Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and to the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth on Christmas. From the earliest days of the Church, people have been fascinated by Jesus’ promise to come back. But the scripture readings during Advent tell us not to waste our time with predictions. Advent is not about speculation. Our Advent readings call us to be alert and ready, not weighted down and distracted by the cares of this world (Lk 21:34-36). Like Lent, the liturgical color for Advent is purple since both are seasons that prepare us for great feast days. Advent also includes an element of penance in the sense of preparing, quieting, and disciplining our hearts for the full joy of Christmas.
As we prepare for Christmas, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal notes some differences to the Mass that should be observed during the season. For instance, the priest will wear violet or purple during Advent, except for the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) when rose is worn (GIRM, no. 316). Aside from what the priest wears, other aesthetic changes in the Church can include a more modestly decorated altar.
The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, we focus on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord at Christmas. In particular, the "O" Antiphons are sung during this period and have been by the Church since at least the eighth century. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming of Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but of present ones as well.
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter into the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Parish Advent Activities
An Advent Retreat with Mary
In this 4 part series, Dr. Brant Pitre takes you on a journey through 4 of the major mysteries that surround the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ... but through the eyes of Mary:
• The Annunciation with the Angel Gabriel
• The Visitation with her cousin, Elizabeth
• The Birth of Christ with St. Joseph
• The Epiphany and the Magi
Advent is usually a season that is replete with to-do lists of preparation for Christmas. Take some time to ponder and meditate on the mysteries of advent and Christmas as found in the Bible and unpacked by Dr. Brant Pitre.
The Retreat will be takin place on zoom. Register below to Join Us!
Advent Family Evening
Bring the Whole Family!
- Includes Advent Evening Prayer and Activities for the family
- Sunday 5th December 2021 5:00p.m.
- Visit the Parish website to register
Aurora (Dawn) Masses
17th-24th Dec. (excluding Sunday 19th) 5:30am
at St. Francis
- Intensified preparation for Christmas. Mass takes place in darkness with candlelight as we wait for the Lord who comes.
St. Francis S/ Grande: Wednesday 15th December 202: 1 4:00-8:00pm
Coalmine: Sunday 19th December 2021: 3:00-4:15pm
Vega de Oropouche: Sunday 19th December 2021: 4:30-6:00pm
Matura: After Mass on December 12th 2021
Prayers of the Faithful
response in Advent:
"Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, Alleluia, Alleluia, Maranatha come Lord Jesus, Alleluia Amen."
Maranatha is an Aramaic word translated as Come, Lord. (Rev 22:20).
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:
Wednesday 8th December, Mass at 11:30am (St. Francis of Assisi)
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saturday 11th December, Mass at 7:00am (St. Francis of Assisi)
Friday 10th December 5:00-6:00pm Praying for Family Life at St. Francis.
Led by the Family Life Unit of the Parish.