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Advent 2023

First Sunday of Advent: December 3rd

We light the first candle on our Advent wreaths at Mass and in our homes. The first candle of the Advent wreath symbolises the kindly light that gives us ‘the resolve to run forth to meet Christ’ whose presence dispels darkness. Advent is a period of waiting. We await the arrival of our saviour, Jesus Christ.

“When we pray, we light a candle in the darkness. Prayer allows God to be close to us; it frees us from our solitude and gives us hope. Praying and loving: that is what it means to be watchful.” Pope Francis on Advent.

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December 3rd - First Sunday of Advent

The first candle is a symbol of the kindly light and of hope that gives us ‘the resolve to run forth to meet Christ’ whose presence dispels darkness.

Image by Michael Rosner-Hyman

December 4th, Monday

When we remove all obstacles to Christ’s presence he will come, at any hour or moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts.

Image by Paul Zoetemeijer

December 5th, Tuesday

I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my Saviour.

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December 6th, Wednesday

The feast of Saint Nicholas. 

Saint Nicholas was especially devoted to the poor. We ask Saint Nicholas to intercede for all who need his help. Amen.

Image by Ben White

December 7th, Thursday

The Lord is my light and my help.

Image by William Gullo

December 8th, Friday

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady, overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance.

Immaculate Mary of the people

Mother of the afflicted

Of a heart which was Yes to life

Of a heart which was Yes to the neighbour

Of a heart which was Yes to God,

Of a poor heart welcoming Jesus.

(Brazilian Hymn)

Image by Jonathan Borba

December 9th, Saturday

We ask Mary to watch over all those who are sick this Christmas and to support those who care for them at home and in hospitals. Amen.

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December 10th - Second Sunday of Advent

We ask God for strength to be like John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord.

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. We ask God for strength to be like John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Lord. John the Baptist is presented as a messenger to prepare the way of Jesus. He left his home and comforts to live a different life. He was dedicated to working for God and others. He acknowledged the coming of the Messiah: “There is one that is coming after me whose sandals I am unfit to untie…” (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7)

 

A voice cries in the wilderness:

Prepare a way for the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Image by Eric Ward

December 11th, Monday

Lord, we ask you to hold closely young people who are struggling with everyday life. Let them see how much they are valued and loved. Amen.

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December 12th, Tuesday

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. Feast of Saint Finian of Clonard.

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December 13th, Wednesday

O glorious Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr who gave her life for the church, we venerate your sacrifice for our faith.

Image by Levi Meir Clancy

December 14th, Thursday

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady, overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance.

Image by Ev

December 15th, Friday

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

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December 16th, Saturday

Pray for all missionaries around the world, who are working to bring God’s love where it is needed.

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December 17th - Third Sunday of Advent

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. Rejoice! For the Lord is near! The joy of the kingdom is anticipated.

“There stands among you, unknown to you, the one who is coming after me.” John the Baptist was a witness sent from God. His is the voice of hope. His words echo through the wilderness of our world and our lives. Before John, Mary was proclaiming the greatness of the Lord. And before Mary, there was Isaiah. He was anointed to bring good news to the oppressed, to help the broken-hearted and to proclaim liberty to captives. Each one – John, Mary, Isaiah – is a witness of hope.

Image by Rene Bernal

December 18th, Monday

Lord Jesus, look after the children of the world, protect them and hear their prayers.

Image by Martijn Baudoin

December 19th, Tuesday

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, let us be mindful that many people will be struggling to put food on their tables.

Image by Danie Franco

December 20th, Wednesday

Today we pray for all who are housebound and for all those in care facilities. Amen.

Image by Ann

December 21st, Thursday

We thank you, Lord, for all that we have: move us to give of our plenty to those who have little.

Image by Tyler Nix

December 22nd, Friday

We give thanks and praise for mothers and fathers, young and old. We remember those who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

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December 23rd, Saturday

“Peace is possible. 

It takes goodwill.” 

Pope Francis, Nov 2023

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December 24th – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent and today we celebrate the Virgin Mary: “I will sing forever of your love, O Lord.”

Mary puts her faith in God and stands ready to do what is asked of her. Can we be open to the working of the Holy Spirit within us and through us?

May the light of Christ enter our hearts so that we may share the warmth of God’s love with those we meet. 

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December 25th, Monday - Christmas Day

May Jesus light in our hearts, love, hope and peace. With Mary and Joseph we rejoice in the birth of Jesus. May we welcome Christ as they did. Amen.

Happy Christmas.

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To download a copy of our Advent Calendar 2023, click here.

Online Advent Evening Prayer Service

This year our online Advent Evening Prayer service takes place on Wednesday, December 20th at 4pm (Irish time). The short prayer service will be led from Tefé in Amazonas, Brazil by Fr Vitalis Inyang SPS, with an introduction from Fr Seán Cremin SPS, the Assistant Society Leader.

 

We hope you can join us as we prepare for Christmas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC4a6oD9ODY&ab_channel=SPMSMEDIA

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