In addition to lighting the advent candles to symbolize the progression through the season you can also use an Advent calendar which will help you in your spiritual observance of this great season. You can create your own Advent Calendar or download a free a calendar at www.smp.org/resourcecenter/resource/14012/ or www.smp.org/resourcecenter/resource/14013/.