We often talk about the Advent season, but how can you prepare for Christ on a daily basis? The USCCB put together a daily calendar of things you can live out the Advent season and prepare yourself for Christ's coming.
Third Sunday of Advent
Light the third candle on your family Advent wreath. Following tradition, the third candle is rose-colored as we celebrate "Gaudete Sunday."
Reflect on how the difficult economic conditions of the past few years have impacted your family, parish community and neighbors
Monday of the Third Week of Advent
On this day, in many Latin American communities Las Posadas begin– reenactments of the Holy Family's journey to Bethlehem. Did you know that the nine-day novena represents the nine months of pregnancy, specifically the pregnancy of Mary carrying Jesus?
Like the difficult journey of the Holy Family, migrants and refugees overcome long journeys and many obstacles to seek freedom and opportunity in the United States. Here is a prayer for their protection:
Merciful and loving Father, you provided for your people Israel in their exodus from slavery a promised land that you established for them, and in Jesus Christ you provide welcome refuge for all in need.
We ask for your divine protection for all migrants who have left their homes in search of new opportunity in another land. For refugees, who are forced from their homes due to threats of violence, we beseech you to provide them a safe haven. For migrants trafficked into slavery, grant them rescue, healing, and the strength to start again.
For immigrants, who so often leave their family and friends behind, grant them a better life and greater opportunity elsewhere.
We pray in particular for your protection over migrant children who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse at the hands of others.
We implore you to grant all migrants your protection and lead them to a place of safety. Be with all those in need with your power to save.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of theHoly Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Begin including the "O Antiphons" as part of your table or bedtime prayers.
Read the Second Lesson in the Festival of Lessons & Carols.
Set up your Christmas tree, but in true Advent spirit, don't decorate and light it until Christmas Eve.
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
Put up and bless the family crèche. Remember to hide the Baby Jesus figure until Christmas!
Read the Third Lesson in the Festival of Lessons & Carols.
Read about the virtue of hope in the E-pub version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (enter "1819" in the search window) and reflect on its particular relevance to the season of Advent.
Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Participate in a community caroling party or sing a favorite Christmas carol at home.
Read to the Fourth Lesson of the Festival of Lessons & Carols.
In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis's post-synodal apostolic exhortation to 2012's Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which was released just before Advent, the Holy Father calls for renewal and rethinking of the way every person and every institution of the Catholic Church — from the pope and the Roman Curia down to the parish and its parishioners — live their faith and focus their energies. Read the exhortation. . . and reflect on how you can embrace the pope's teaching and improve your relationship with God.