Everyday Rosary Newsletter, Volume 5 Issue 1 -- Making The Most Of Advent + Christmas Activities
December 10, 2015
Ave Maria! Hello and happy Advent,
The monthly Everyday Rosary Newsletter is brought to you from the
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Table of Contents
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A Note From The Editor:
Advent is a time of penance when we prepare our hearts for Our Lord’s coming: His coming at Christmas, His coming at our particular judgement, and His coming at the consummation of the world. That is why the focus in the liturgy during the first couple weeks are on Our Lord’s second coming.
The best way to prepare your heart during Advent is to fast and pray. Another powerful form of penance is tending to your duties in life. This can be particularly difficult during this materialistic time of year.
Keeping the feast after the fast in mind, please remember to be joyful and an example of Christ’s love to all your friends, acquaintances, and relatives no matter where they are on their understanding of the faith. The early Christians made converts because the pagans were impressed by their love. You need to be the type of person that makes others want to share in your joy and peace.
How do you do this? Pray, pray, pray! Pray the Rosary
everyday. Ask for graces. Meditate on the Gospels. Embrace the inconveniences and sufferings in your life and unite them to Our Lord’s cross. Imitate Holy Mary and ask her to be your mother.
Drown out the distractions of this world through prayer and spiritual reading. Turn off the news. Play games with your family. Get outdoors. All these things will help you focus on the important things in this life: saving your soul and the souls of those God has put in your path.
Spread some joy this Advent and Christmas season. Be joyful, patient and loving while you keep your eye on the prize: Heaven!
May God bless you during this Advent and Christmas season and always!
Meaning Of The Advent Wreath
An Advent Wreath is by far the most common and popular Advent tradition. Advent Wreaths are made of evergreens and four candles, usually three purple and one pink.
The evergreens are a reminder of the eternal life Jesus promised. They are formed into a circular wreath signifying that God had no beginning, He always was and always will be.
The purple candles represent penance while the pink candle symbolizes joy and is lit on the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday. Read more...
Christmas Activities For The Family
The days following Christmas are feast days that are rich in tradition. Why not celebrate each one this year adopting these traditions in your family. It is a festive way to keep a spiritual focus during the days between Christmas and Epiphany.
Christmas Eve: Reserve some or all decorating for Christmas Eve. This emphasizes the distinction between Advent and Christmas. Be sure to set out the Infant Jesus on your family’s shrine that night on a pillow of "sacrifice" straw that was gathered throughout Advent.
Christmas Day: The main event of this day is Holy Mass. Center all of today’s celebration around the Infant Jesus and His holy Nativity.
St. Stephen's Day, December 26: St. Stephen was the first martyr of the Church. Read his story aloud then place red poinsettias round your main manger to represent his
St. John’s Day, December 27: The feast of the beloved apostle St John is celebrated with wine. According to legend, St. John was served wine that had been poisoned. After blessing it and drinking it, he was unharmed. This day wine can be blessed and had for dinner. If you think ahead a little, you can ask your priest to bless a bottle of wine for this occasion during Advent or Christmas.
The Holy Innocents, December 28: This day we remember the hatred Herod had for Our Lord and all the innocent babies that he ordered to be killed. In the home, the celebration can be in honor of the baby. Decorate the baby’s crib and nursery, then ask God to send many graces to the "wee one". If there is no baby in your home, present gifts to a friend’s baby.
St. Sylvester Day, December 31 (New Year’s Eve): Visit Our Lord in the Tabernacle to thank Him for all the graces bestowed upon your family in the past year. In the evening
or before midnight sing "Holy God We Praise Thy Name".
New Year Day, January 1: This day should be like a second Christmas. The food and decorations should be as festive as Christmas. You may even want to keep a few Christmas presents unopened to open this day. In this way there are still more thrills as the gifts are opened.
Epiphany, January 6: On this day we celebrate the three wise men coming and adoring the Infant King. On the 5th of January the kids expect the wise kings to visit them in the night. In the morning there is a sweet surprise from the three wise men. It is also a custom to have the house blessed by the parish priest if he is available. Our priest comes with blessed chalk and incense. The father of the home writes the Epiphany inscription 20+C+M+B+15 above the doors.
How To Checklist
Advent Is Coming
The four weeks of Advent are set apart by the Church to commemorate the ages that intervened between the fall of our first of our first parents and the birth of Christ which we celebrate at Christmas. It is a Season of special prayer and penance mingled with joyful expectation, and calculated to prepare our souls for a worthy keeping of this great solemnity.
Advent is also the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, and as each succeeding year brings us closer to the Second Coming of Christ as Judge of the world, this holy time is likewise intended to make us ready to meet our Judge. Such preparation is best achieved by seeking sanctification through voluntary amendment of life, acts of penance, and works of charity.
Do not let this time to grow in holiness pass you by!
Consider the following categories on what we should do for Advent this year.
1. Voluntary Amendment Of Life: Give up those things that need to go sooner or later, namely bad habits. Our goal here is to learn to love our souls more than our bodies... to break a bad habit forever and Advent is a good time to do it. Examples: Gossiping, surfing the web without real need, watching T.V., overeating, eating between meals, eating and drinking junk foods (e.g., soda), bad drinking habits, complaining, saying vulgar words, not getting up on time, using a snooze alarm, wasting time playing video games, going to movies, listening to base music, useless chattering on Facebook, blogs, and the like, etc. In this category I am going to give up_________________.
2. Acts Of Penance: Perform some kind of penance. Our goal here is to train ourselves to say "no" in little things so that we can say "NO" to big temptations later. We can resume doing the things given up here once Advent is over. Examples: Avoid eating or drinking something that we
enjoy, such as desserts. Give up eating out, taking completely warm showers, drinking alcoholic beverages. In this category I am going to give up________________________.
3. Works Of Charity: Perform some good and holy actions(s). Our goal here is to strengthen our relationship with Christ and His Church. Ideally, what we start here would continue in some way even after Advent is over. Love God more than yourself! Examples: Pray the Rosary everyday, attend daily Mass as much as possible, read the Sacred Scriptures _____ minutes a day, spend ________ additional time everyday with my family, read a life of a saint or saints, increase spiritual reading in place of electronic media, make a daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament or shrine of Our Lady. In this category I am going to_________________________.
This checklist is found on ReginaProphetarum.com in the mission materials section of their website.
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To Jesus through Mary,
Kathleen Bowen and The Rosary Team
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