Second week of Advent: Slowing down the holiday rush

By | December 2, 2009

Advent series

Introduction: This year, let’s really do Advent.

Part 1: First week of Advent

The following Advent Wreath prayer is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is meant to be used by groups of adults or adults with children.

Advent prayer around wreath:

Leader: Today begins the second week of the season of Advent. In order to help each of us prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ, we take these few moments each week to pray together.

Light the first two candles on the Advent Wreath.

(Optional) Read aloud Bar 5:1-9; Phil 1:4-6, 8-11; Lk 3:1-6. (Share the task of reading.)

Reflect on the readings: Ask members of your group if they had any rough roads to walk this week. Did anyone help them to make the way a little easier? Was their anything they did this week that might have helped make the road easier for someone else?

Leader: No matter how desperate things get, our faith teaches that if we keeping trusting God and live a life guided by justice, mercy, peace and, especially, love, God will keep God’s promise to us. In the Bible passages for this second week of Advent, we are again encouraged to be better people. John the Baptist reminds us that we’d better work seriously to make straight our own paths and to clean up the wastelands in our own lives.

Here’s a challenge to each and every one of us: Think of just one thing to do differently this week that will help you be a better follower of Jesus.

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

• Father in heaven, during this second week of Advent help us see clearly the times when we have sinned. Accept our sorrow for having pulled away from you, and give us firm resolve to stay close to you.

• God above, help us conduct ourselves in holiness. We long to be the people you expect us to be. Help us as we strive to make our souls blameless and at peace.

Help us, Lord, to remember that we were baptized for a reason. Help us realize our baptismal call to live as a child of God.

• And, dear God, don’t let us miss chances this week to be welcoming to other people and to work in harmony with everyone. Help us as we try to change our ways so that we are good examples of people who love and follow the Lord.

End your prayer time with a “Hail Mary.”

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

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