Day 1: Sunday 3 December 2017

Today is the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is the season four weeks before Christmas in which we prepare for the coming of Christ.  The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming”.

Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope. Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of  the Christmas season, in which the first coming of the Son of God to humanity 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.

We are delighted to welcome you to our 2017 Advent Calendar. We hope that you can journey with us through the season of Advent. 

Readings for First Sunday of Advent
Is 63:16-17. 64:1, 3-8. Ps 79:2-3, 15-16, 18-19, R/v 4. 1 Cor 1:3-9. Mk 13:33-37.  www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.

The God who comes is a loving Father; we are the work of his hands. Our hope in Christ will strengthen us to await steady and without blame the day of his coming. We are warned against complacency, taking God’s gifts for granted. Our God is watching over us; he is the careful potter, the loving father, the good shepherd, the faithful one. 

Audio: Advent Thought for the Day 
Each day during Advent we will be bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Our first Thought for the Day is from Father Michael Drumm. Father Drumm is a priest of the Diocese of Elphin and in this reflection he focuses on themes of darkness in December against the light of hope of the season of Advent.

Click on the link below to listen to our first Advent Thought for the Day. 

Pope Francis believes that in a world where humanity is often wounded, mistreated, and dominated by a lack of love, the family is the “yes” of God as Love. In spite of all the pressures and difficulties it faces, Pope Francis believes that the family is still good news for today’s world.

In 2016, he wrote Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), a document about love, marriage and family life, and now he has given Ireland a special responsibility. He has asked Ireland to host the World Meeting of Families in 2018 and to prepare for that event by offering families, parishes and groups a way of thinking about and sharing his message in The Joy of Love: that the Gospel of the Family continues to be a Joy for the World.  

The Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! programme is a response to Pope Francis’ request. The programme aims to support families and parishes as we set out on the journey of preparation to the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Dublin from 21st to 26th August 2018, and to continue that journey in the years ahead. 

During Advent we will be reflecting on some of the themes from Amoris Laetitia as well as inviting you to ‘Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family During Advent’. We will be offering reflections, a thought for the day, and suggesting practical ways we can be family wherever we are. These will include daily random acts of kindness, charity and love that families, groups, school classrooms and parishes can take on during Advent. 

Let’s Talk Family – Thought for the Day 

Our family thought for the day for today is from Pope Francis.

In this piece he invites us to look at the common home we share and he also invites us to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 

Consider re-reading Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’

 

Let’s Talk Family – Pope Francis’ writing in Amoris Laetitia  

“I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way. The Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereotype of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems.” [Amoris Laetitia 57]

Let’s Be Family – Random Act of Kindness 

Say something positive to everyone you meet today.

Let’s Be Family – Act of Charity 

Support the annual Crosscare appeal in Dublin Diocese!

Crosscare is the Social Support Agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin and provides a range of social care, community and youth work services across the Dublin Archdiocese. We were established back in 1941, and still continue to play a significant role in the provision of services to people affected by poverty in the Dublin area. For more see www.crosscare.ie.

If your parish or diocese has an Advent Food Appeal, please consider supporting that this first Sunday of Advent and on all the Sundays during the Season of Advent. 

Let’s Be Family – Our Prayer Intention for the Day to Pray Together 

May this season of Advent be a time of growth in faith
for all Christ’s followers, and may the Church,
through her teaching and her compassion,
point the way to the Saviour. 
We ask this though Christ, Our Lord.

Amen 

The Advent Wreath
Placing four candles on green fronds has become a symbol of Advent in many Christian homes, especially in Germanic countries and in North America. The Advent wreath, with the progressive lighting of its four candles, Sunday after Sunday, until the Solemnity of Christmas, is a recollection of the various stages of salvation history prior to Christ’s coming and a symbol of the prophetic light gradually illuminating the long night prior to the rising of the Sun of justice (cf. Mal 3:20; Lk 1:78).

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Video: Blessing of the Advent Wreath in the Home
This is a Blessing of the Advent Wreath in the home and it may be used when lighting the advent wreath for the first time in the home, and for the lighting of each of the Adcent candles. Click for video.

An Advent Prayer
Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan,
you sent a messenger to prepare people’s hearts
for the coming of your Son.
Help me to hear his words and repent of my sins,
so that I may clearly see the way to walk,
the truth to speak,
and the life to live for him,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
AMEN

Advent Book Recommendation – Let Advent be Advent 

This season of  Advent calls to us to prepare a room for the Lord so that he may truly be welcomed into our hearts and allowed grow from the newborn child into the one who walked the way marked out for him and, on that walk called (and still calls) others to join him.

In this collection of daily reflections by Father Vincent Sherlock, some of the days coincide with the Liturgy of the day and borrow from the Scripture passages used on those days at Mass.  Other days are not linked with Scripture and, even where they are, the passage may well not correspond with the Church’s chosen passages. Some of the thoughts are random reflections that might help you think around the script of your own life and place on the Christian journey, others are developed from a scriptural starting point.

For more on this book see messenger.ie

Advent Music 

sheet-music-wreath008

One of the most familiar pieces of Advent music is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel which is a Christian hymn for Advent. It is most commonly known by its English title but is a translation of the original Latin Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.

There are so many versions of this hymn available that it is hard to choose just one, but below is a link to a very simple version of this beautiful Advent hymn. 

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

New Liturgical Year
Sunday 3 December 2017, the First Sunday of Advent, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year in the Church. Details of the new Liturgical Calendar for Ireland are available from the National Centre for Liturgy on www.liturgy-ireland.ie 

ENDS 

 

The IEC provides external links as convenience to our users. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by IEC of the information, products or services contained therein.