By Vivian Day

Happy new liturgical year! The Church gives us six wonderful seasons to live the Mystery of Christ, as well as devotions for each month, to support our spiritual life. Each season is marked with a specific color to aid us in our liturgical living.

Advent, meaning “to come to”, begins our new year in anticipation and preparation for the Messiah. Both in the Second Coming as much as celebrating the Nativity and begins four Sundays before Christmas. This year Advent is three weeks and one day as the Fourth Sunday of Advent is December 24.

Our parish’s theme for this season is the Advent Wreath. The wreath is a beautiful symbol of our growing in holiness in this special season. The greenery signifies everlasting life; its shape which, has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of our soul, and life everlasting through Christ. There are even ties to the types of greenery used in the wreath. Holly berries, pine cones, and more are all inviting us to enter into the Mystery of the Life of Christ. The gentle glow of each week’s new candle invites us to quiet our busy lives.

On this first Sunday of Advent, bless your wreath, light the first candle, read scripture/reflection for the day, and offer a prayer. The Blessing is available for you in the Gathering Space.

So, what’s your new liturgical year resolution? Here are a couple ideas.

Adoration. Share some one on one time with Our Lord. Whether you keep a Holy Hour or stop in for 15 minutes, Exposition of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is in the St. Clare Adoration Chapel Monday through Friday. Come, silently adore Him, and talk with Our Lord.

Bless your Advent Wreath. 5 minutes. The USCCB offers us a blessing for our Advent Wreath at home.

Little Blue Books are in the Gathering Space. Each day has a scripture reading and reflection. It’s a pairing you’ll really enjoy!

Confession. Prepare the Way of the Lord by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Conversion. Turning away from former ways to a life centered on Jesus is this new year. Please also pray for those who are journeying to the Church.

Check out the new studies/faith sharing opportunities that will begin in January.

May Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love be yours this Advent Season.