By editor - 24 November, 2015
Describing the season of Advent as a time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas, the Primate of All Ireland said he was “delighted to launch this year’s online calendar”.
Each day the calendar will reveal Advent information and prayer resources by clicking on a virtual numerical door.
“For many years we have provided online resources to assist with our Advent preparations, and this year we once again offer the faithful our novel online calendar for this purpose,” Archbishop Eamon said.
He said Advent prepares the faithful for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.
“As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord ‘You must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do no not expect’ [Mt 24:37-44]. Preparation does not happen at once but over time and so each day of Advent amounts to a period of time which allows us to journey and reflect on the joy of the Gospel.”
Archbishop Eamon continued, “This year, the beginning of our Catholic new year will coincide with our preparations for a Jubilee Year of Mercy which Pope Francis has invited us to celebrate from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.”
“As Pope Francis said during his presentation of the Year of Mercy, ‘God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness’.”
“I welcome the inclusion of materials for the Year of Mercy in this year’s Advent Calendar and I invite everyone during the Advent season to visit and to reflect on the information provided on our online calendar, especially the themes of mercy and peace.”
A popular feature from last year’s Advent Calendar was the audio thought for the day and this feature which will feature again on this year’s calendar will be voiced by a different contributor each of the days of Advent and will reflect themes of the Advent season.
Contributors this year will include Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin; Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin; Fr Michael Drumm, Chair of the Catholic Schools Partnership, as well as seasonal reflections by staff from the councils, agencies and offices of the Bishops’ Conference for example ACCORD and Trócaire and by individual students from Catholic primary and secondary schools.
These audio recordings will be available on the pages of the Advent Calendar on catholicbishops.ie as well as on http://audioboom.com/IrishCatholicBishops.
The 2015 Advent Calendar will also include:
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “As Advent is the season of preparation for the coming of our Lord, I encourage the faithful, notwithstanding our hectic schedule over the coming weeks, to make time to pray – alone and with loved ones – and by so doing to draw nearer to Christ.”
Advent – from ‘ad-venire’ in Latin or “to come to” – is the Church season encompassing the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical year.
The first door on the Advent Calendar will open on Sunday next 29 November and each subsequent day after that.
Samples of the audio ‘Thought for the Day’ feature for use by media are available on request from the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth.
The 2015 Advent calendar can be found on the homepage of the Irish Catholic bishops’ website at: www.catholicbishops.ie