Advent 2018

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


A Concert of Sacred Music honoring the Blessed Mother
Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Diocesan Marian Consecration & Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m.

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


Advent with the USCCB

Resources from the Albany Digital Library

Advent, Christmas, and Ephiphany Activities for Home and Classrooms

Advent from Ignation Spirituality

Advent from Loyola Press

A Very Simple Advent

Advent and Christmas Read Alouds


Make your own candles and light an Advent wreath

Follow a daily Advent Calendar online or use an interactive one in your home

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

Pin your favorite Advent and Christmas ideas

Listen to an Advent playlist

Use these ideas to slow down and savor the beauty of the season