Growing Closer to God in Advent: Some Practical Suggestions
Dr. Mark D. Roberts, professor at Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA, says that most people “discover” Advent later in life. Many report that “observing Advent enriches their celebration of Christmas and allows them to have a precious, peaceful, God-focused experience during what is often a hectic holiday season.”
Here are a few of Dr. Roberts' suggestions for experiencing Advent:
- Pay close attention to the readings, prayers, songs, and seasonal pageantry (like the lighting of the Advent wreath). Your intentionality in worship can infuse your whole life with Advent expectation.
- Enjoy Advent Music. There are comparatively few Advent songs, though many songs and carols do touch upon Advent themes of waiting, hoping, and yearning for God. Prepare the Way of the Lord by David Phillips contains 18 instrumental tracks, half dedicated to Advent, the other half dedicated to Lent. Download a few and let yourself remember the Father’s gift of His Son as you play them.
- Dress for Advent. Each day wear something purple to remind yourself that this is Advent.
- Do Acts of Kindness and Justice. Advent can be a time to get in touch with those in need, not only so that we might share God’s love with them, but also so that our yearning for the Kingdom of God might be renewed within us.
For more suggestions click here to read Dr. Roberts' Advent blog.
And don't forget to pick up the Advent Blue Books located in the church lobbies.
For adults and families:
Provided by the US Bishops Conference
Provided by Loyola Press
Provided by Loyola Press
Bishop Robert Barron's Daily Advent Reflections
Click here to register for Bishop Barron's daily emails of Advent reflections.
Matthew Kelly's Best Advent Ever
Click here to watch a short video and sign up for daily emails of simple yet powerful messages from Matthew Kelly, America’s bestselling Catholic author, and other leading Catholic voices of our time designed to help you encounter God’s incredible mercy. Kelly says, "Best Advent Ever can transform your life, relationships, work, and ability to genuinely embrace and experience life."
Kelly Wahlquist's Advent Reflections for Busy Women
Click here for Kelly's weekly Advent videos helping us transform this busy season into a season of peace by focusing on Jesus.
Advent Praying with Our Children
Teach your children how precious and powerful their time with God in prayer can be. Watch as praying with your children make your family bonds stronger and deeper because you and your family are putting God at the center of your life. Here is an excellent and easy way to do this.
Among the Apostleship of Prayer website's tips for parents is one on leading your child in a short Morning Prayer and video which you can use, beginning on this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent. How about getting up 3 minutes earlier and gathering as a family to sing together this 2-minute Morning Offering video?
Also on the website is a link to a Nightly Examination of Conscience movie. (Use the movie's arrows to move from slide to slide.) A daily Examination of Conscience is most effective. If that doesn't work for your schedule, try to do it weekly. Gatherings as a family and doing the Examen together is a great way to pray as a family.
And all of us, across the generations, can profit from listening to Apostleship of Prayer Children Director Grace Mazza Urbanski’s video on Ministering to Children, which provides hints for our own prayer as well as how we can support prayer in the children in our lives. (Most of these videos are also on Youtube. And click here to sample the Apostleship's current offerings.)