Day 23: Monday 21 December 2020


Welcome to Day 23 of our Advent Calendar! 

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

Henri Nouwen – An Advent Prayer

Readings for Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent  

Song 2:8-14 or Zeph 3:14-18. Ps 32:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, R/ vv 1, 3. Lk 1:39-45.

Elizabeth is honoured by a visit from the mother of her Lord, and the child leaps for joy. Our Advent joy arises from Christ’s coming among us. 

Advent Thought for the Day 

Audio: Audio 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 Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin. In this piece Bishop Kevin speaks about looking forward to a new normal following the difficult year we have had as a result of Covid-19. He also asks if perhaps in Advent and especially in Christmas, that the Lord is also imagining a new normal for us too. Click below to listen to the audio: 

The O Antiphons

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.

The exact origin of the “O Antiphons” is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the “O Antiphons” was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, “Keep your O” and “The Great O Antiphons” were common sayings. We might conclude that in some fashion the “O Antiphons” have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.

The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.

Click here to listen to today’s Antiphon ‘O Oriens’ (O Day Spring). 

The Words of Pope Francis 

Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world.  The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”. Thus begins the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus vivit (Christ is alive) by Pope Francis.  Today’s excerpt is about asking Jesus to renew you: 

109. If you are young in years, but feel weak, weary or disillusioned, ask Jesus to renew you. With him, hope never fails. You can do the same if you feel overwhelmed by vices, bad habits, selfishness or unhealthy pastimes. Jesus, brimming with life, wants to help you make your youth worthwhile. In this way, you will not deprive the world of the contribution that you alone can make, in all your uniqueness and originality.

#LivingAdvent 2020 #SharingHope

Advent Random Act of Kindness

Be kind to those you meet today, especially those working in retail.  

Advent Act of Charity 

Consider last minute ethical gifts that keep on giving long after Christmas is over. 


We invite you to share our message of hope each day of Advent on your social media or website. Here is today’s message of hope: 

Advent Prayer Intentions

1. For all who are experiencing a crisis in their lives;
that they may know God’s comforting presence this day
and be strengthened by God’s spirit.

2. We pray for those who are feeling lonely at this time of year,
those who mourn and those who are far from family and friends.

A Blessing of the Crib in the Home 

Click here for a short blessing of the crib in the home.

Advent Music

The Coming of Our God. Click here to listen to this Advent hymn.


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