This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 3, 2023, and will end on Saturday, December 24, 2023. This means the fourth week of Advent will be just a day! Advent will go by even faster than usual so preparation is key to making the most of this time.
Take some time before Advent starts to form a plan that will prepare your heart to enter into the celebration of the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Christmas day. The season of Advent invites us to step back from the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas world, urging us to slow down and reflect on the Mystery of the Incarnation. It marks the beginning of a new liturgical year in the Church, gradually gaining momentum towards the Christmas celebration with each passing week. Like any new beginning, this season aims to revive our joy, hope, faith, and love.
Without intentional efforts during the four weeks of Advent, it will go by too quickly. Now is the time to start thinking about how you will fully live this beautiful, joy-filled season. Use these Catholic resources to help make your Advent a time of spiritual growth. We recommend choosing just one or two things to allow you the chance to focus and avoid burnout.
Catholic-Link’s Digital Small Group Study
Catholic Resources For Kids
Names of Jesus Advent Chain (free)
Drawing Closer to God features host Ms. Kim Kaminski, a professional artist and former Catholic elementary school art teacher, as she teaches children to draw different scenes from the Nativity story. With compelling storytelling, she points out key details from Scripture and Catholic tradition. As kids follow along and learn new art skills, they also learn to see the connections between the big picture of God’s story and their place within it. Drawing Closer to God: A Catholic Art Show for Kids will be available on FORMED.org or the FORMED app alongside the other high-quality Catholic content subscribers have come to trust since 2015. The series will also stream on YouTube.
Advent Books To Read
Join Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR—founder of Corazón Puro—on a multimedia Advent journey led by the saints and the Holy Family to prepare yourself to enter into the story of Christ’s birth through prayer, charity, and joyful acts of service to the needy.
In these spiritually-rich pages, award-winning Catholic author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle brings you powerful prayers and readings guaranteed to shield you from the annual holiday sales frenzy that, during the holy season of Advent, distracts even sincere believers from preparation for the coming of the Christ Child.
Behold: A Guided Advent Journal for Prayer and Meditation | Sr. Miriam James Heidland SOLT
In this beautiful guided journal for prayer and meditation, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT—author of the bestselling book Restore—will walk with you as you explore familial wounds with the help of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
For Christians, Advent is not meant to be a time of passive waiting, but rather of hopeful preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this devotional booklet, Bishop Robert Barron invites readers to enter more deeply into the prayerful nature of the season. Advent Gospel Reflections features the full Gospel reading for each day of Advent, a daily reflection from Bishop Barron, space for journaling and answering reflection questions, and more! Beautiful, practical, and affordable, this booklet is ideal for both individual meditation and group study on a family or parish level.
Advent Reflections | Cardinal Zen
Advent Books For Teens: Advent and Christmas: One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens | Katie Prejean McGrady
Following the success of their bestselling devotional Lent: One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens, youth ministry experts Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady offer devotions that help teens make sense of the things that matter most in their lives such as relationships, their future, and coping with stress.
Realistic and easy to use, each daily devotion starts with a brief Bible quote that connects with a topic important to teens such as insecurity, pressure, trust, fitting in, finding hope, and choosing joy. A brief reflection helps teens consider the day’s topic through their faith.
Advent Books For Kids:
All about Advent & Christmas: Sharing the Seasons of Hope & Wonder with Children is a resource unlike any other. Explore the rich traditions surrounding Christ’s birth as you journey through Scripture to understand the story of salvation and discover the meaning behind many of our celebrations during Advent and Christmas. Highlighting treasured customs from throughout Church history, All about Advent & Christmas features the stories of saints we celebrate throughout December and explains numerous other aspects of Catholic liturgy and teaching. With detailed illustrations to make the liturgical seasons come alive, All about Advent & Christmas will guide readers of all ages closer to the Savior whose birth we look to with joy.
There are many wonderful children’s picture books about Christmas, but few about the season of Advent. In The World Waits, Elizabeth Pham explores this period of anticipation through the eyes of an anthropomorphic Earth experiencing the progression of human history and its longing for a Messiah. We see the world first plunged in the darkness of pre-Christian times. Then we see the world uplifted by the coming of Christ (the world sees a star!). Then we see the world cycle through the post-Christian era, when Christ seems perhaps more elusive and mysterious than ever (the star left almost as quickly as it came). But then, with the conclusion of the book, we see that the world has not given up hope ― the world still waits. We wait for Jesus’ coming at Christmas each year, we wait for His coming in the Blessed Sacrament during Mass, we wait for His coming at the end of time, and we wait for His coming into our hearts in all seasons and situations.
In this thrilling, visual adventure capturing the wonder of the Christmas season, New York Times bestselling author Raymond Arroyo shares the true, hidden story of the mysterious Magi, who risked everything to discover the truth. Based on new historical evidence, The Wise Men Who Found Christmas is the miraculous, untold tale of three seekers who followed a star and found themselves in the middle of the greatest story ever told. Stunningly illustrated by Diane Le Feyer, this enchanting family keepsake is sure to become part of your Christmas tradition – and a reminder that chasing truth is often the greatest adventure of all.
Daily Advent Reflection Apps And Videos
Hallow #Pray25: Starting on November 27th, the Hallow app will guide you in praying alongside God’s chosen people, tracing the story through all of Scripture: from the Garden of Eden to the manger in Bethlehem where Christ was born.
Into the Deep (Dan Burke): What is prayer, exactly? What sets authentic Christian prayer apart from the many “spiritual” practices being promoted today? How does one pray? Is it really necessary? These questions—and many more—are answered in the new video series by Dan Burke, Into the Deep: Finding Peace Through Prayer. Find out more HERE.
Renewal Ministries Advent Mission: This online Advent Mission will help you build a solid foundation for the spiritual journey! Dr. Ralph Martin will teach and answer questions on the first stages of the spiritual journey, as found in his book The Fulfillment of All Desire.
For Kids: Holy Heroes Advent Adventure
Catholic Advent Traditions
Advent Acts Of Kindness
Engaging in acts of service and kindness during the Advent season can bring the joy of Christ to both the giver and the recipient. Here are some ideas for Advent acts of service:
- Donate to a Food Bank: Collect non-perishable food items and donate them to a local food bank to help those in need during the holiday season.
- Write Letters to Service Members: Show appreciation for the men and women in the military by writing heartfelt letters expressing gratitude for their service. Many organizations can help you send these letters to deployed troops.
- Visit a Nursing Home: Spend time with residents of a nursing home. You can sing Christmas Carols, play games, or simply engage in conversations to bring joy to those who may be lonely during the holidays.
- Adopt a Family: Connect with local charities that facilitate “adopting” a family in need. Provide them with gifts, groceries, and other essentials to make their holiday season brighter.
- Create Care Packages for the Homeless: Assemble care packages containing essentials like socks, toiletries, and non-perishable snacks. Distribute these packages to homeless individuals in your community.
- Organize a Toy Drive: Collect toys and gifts for children in need. Many communities have programs that distribute these gifts to families who may struggle to provide presents for their kids.
- Offer Free Services: If you have a skill or talent, offer it as a free service to others. This could include babysitting, tutoring, pet sitting, or even offering to help with household chores for those who may need assistance.
- Bake and Share Treats: Bake cookies, cakes, or other treats and share them with neighbors, friends, or co-workers. Include a kind note to spread holiday cheer.
- Create an Advent Calendar of Kindness: Instead of a traditional Advent calendar with chocolates or toys, create one focused on daily acts of kindness. Each day, do something nice for someone else, whether it’s a compliment, a small gift, or helping with a task.
- Give money: Support local or worldwide missions. Check out MISSIO!
- Decorate and clean: Volunteer to make your church for beautiful Christmas.
Movies To Watch During Advent
The story of the birth of Jesus is often misunderstood. But this fast-paced, thought-provoking look at the true story of the Nativity clears away widespread misunderstandings of Jesus’ origin. Join top scholars, inspirational speakers, and popular authors as they explain the story behind the story of the birth of Jesus.
Bo, a brave donkey, and all his new hilarious animal friends go on the adventure of their dreams filled with lots of laughter.
Based on the children’s book “Angela and the Baby Jesus” by Frank McCourt (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Angela’s Ashes”), comes a funny, heart-warming, and poignant story from the Oscar nominated studio Brown Bag Films about the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm, and loved at Christmas time.
Movies not to watch: “Journey To Bethlehem” Find out why HERE.
All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever.Advent Prayer
Quotes To Contemplate
At this Christmas, when Christ Comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of advent by loving and serving the othes with God’s own love and concern.—Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the Holy and say, “I need shelter for the night. Please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.” Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime intimacy, the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever, as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. Yes, there, under the dome of your being, does creation come into existence eternally, through your womb, dear pilgrim, the sacred womb of your soul, as God grasps our arms for help: for each of us is His beloved servant never far. If you want, the virgin will come walking down the street, pregnant with Light, and sing!”— St. John of the Cross
“Open wide your door to the one who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart and run to meet the Sun of eternal light that illuminates all men.”—St. Ambrose of Milan
More Catholic Resources
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