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Let Us Pray

The season of Advent is about to begin.  It starts this Sunday 27th November and concludes on Saturday 24th December. We pray during Advent that we may open our hearts in love and hope as we await the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It is a special time of the year; a time for hope, love, joy and peace!

Lord Jesus it is the season of Advent, and we are full of hope. We remember all that you have done for us. May this Advent be a time to stop, reflect and sit with you. May it be a time to hold your hand and listen to your voice. Excite in us a hunger for peace: in the world, our homes, school and in ourselves. Excite in us the joy of your call for each of us. Give light to our eyes and may we bring light and love to all we meet. May you find us watching and waiting in happiness when you come. Set our hearts ablaze with your spirit during this holy season. May we praise and shout your holy name to the world. May we remember all that this season of Advent time should be as we wait in joyful hope. Be the joy that dwells amongst us. We are your people and with open hearts we say to you” Come Lord Jesus”

First Advent Candle/Sunday: Hope                                                                         

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis                                                                                                                          

 It is only fitting that the first candle on the Advent wreath represents Hope – the first Sunday of Advent not only leads us to anticipate the birth of Christ but celebrate the beginning of a new liturgical season as well. The first candle is purple, the primary color of Advent and a color symbolizing royalty. Sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle,” the first candle harkens us back to Isaiah’s foretelling of the birth of Christ and all of the promises God gave us in the Old Testament that would be fulfilled by the birth of Jesus.

Second Advent Candle/Sunday: Peace

“May we be in this world a ray of that light which shone forth from Bethlehem, bringing joy and peace to the hearts of all men and women.” – Pope Francis                                                   

The second candle on the Advent wreath represents Peace. Like the first candle, it is also purple. Often called the “Bethlehem Candle,” the second Advent candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem before Mary gave birth to Jesus. Building on the meaning of the Prophecy Candle, this second candle recalls that after all of the division, destruction, and dispersion of the kingdom in the Old Testament, there might finally be peace on Earth – Jesus is coming, and so is his Kingdom of Peace. As we read in the quote from Pope Francis, this light of peace shone forth from Bethlehem for all the world.

Third Advent Candle/Sunday: Joy – “Gaudete Sunday” 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:10-12)                             

The third candle of Advent symbolizes Joy. As we continue to approach Christmas Day, our joy grows more and more. The third candle takes us back to the joyful anticipation of the shepherds who journeyed to see Jesus in Bethlehem, even before the wise men. On this third Sunday of Advent, which the Church calls “Gaudete Sunday,” meaning rejoice or praise, we light the third candle and rejoice like the shepherds. For this reason, the third candle of Advent is called the “Shepherd’s Candle,” and its color is pink, the liturgical color for joy.

Fourth Advent Candle/Sunday:Love                                                                       

“And in the end, everything else will turn out to be unimportant and inessential, except for this: Father, Child, and Love.” – St. (Pope) John Paul II                                    

The fourth candle of Advent represents Love, the ultimate love of God that He might send His only Son for us. Called the “Angel’s Candle,” the fourth candle of Advent is lit the Sunday before Christmas, and it is the color purple, leading us to eagerly await the new Kingdom of God on earth.

 

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