Fourth week of Advent: Christmas is near

By | December 16, 2009

0941Advent-candles-wk-4web3Advent prayer around wreath:

Leader: The fourth and final week of the season of Advent begins today. We are almost there! As we near Christmas, we take these few moments in prayer so that we are better prepared to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts and into our lives.

Light all four of the candles on the Advent Wreath

(Optional) Read aloud Mi 5:1-4a; Heb 10:5-10; Lk 1:39-45

Leader: This Fourth Week of Advent, the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures reminds us how the birth of the Savior was foretold generations before. The Jewish people waited many, many centuries for a savior. And the Letter to the Hebrews won’t let us forget the reason for Christmas — that Jesus was born so that he could die and atone for our sins. The familiar story of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth should make us reflect on how both those women put their trust in God to give birth to sons. Have we that kind of faith?

Reflect: Was there some time this week when you shared a special happy moment with a friend? Did you also remember God’s grace to you in that moment?

Share: Did you have time this past week to meet last week’s challenge? Did you share something you have with someone else? If so, share that with the group now. During this coming week, as you make the final preparations for Christmas — remember to offer up a moment of prayer sacrifice for the well-being of those from whom you get a card or for whom you wrap a gift.

Closing prayer: (Leader may read all, or others in the household may each read a segment)

• Father in heaven, help us learn to be patient. We know that you know our needs and will satisfy them in your time.

•God above, as you found favor in the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, help us live so that you find favor in our lives. Give us the courage to accept your will.

•Along with Mary, help us too to say: “Yes” God. Do with me as you want. Make me your hands on earth.

•Holy Spirit, inspire us to live every day as if Christmas is just a day away.

All: Amen.

Zyskowski is associate publisher of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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