Liturgical Living: Advent

As we begin a new liturgical year, I’d like to share the Pearce family Advent traditions. We are very enthusiastic about creating a Catholic culture in our home and take care to live the feasts and fast of the church, weaving the practice of the faith into the fabric of every day life.

Here are some of the ways that we celebrate Advent and we hope that our list sparks some ideas for how you can develop your own liturgical living traditions.

First Sunday of Advent- Change the display on our liturgical shelf and the liturgical colours around the house and in our oratory. Remove flowers from the house.

Advent penance- no meat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Advent wreath with candles according to liturgical colours- three violet, one rose for Gaudete Sunday and a central white candle for Christmas Day. Recently, with little grabby hands on the loose, we have dispensed with the wreath and just had the candles on a high shelf.

Advent playlist- no carols! There are so many beautiful Advent hymns and sacred music to listen to. We don’t have a TV so we have music on quite often.

Jesse Tree- Mrs P made Jesse Tree ornaments which are added to the tree each evening.

Advent calendar- we have a reusable calendar with a little book for each day. The books take the reader through the advent themes.

At evening prayers we always begin with the Magnificat antiphon and Collect of the day. Until the 17th when the O Antiphons begin, we sing O come O come Emmanuel instead. We also always finish the rosary with the seasonal Marian antiphon so we end prayers with the Alma Redemptoris Mater each evening.

6th December- Feast of St Nicholas. The evening before we hide chocolate coins in everyone’s shoes and we read the story of St Nicholas. This year we are going to organise a special family act of almsgiving on this day. I quite fancy some sort of boxing game one day! We also have our annual renewal of our Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We also hang the stockings on the eve of St Nicholas.

7th- Feast of St Ambrose- Honey based desert.

8th- Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Make a Mary Candle. Add it to the advent wreath candles.

12th- Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexican food for dinner and veneration of he image of the tilma.

13th- St Lucy, candlelit dinner and adorable candle hat for the little one.

17th- Begin the O Antiphons at evening prayers.

Gaudete Sunday- Lights go up around the house.

Last day of term- collect Christmas tree and put out empty crib scene. Figures for the nativity scene are placed on different book shelves ‘on their way’ to the stable.

23rd (ish)- decorate the tree and move Mary, Joseph and the shepherds to the stable. Watch the Nativity Movie.

24th- Day of fasting and abstainence. Watch the Muppets Christmas Carol. Choir rehearsal and midnight Mass.

Stay tuned for our Christmas liturgical living tips!