1st Sunday of Advent - Year B - 3rd December 2017
To day is the first Sunday of Advent. It is the first day of the Church’s new Liturgical Year. The main purpose of Advent is to prepare us for Christmas. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into the world, into our families and into our hearts.
At Mass the traditional Advent wreath is blessed. The Wreath is made up of a circle of evergreen branches into which are placed four candles. Traditionally three candles are violet and the fourth is rose. In the middle is a white candle representing the birth of Our Lord on Christmas Day. One candle is lit each week to represent the four weeks of Advent. This year the fourth week is very short because the fourth Sunday is Christmas Eve.
If you already attend daily Mass, say the Rosary and read the Scripture with renewed enthusiasm. If not, consider the following practices:
1. Attend a weekday Mass
2. Attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (see times above)
3. Receive the Sacrament of Confession at the Reconciliation Service this Wednesday at 7.30pm or on a Saturday (see times above)
4. Read a chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke daily, either individually or as a family.
5. Say one decade of the Rosary daily
6. Say the Angelus three times daily
7. Attend the Novena of the Miraculous Medal (after the 7.30pm Mass on Monday.
8. Get a Crib for your sitting room.
9. Get an Advent Wreath or Calendar
10. Support the food bank monthly
THE LITURGY The Gospel of today’s Mass brings sense of urgency to the season—”Stay awake”, “Be on your guard”. Advent is a spiritual wake-up call to each of us. To be spiritually awake means to be attentive to God and to other people especially those in spiritual or material need. It means to be living in love. We have just two choices: Either we are awake or we stay asleep and watch the world go by. We need awareness, understanding and vision. Greet each day of Advent with joy and thankfulness. It is a chance to carry on some task we have started, or begin something we have been putting off or to repair some damage or neglect in our lives. To be awake means to watch, to be alert, to be concerned to be active, to be interested, to care. Remember that we shall pass through this world just once. Therefore any good we can do to another person, let us do it now. Let us not neglect it because we shall not pass this way again.
Fr Raymond Armstrong C.M.