Episode 117

Ten Family Advent Traditions to Try This Year


December 3rd, 2019

26 mins 53 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

From assigning secret “Advent Angels” to your family members to a Las Posadas door-to-door procession and celebration, these ten meaningful Advent traditions will bring your whole family closer together as you experience the joyful anticipation of this liturgical season.

*_Snippet from the Show *
People who are truly alive in the Catholic faith shape their entire lives with the Gospel. This next four weeks, let’s shape our homes, shape the minds of our children--shape everything we do around the joyful anticipation of this holy Advent season._

*Advent Wreath: *
Ours is a circle of evergreen branches surrounding four candles (four violet, one pink) representing the four weeks of Advent.
Bless your Advent wreath with this special liturgical blessing
Put it on your dinner table (or nearby), and light it each night leading up to Christmas with your children or grandchildren.

*Advent Prayers During Dinner *
During dinner, pray a short Advent prayer or sing an Advent hymn with your family.
O God, Who gladdens us by the annual expectation of our Redemption, grant that we, who now receive with joy Your only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may behold him without fear when He comes as our judge.

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Your Only begotten Son, that we may attain to serve You with purified minds, through His Advent. Who with you lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

The Empty Manger
Place an empty manger in a special place in your home. Have your family members place a piece of straw in the manger every time they do a kind deed or make a sacrifice. This symbolizes their effort to prepare a special place in their hearts for the baby Jesus.

“Advent Angels”
Randomly assign your family members as secret “Advent angels” to each other. The goal is for each person to perform acts of kindness and service for the person to whom they’ve been assigned.

*Make a Jesse Tree *
The tradition of the Jesse tree comes from the passage in Isaiah:

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.”
The symbols hung on the Jesse tree tell the story of salvation history and lead up to the birth of Christ at Christmas

Dr. Sri’s “Advent Cards:
Retell the story of salvation history with simple illustrations

Bless Your Christmas Tree (and Recall the Tradition's Historical Roots)
If possible, wait to put it up later, like the original tradition of the Christmas Tree (symbolized the tree of Adam on Christmas Eve, was decorated with Candles on Christmas to symbolize Christ the light of the world)
Special blessing of a Christmas Tree

*Celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas *
Have your children put their shoes by the fireplace or by their bedroom door. While they are sleeping, put little surprises in their shoes (saint cards, gold chocolate coins, a few pennies)
Teach your children about the life of this great saint. A great way to do this is through the animated movie Nicholas: the Boy Who Became Santa

Celebrate Las Posadas
Read Tomie dePaola’s book The Night of Las Posadas

Gather friends and neighbors to organize a night of Las Posadas in your community.
Children dressed in nativity costumes go from house to house asking for lodging but are refused until they reach the final house, whenthey are welcomed into the “inn,” where they have a party with food and drink

** Listen to Advent Music Instead of Christmas Music**
Follow the Church’s lead--the Church does not sing Christmas hymns until the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass.

Dom Gueranger: “The Church also, during Advent … suppresses the angelic canticle, Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra paz hominibus bonae voluntatis; for this glorious song was sung at Bethlehem over the crib of the divine Babe; the tongues of the angels are not loosened yet; the Virgin has not yet brought forth her divine Treasure; it is not yet time to sing. It is not even true to say, ‘Glory be to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will.’”

*Some suggestions: *
Advent of Ephesus by the Benedictines of Mary
Advent Promise by Roger Wilcock & The London Fox Players
The Advent of Christmas by Matt Maher
Handel's Messiah

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