Advent Calendar 2019

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. Key themes of the Advent season are watchful waiting, preparation, and justice. From the first Sunday of Advent (December 1st) we will have a reflection, or a prayer, or an action for each day in preparation for Christmas. Take a few minutes each day during this Season of Advent to follow our Advent Calendar and join in our preparation for Christmas.

Lord God, bless this wreath and bless us as well. May this wreath remind us of the hope and joy that Jesus brings into the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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December 1st

1st Sunday of Advent

Year A. Is. 2:1-5; Rm. 13:11-14; Mt. 24:37-44

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Today we bless the Advent wreath and light the first candle.

 

Lord God, Your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Saviour.

Who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.

Pour out your blessings upon us as we light the candles of this wreath;

May their light be a comfort to those who suffer today,

May their light give us hope in these dark days,

May their light reflect the love of Christ who is Lord, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Lord, open our hearts in welcome.

Remove the things that hinder us from embracing Christ with joy. May the glow of this Winter Light guide us on our Advent journey. We ask this in the Spirit, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today, on the first day of Advent, I will spend a few extra minutes in prayer.

December 2nd

Today we pray for the homeless and all those living in emergency accommodation.

Dear Lord, help them in their struggle to obtain a permanent home.

Keep them safe from harm and help them find shelter in times of bad weather.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

December 3rd

For many, Christmas is not a happy time – bereavement, loneliness, sickness, financial struggles, relationship struggles and many other troubles cause upset and distress.

We reach out to those who are struggling and we ask the Lord to keep them in his care. Amen.

December 4th

Today we pray for all those living in war torn countries and areas of conflict.

 

Pope Francis, Prayer for Peace: “Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace, guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: ‘Never again war! Never again violence!’ With war and violence everything is lost. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words of “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman.…Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother and sister”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam.”

December 5th

All-loving God, we give you thanks and praise for fathers, young and old.

May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy. We pray for our own fathers who have nurtured and cared for us; may they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways. We remember fathers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; may they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away. We pray for men who are not fathers but still love and shape us with fatherly care and compassion. We remember fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

December 6th

Today we pray for all those who are sick.

Mary, Mother of tender love, we entrust to you all those who are ill in body and soul, that you may sustain them in hope. Bring them comfort and help in their suffering. Watch over them and their families this Christmas and always. Support all those who care for them at home and in hospitals. Amen. 

December 7th

Today we pray for all families, that they be united in God’s love. Amen.

2nd of Advent, December 8th

Is. 11:1-10; Rm. 15:4-9; Mt. 3:1-12

In this week’s Gospel Reading our Advent preparation for Christmas invites us to consider John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus. John’s preaching of the coming of the Lord is a key theme of the Advent season. As John’s message prepared the way for Jesus, we, too, are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming. We are asked to respond to John’s message by our repentance and reform of our lives.

 

Today I will try to show kindness and love to someone who seems unhappy or lonely.

December 9th: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady.

We remember and celebrate that God chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus from the very first moment of her being; the moment of her conception.

Loving God, we thank you for the example of Mary, whom you chose to be the mother of your only Son, Jesus. She lived her life with love for you and for others. Help us to do the same. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen

December 10th: World Human Rights Day

Dear Lord, we ask that your love surrounds those who have been trafficked into slavery for sexual or labour exploitation or domestic servitude. Please bring them rescue and freedom. Strengthen, support and guide those who work with victims of trafficking and those who work to prevent trafficking. Amen.

December 11th

Gracious God, be with all those struggling today with symptoms of dementia in its many forms; mood changes, memory lapses, confusion and helplessness. May they know in their hearts your comforting embrace amid their daily frustrations, and continue to realise, as names and memories fade, that they are loved by family, friends, and especially by you. Amen.

Prayer by John Birch ©John Birch, 2016

December 12th: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The feast in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the 16th century. Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego in 1531 is a powerful reminder that Mary—and the God who sent her—accept all peoples. She is the patron of Mexico and the Americas. We ask Mary to make room for Jesus in our hearts. Amen.

December 13th

Today I will look at the beauty of the world around me. I will give thanks by making an extra effort to care for our earth and look after the world that God gave us.

December 14th

Lord, today we ask you to hold closely young people who are struggling with everyday life. Teach us how best to bring your love to these young people and how to show them how much value they really have. Amen.

3rd of Advent, December 15th

Is. 35:1-6,10; Jm. 5:7-10; Mt. 11:2-11

 

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This Sunday is so named because “Rejoice” is the first word in the entrance antiphon for today’s Mass taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.” Some people mark this Sunday on their Advent wreath with a pink candle instead of a purple candle.

 

Today I will find a quiet place and sit for a few minutes, letting God into my heart.

December 16th

Today I will be thankful for what I have and not complain about anything!

December 17th

Today I will light a candle and remember those who are not with us this Christmas. May all those who have died rest in your embrace, O Lord, as they did in life. We pray for those who died in the last year in our community and in our families. May they rest in peace. Amen.

December 18th

Today we pray for all who are housebound and for all those in care facilities. Help us, Lord, to be mindful of the housebound and make a better effort to include them in our lives. 

 

God of compassion and grace,
we pray for all those who,
through age and infirmity
find themselves imprisoned
within the loneliness of home,
watching a world outside
that once had their
full involvement
increasingly pass them by.
Be with them and bless them, Lord,
along with family and carers
calling through the week to help.
May they know that they are loved,
still precious in your sight,
and feel your arms support them
in the day and through the night.

Amen.

Prayer by John Birch © John Birch, 2016

December 19th

Today I will work hard and do my best in all I do!

December 20th

All-loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers, young and old. May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.

 

We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; may they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.

 

We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; may they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.

 

We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.

 

We remember mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

December 21

Today we pray for children all over the world. 

O Lord, be warmth, be light, be food, be sleep, be encouragement, be protection, be peace, to the children who are cold, hungry, in darkness, tired, hopeless, frightened, sad or worried across the world. Shelter these little ones and hear their prayers. Amen.

4th of Advent, December 22nd

Is. 7:10-14; Rm. 1:1-7; Mt. 1:18-24

 

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. This is the last Sunday of our preparation for Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. Like Joseph, we can all feel unworthy of the honour of welcoming him into our hearts and our homes. Let us try to imitate Joseph and Mary, the humblest of the humble, the kindliest of the kindly, and the greatest-ever believers in God’s goodness and mercy. We can never hope to equal them, but we can follow them humbly, from afar.

December 23rd

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, let us be mindful that many people are struggling to put food on their tables. We pray today for people in our countries reliant on food assistance. Bless the work of those running food banks and centres; move us to give to them as generously as we can. Amen.

December 24th

Lord Jesus, on this night we remember that you came into our world to save us. Give us courage to live the life you offer us, and let your light shine in our lives. Bless the people of Bethlehem, and all who live in the lands in which you lived and walked. Bring them peace. Amen.

Christmas Day, December 25th

Is. 62:11-12; Ti. 3:4-7; Lk. 2:15-20 (Dawn Mass)

O God, whose mighty Son was born in Bethlehem those days long ago, lead us to that same place, where Mary laid her child. And as we look on in wonder and praise, make us welcome him in all new life, see him in the poor, and care for his handiwork the earth, the sky and the sea. O God, bless us again in your great love. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness be our gift and good desires with every greeting. We pray for this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father, bless on this holy day the Church all over the world. Bless our missionaries and their parishioners, our supporters, benefactors, families, and friends. May Jesus light afresh in our hearts, the lamps of hope and peace. With Mary and Joseph we rejoice in the birth of Jesus. May we welcome Christ as they did. Amen.

 

In these challenging times in our Church and world, you, our friends and benefactors, have continued to pray for and support us very graciously, and as a result our missionary work has continued to grow and to reach the lives of many people, many of whom are marginalised in our world. I express my deepest gratitude to you for your generous assistance to our missionary outreach, and wish you and your loved ones a joyful celebration of the birthday of Jesus at Christmas.

Victor Dunne
Society Leader

We wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

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