In the midst of the Christmas shopping, cleaning and hosting, there is a liturgical season that often slips by unnoticed. It is the season of Advent. What is Advent, you may ask?
Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas. It is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas). —USCCB
As you can imagine, there are various ways to observe this hope-filled season, and we've complied just a few ideas for you in the lists below.
"This time of Advent is a time for hope." —St. Josemaria Escriva
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day Mass with Bishop Scharfenberger
Sunday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m.
Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Americas, 273 Central Ave., Albany
Advent Reconciliation Service with Bishop Scharfenberger
Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 125 Eagle St., Albany
Christmas Eve Midnight Mass with Bishop Scharfenberger
Monday, Dec. 24, at Midnight
Take time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Participate in your parish's Advent activities, such as the giving tree
Pray the Saint Andrew Prayer in anticipation of Christmas
Use these ideas to slow down and savor the beauty of the season