Advent & Christmas Perspective & Ideas

~ As we gear up for the busy-ness of Advent and Christmas, let us make a firm resolution to keep Christ at the center of these seasons.  Here are some suggestions:

*Make certain you have an Advent Wreath (purchase one or simply "create" your own with three purple candles and one rose/pink one, and some greenery) and light it as many evenings throughout Advent as possible

*Sign up for the overview Bible study of St Matthew's Gospel (which begins Monday, November 29th).

*Attend the Illinois Wesleyan University's Christmas Concert at Holy Trinity Church on Sunday, December 5th, at 3:00pm.

*Read a spiritual book and/or the Bible in Advent.

*Partake in the 'Giving Tree' at our parishes (via visiting the actual tree or via on-line, on our parishes' website.

*Include some spiritual testimonial or religious insight in the Christmas cards you write and send.

*Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with your family two nights/week.

*Pray three short prayers for each of the people for whom you buy a Christmas gift (while determining what to buy them, and as you buy that gift, and after you give the gift).

*Pray the 'Christmas Novena', beginning December 16 and ending on Christmas Eve day.

*Listen to beautiful religious Christmas music.

*Put a Nativity Scene somewhere prominent in your home; when hosting a Christmas party, start with a prayer and have a Christmas prayer at all the table settings.

*Place religious items in your front yard for all to see.

*Consider attending at least one Adoration time/week.

*Go to Confession a couple of times throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

*Attend at least one weekday Mass throughout Advent and Christmas. 

I pray you have a happy and holy Advent and Christmas.

~Fr Stirniman~