- See catholicbishops.ie for digital Advent calendar #SharingHope #LivingAdvent
Ahead of the beginning of Advent on Sunday, Archbishop Eamon Martin has encouraged people to ‘share hope’ this Advent season.
The Primate of All Ireland has renewed his call for everyone across the island to turn towards hope, and away from despair, saying, “the season of Advent offers us a new beginning and a promise of hope for better times. The First Sunday of Advent is actually the Christian Church’s New Year’s Day. In 2020 – perhaps this year more than ever – we need ideas and inspiration to help us delve deeper during our hours of isolation and restriction, to find that glimmer of light, that note of joy, that promise of consolation. Our 2020 digital calendar provides helpful resources during our Advent journey.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic the people of Ireland have endured testing times with courage, resilience, and compassion. Individuals and communities have made great sacrifices for the protection of life, health and for the common good. Many Christians have been reaching out in generous service and support for their neighbours, the lonely, the isolated, the sick and the bereaved. Faith, love and hope – within the home and in Church – have been a huge support during these difficult times. As we continue, in solidarity, to progress together, I invite everyone to be part of #SharingHope this Advent season by availing of the helpful resources on our calendar and by sharing these on social media.
“The seasons of Advent and Christmas occur in the depth of winter reminding us that Christ was born to bring hope to a darkened world. As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘the people that wait in darkness see a great light’. During Advent, let us reflect on the eternal message of Christmas, which is, Christ is alive and that He is our hope.”
Encouraging the faithful to engage with this year’s Advent calendar, Archbishop Eamon said, “While it is has been a very trying year for all us due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the season of Advent offers a new beginning and a promise of hope for better times. Each day in Advent, behind a virtual door on our calendar, we will offer ideas to help spiritually prepare for our Lord’s coming at Christmas, such as thoughtful reflections as well as challenges for change and conversion. In our preparation for the His coming, we stay alert for the unexpected moment when the Lord comes to us in other people, in our daily experiences, including his presence in the sick, the poor and the stranger.”
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “From Sunday, until Christmas, let us take just five minutes each day for reflection to find moments of peace so as to rediscover the true meaning of Advent and thereby spiritually grow throughout this season.”
Notes for editors
- Archbishop Eamon Martin is chair of the Council for Communications of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
- Earlier this week, Archbishop Eamon launched the 2020 online Advent Calendar on www.catholicbishops.ie, to help people reflect on the meaning of Advent and to deepen our spirituality this Christmas. Now in its seventh year, the unique online Advent Calendar offers resources for the parish, school and for families which can be accessed behind a virtual door each day during the season of Advent. The content is aimed at assisting people of all ages to pray and reflect on how best we can keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas preparations during this special liturgical season.
- A popular feature on the Advent Calendar is the audio thought for the day. Contributors this year will include bishops, priests, religious, laity, staff of the councils and agencies of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, as well as primary, secondary and college students. The 2020 Advent Calendar will also include:
Mass Readings and Saint of the Day;
Advent videos: blessing of the crib in the home, blessing of the advent wreath in the home;
The Words of Pope Francis from Christus vivit (Christ is alive);
Acts of kindness in the family, school and parish;
Suggestions to make Christmas more sustainable so as to care for our common home;
Resources for Advent including books and music;
Advent events in dioceses and parishes;
Information on Trócaire’s Gifts of Love for 2020 as well special appeals to help families in need.
- To add this year’s Advent Calendar to your website or social media pages please use the following link: www.catholicbishops.ie/adventcalendar. You can also follow updates on a special Advent Facebook page [Advent 2020] and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #SharingHope and #LivingAdvent
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678.