With Christmas upon us, we can all use a reminder that the true beauty of the holiday season lies not just in selfless giving with no expectation of receiving, but in the sacrifice of our saviour Jesus Christ, son of God. Moreover, it is at this time that our faithfulness to God should be celebrated in recognition of his generous love and mercy, which are experienced by all.
Our Catholic Church has designated the four Sundays and weeks before Christmas as Advent – Advent derives from the Latin ‘adventus’ meaning arrival or approach. This is the time to live in the spirit of Advent and Christmas, preparing for the Lord’s coming as our King and Saviour. This spiritual journey – a season focused on joyful expectation, prayerful penance and our present redemption being accomplished – can be celebrated through adopted or renewed Advent traditions.
Enjoy these with friends and family – activities like creating beautiful Advent wreaths with four candles (three purple and one pink) are a lovely way to count down the weeks until Christmas. Each Sunday, one candle is lit with prayer shared with loved ones.
You can also mark this special time by liberating your creative streak – create a Nativity Scene for your home, make a playlist of music in honour of Christ’s birth, or make an Advent Calendar. As the liturgical colour of the Christmas season is white – symbolising light and joyfulness – find ways to introduce this pure colour into your world – flowers you pick, artwork you make, or even the clothes you wear or nail-polish for fun.
Alternatively, create traditions that involve your community – volunteer at your Church or local welfare centre and bring love, support and Christ into the hearts of those less fortunate than yourself.
On Christmas Day, make time to celebrate the birth of Christ – you can attend Midnight Mass, or a Christmas Mass during the day, or share in prayer with your friends and family. Great unity can come from focusing on celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and you can take great pride in being a leader in your community by introducing or continuing new ways to honour the birth of our Lord.
Merry Christmas all and many happy returns!