Archbishop Eamon Martin has today launched the 2018 online Advent Calendar, which will go live on www.catholicbishops.ie on the first Sunday of Advent, 2 December next.
The 2018 Advent calendar will provide a special focus on family as part of ongoing reflections following the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families 2018. There will be family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity that all of us are encouraged to undertake during the month of December. The Advent Calendar will also share tips on how families can care for our common home by having a more sustainable Christmas.
Now in its fifth year, the online Advent Calendar will offer resources for the parish, school and the home which are available behind a virtual door each day during the season of Advent. Behind each door there will be content aimed at assisting people to pray and to reflect on how best we can keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas preparations during this special liturgical season.
Commenting on the Advent Calendar Archbishop Eamon said, “The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic year and the time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas. It is a time of waiting, conversion and hope. Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time. As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord – ‘You must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do no not expect’ [Mt 24:37-44]. Preparation does not happen at once but over time and so each day of Advent allows us to reflect on the joy of the Gospel. Our online calendar is a helpful resource on this journey.”
“During Advent 2018 we can reflect on the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland last August when he invited us to welcome Christ in the bits and pieces, the ordinary moments of every day live. I particularly welcome the inclusion of some of the many inspirational messages that Pope Francis gave to us during his time here as part of this year’s Advent Calendar.”
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “I invite everyone during this Season of Advent to enjoy our online calendar, which will highlight the themes of love in the family as well as mercy and peace and which will hopefully help families to prepare for Christmas.”
A popular feature of the Advent Calendar is the audio thought for the day. Contributors this year will include bishops, priests, religious, laity, staff of the councils and agencies of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, as well as primary, secondary and university students.
The 2018 Advent Calendar will also include:
- Mass Readings and Saint of the Day;
- Family prayers;
- Advent videos: blessing of the crib in the home, blessing of the advent wreath in the home;
- The Words of Pope Francis from the World Meeting of Families 2018;
- Acts of kindness in the family, school and parish
- Suggestions to make Christmas more sustainable so as to care for our common home;
- Advent music;
- Seasonal prayers;
- Multimedia thought for the day;
- Resources for Advent including books and music;
- Advent events in dioceses and parishes;
- Information on Trócaire’s Global Gifts for 2018 as well special appeals to help families in need.
You can also follow updates on a special Advent Facebook page [Advent 2018] and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LiveAdvent. For more see www.catholicbishops.ie/advent-calendar.