Day 24: Tuesday 20 December 2016


Readings for Tuesday 20 December 2016 (4th Week of Advent)
Is 7:10-14. Ps 23:1-6, R/ v 7, 10. Lk 1:26-38.


The “O” Antiphons – O Clavis David (O Key of David) 

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

Today we focus on the fourth of the seven O Antiphons – O Clavis David (O Key of David).

LATIN: O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris.

ENGLISH: O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and lead forth the captive who sits in the shadows from his prison.

Click here to listen to O Clavis David.


Advent Thought for the Day

Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Today’s Thought for the Day is from John-Mark McCafferty, Head of Social Justice with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. In this piece John-Mark speaks about the work of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul as Faith in action. He also reflects on the generation of Irish children growing up in hotel rooms because they have no permanent home and the work that the Saint Vincent de Paul is doing all year round to alleviate suffering and to restore dignity.

Click below to listen to the audio. 


The Words of Pope Francis

Pope Francis to young people: ‘listen to your grandparents’

grndparents-9ml7mmr8t5Pope Francis on Monday encouraged young Catholics to cultivate their relationships with their grandparents. Addressing  a group of young people who belong to an Italian Catholic lay association called ‘Azione Cattolica Italiana’, the Pope spoke of the joy that derives from the coming of Jesus, and said that joy is increased and multiplied when we share it.

He invited the young people to receive the joy of Advent as they would receive a gift and to bear witness to it in their families, schools, parishes and in all places. The Pope especially invited them to share it with their grandparents – and with elderly people in general – and he encouraged them to listen to the aged whom, he said, “have the wisdom of life”.

“I would like to give you a task: speak to your grandparents,(…) ask them questions, they have the memory of history, the experience of living, and this is a great gift for you that will help you in your life journey” he said. And Francis also pointed out the grandparents themselves need “to listen to you, understand your aspirations and your hopes”

“This is your task: speak to your grandparents, listen to them” he said. 

Pope Francis on Twitter

“I express my solidarity with migrants around the world and thank all those who help them: welcoming others means welcoming God in person!” –  @Pontifex


Work of Christmas Begins
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.

Howard Thurman, adapted

Advent Prayers 

Praise for the Gift of Life
God of Love, we praise and thank you
for the wonderful gift of life.
Help us to cherish that gift in ourselves and in all
whom we meet.

child and mothers hand for web
Bless all children that they may know
the joy of being alive and that we may
help them towards a great future.

Bless all young men and women,
be with them through these years
of change in their bodies, their priorities,
their relationships,  so that nothing may damage
their joy and their hope.

Bless all couples preparing for marriage.
Help them to cherish each other more every day.
And give them the courage to put their love for
each other first so that their lives may
be full and their marriages happy.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Family Table Prayer for Christmas Day
This is a Family Prayer for use at meals on Christmas Day and during the Season of Christmas. Click here to listen.

family at meals

Prayer Intentions
1. We pray for peace;
that enemies may lay down their weapons
and strive to build peace together.

peace lamp

2. We pray for all those who are travelling over Christmas
that each person may arrive safely to his or her destination.

3. For those for whom Christmas is a time of sadness, darkness
or despair;
that they may receive our love, compassion,
healing and consolation.

4. We pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis and for
all Church leaders in our country and our community.

Father in heaven, you sent your Son to live among us as a man,
one who understands our needs. Grant us what we need today.
We make these, and all our prayers, through Christ our Lord.

God’s Love Has Been Given To Us
your love
has been
poured into
our hearts
the Holy Spirit
who has
been given to us.

Source: Rev Peter Murphy from The Family Prayer Book

Poem – The Present

Today we share the Christy Keneally poem The Present which is read by Cathal Tobin,  a sixth class student from Saint Conleth and Mary’s Primary School in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Click below to listen:


baubles and music

Silent Night 
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin , mother and child
Holy infant so, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glory streams from heaven afar
Heavenly, hosts sings Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Click here to listen.



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