“Living the Catholic faith is a way of life that embraces every minute of our waking and sleeping hours and permeates our lives at work, at home, in school, on a date, from the cradle to the grave.”
Catherine Doherty, Dear Parents
Advent is the ideal time to breathe new life into living our faith. Traditionally, we light candle(s) from our Advent wreath each evening. As well, we celebrate the many feast days such as St. Nicholas Day (December 6), the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), Feast of St. Lucy (December 13), to name a few.
For more ways to celebrate our Catholic Faith during Advent, I highly recommend the following books: Advent, Christmas and Epiphany in the Domestic Church by Peter and Catherine Fournier and Donkey Bells by Catherine Doherty (http://www.madonnahouse.org/publications/doherty/donkeybells.htm)
Which books would you recommend for living our Catholic faith during Advent? Please feel free to comment.
Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Advent is my favourite season in the Church. I love the anticipation and the preparation. I love how our dinner table gets brighter and brighter each week as we light another candle on our wreath. I cherish the traditions that have been passed down by our families, and the new ones we have started with our own children. I like to start every day with a meditation from “The Word Among Us”, which has a special Advent edition. We also use “The Advent-Christmas Book” by Joan Marie Arbogast. There are stories and crafts and Advent scriptures and prayers before meals. There are so many resources available to choose from, and customs that are unique to each family. Thank you, Ellie, for inviting us to share.
Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your ideas! “I love how our dinner table gets brighter and brighter each week as we light another candle on our wreath.” Well said! We keep our wreath on our dinner table as well.
My favorite season is actually Lent, because I love the journey from death to life. It’s like the whole world is quivering in anticipation, just waiting to burst into bloom as the season goes on. And because it doesn’t have the same level of cultural expectation placed upon it, the way Advent/Christmas do.
And yet Advent/Christmas is so beautiful. I used to get really frustrated by the commercialization, but it seemed like an over-reaction to eschew the commercial season altogether. So I tried to figure out a way to balance the sacred and secular, and I came up with a book of my own, “Joy to the World: Advent Activities for your Family,” which is now available from Liguori Publications. (Ew, how much like a shameless self-plug this feels.) But that’s what we’re using now.
Thanks, Kathleen! Your book looks like it would be a great resource for Advent. Thanks for mentioning it! It is on my “to buy” list, for sure.
Our family loves Advent too. This year my teenage daughter made us a new wreath and everyone takes turns doing the Jesse Tree readings. Last year our three year old could sing “O Come Divine Messiah” by heart and she remembers it this year again. Over the years we have used books like “Donkey Bells” by Catherine Doherty. It seems to be the easiest time of year for keeping everyone excited about family devotions.
Thanks, Ingrid! I agree that it does seem to be the easiest time of year for keeping everyone excited about family devotions!
My wife just got “Donkey Bells” and started reading it. She likes it. She’s also started reading “Jotham’s Journey” to the boys. It’s a book where you read on story every day of Advent until Christmas. It’s about a boy during the time of Jesus’ birth that has adventures on the way to seeing the Christ child born. The kids really like it.
Thanks for the comment, Marc! Jotham’s Journey sounds like a great book for kids!