By Cian Molloy - 03 December, 2017
Put Christ to the centre of our Christmas preparations during this special liturgical season
A new online Advent Calendar has been launched by the Primate of all-Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh.
From today onwards, the first Sunday of Advent, which marks the start of the Church’s new year, the online Advent calendar will offer ‘the opening of a virtual door’ behind which there will be content aimed at helping people to pray and to reflect on ‘How best to put Christ to the centre of our Christmas preparations during this special liturgical season’.
The calendar can be accessed via the websites of the Irish Catholic bishops, www.catholicbishops.ie, and the website of the World Meeting of Families, www.worldmeeting2018.ie. Appropriately, the calendar has a special focus on family as part of the preparations for WMF2018 in Dublin next August, with family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity that family members can undertake during the month of December.
“The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic year and the time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas,” said Archbishop Martin launching the resource. “Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and hope. Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time. As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord. 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. Our online calendar is a helpful resource in this journey.”
The primate noted that many parishes this Advent are actively reflecting on the nature of family as part of preparations for WMOF2018, often using Amoris: Let’s Talk Family, Let’s Be Family, which has been specially prepared for use in advance of the world gathering.
“I invite everyone during the Advent season to visit our online calendar, which will highlight love in the family as well as mercy and peace. ‘Let’s Talk Family and Let’s Be Family’ this Advent,” said Dr Martin. “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 their family – and by so doing to draw nearer to Christ.”