Friday, November 17, 2017

The Liturgical Year In Our Home - December - Month Dedicated to the Divine Infancy - Advent & Christmas

Nativity, Giotto     c.1304 - c.1306   Source: WikiArt

Advent can begin as early as the 27th of November and as late as the 3rd of December so it doesn't fall neatly into a monthly division.  When Advent begins at its earliest on the 27th of November we have the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.  If on the 28th, St. Catherine Laboure.  But for the most part the saint from November who marks out Advents beginning is St. Andrew.  [Edit: An interesting article here on the end and beginning of the liturgical year.  Apparently November 26th, the feast of St. Sylvester marks the end of the sanctoral cycle and November 30th, the feast of St. Andrew, the beginning.]

Rather than do two separate posts, one for Advent and one for December, I've decided to stick to monthly divisions with a few notes to help with the variabilities of Advent planning.  I will also be cutting and pasting an old post, Advent - Christmas Plans 2015-16, to fit in here.

While this month is dedicated to the Divine Infancy I don't put up pictures on our home oratory of the Infant Jesus until Christmas Day.  I like to build that sense of waiting, of expectation.  As much as I can I try to make Advent a season of preparation and of longing.  Then when Christmas arrives I put up a picture of the Nativity where Jesus is shown as a baby and not as an older child.  I like to enjoy Christ being only an infant, for at least the octave.  He grows up very fast in the liturgy and soon enough it is Lent.  So for at least the octave we delight in the newborn Infant, Our Saviour come at last!

My Advent/Christmas Pinterest Board  (This has all the links from this page plus more)

A great Advent planner (free printable) from Wildflowers and Marbles blog.  This is an undated, blank planner that you can use from year to year.  If you are a little unsure of what you might do for the season take a look at one of her past planners which includes a lot of details here (contains a large booklist), it is well worth reading.

Some inspiration:

Advent is coming  A pdf with idea's for 'voluntary amendment of life', 'acts of penance', and 'works of charity' for this season of preparation.

Advent Plan (free printable)  This is a blank planner for writing down daily goals for Advent.  You could use the 'Advent is coming' idea's above to make a list, or the link below.
Making a list  The same printable above except not blank.  Including it as it gives some idea's of how you might use the above blank planner.

An Advent Reflection - Waiting for the Christ Child By Michael J Matt
Reclaiming the Catholic Feast of Christmas A similar article to the above and by the same author but adding a few different details.

Oftentimes to begin again  A reflection on Advent by a Benedictine monk.

Advent Ideas - Part I This is a simple but helpful article. It helps me brainstorm for idea's for preparing our own home for Advent/Christmas because of it's broad labels which allow for adaption to any home.

Advent, The beginning of wonder

Christmas Idea's and Stocking Stuffers Loads of great idea's here. Most probably don't ship to Australia or if they do it will cost an arm and a leg, but lovely to look at and a good source of inspiration. Some idea's she provides printables for so you can make your own. eg. St. Nicholas chocolate coins. Many other idea's are a good jumping point for some of your own creativity ;)

Recipes for Advent/Christmas, Saints of December

Advent Hymns to sing daily:  O Come Divine Messiah  Veni Veni Emmanuel  O Come, Come, Emmanuel

Marian Antiphon to sing daily:   Salve Regina (until the Saturday the day before the first Sunday of Advent)  Alma Redemptoris Mater (From the first Sunday of Advent through to Feb 2nd)

Other Hymns to listen to during Advent:   (Youtube playlist)

Around our home, things to prepare:

The day before Advent, bless our Advent wreath.

On the first Sunday of Advent  (the beginning of the liturgical year) - Bring out the purple!  Put our wreath and candles on our dinner table.

Put up our Advent and Veni Veni Emmanuel banners.

Set up an Advent display

Put up our Jesse tree (regular Christmas tree) and get out our ornaments and Jesse Tree book

    Display our Jesse Tree book.  Also put up prayer cards of the Christmas novena and put novena beads in a bowl nearby.

    Pick out our Christkindl's and put our manger for the Christkind (Christ Child) under the Christmas tree.  A piece of hay is put in for each good deed done, to make a soft bed in preparation for the Christ Childs arrival.

    Set up our nativity scene on our home oratory.


    Place the Christ Child in the manger on Christmas Eve when all are asleep.

    Have our Christmas books and music ready in a basket.
    Have chocolate coins, a candy cane and orange for each child ready for putting in shoes for feast of St. Nicholas
    Make our Christmas pudding on the first Sunday of Advent (Stir-up Sunday), if we are good ;)
    On the third Sunday of Advent replace the purple (violet) with pink (rose) for the day.  Put the purple back out again the next day.

    November 30th - St Andrew colouring page  

    Begin novena for the Immaculate Conception.  Start St. Andrew's Christmas Novena (To be recited 15 times a day from November 30th until Christmas.)  Christmas novena printable
    Christmas novena chaplet

    Novena Prayer

    'Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.'

    Mattia Preti, The Crucifixion of St Andrew, 1651 Source: Wikiart
    Scones for morning tea / O Bona Crux! (Some thoughts on the feast of St. Andrew by a Benedictine monk) / Antifone vespro di sant'Andrea apostolo

    December 1st - St.  Edmund Campion


    December 3rd - St. Francis Xavier coloring page

    Source: Wikimedia

    December 4th - St. Barbara  St. Barbara    coloring page

    Source: Met Museum

    December 5th- Put out shoes by the Jesse tree in the evening for St. Nicholas' day.

    December 6th - St. Nicholas  St. Nicholas coloring page 1 coloring page 2 (Celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas)   St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins
    Have a feast day morning tea of hot chocolate and doughnuts.

    Saint Nicholas of Bari,  Gherardo di Jacopo Starna, c. 1422  Source: Wikimedia

    December 7th - St. Ambrose  coloring page  Decorate our Christ candle.  Have creamed honey on toast for morning tea.

    Source: Wikimedia

    December 8th - Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary  Youtube Playlist  colouring page / colouring page 2
    The Immaculate Conception, Guido Reni 1627      Source: Met Museum
    Make a cake for morning tea.

    December 9th - St. Juan Diego  coloring page 1 / Tree ornament

    Source: Catholic Tradition

    December 10th - Our Lady of Loreto Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary  /  Litany of Loreto

    Source: Catholic Tradition

    December 12th - Our Lady of Guadalupe coloring page 1 / ornament / coloring page 2 / coloring page 3  Youtube Playlist

    Source: Wikimedia

    December 13th-St. Lucy  coloring page

    Saint Lucy, Francesco del Cossa, 1470  Source: Wikimedia

    December 16th - Begin Christmas novena and The Way of Bethlehem.  Also begin tidying the house in preparation for Christmas.    Dies Natalis of Father Lukas Etlin, O.S.B.
    December 17th - O Sapientia  - O Antiphons begin  Put up gold tinsel on our tree, and star.

    December 18th- O Adonai
    December 19th - O Radix Jesse
    December 20th - O Clavis David
    December 21st - O Oriens        St. Thomas

    The Incredulity of St.Thomas, Duccio di Buoninsegna   1308  Source:Wikimedia

    December 22nd- O Rex Gentium
    December 23rd- O Emmanuel
    December 24th - Christmas Eve  Place the Christ Child in the manger when all are asleep.

    December 25th- Christmas Day

    If unable to fulfil your obligation to attend Mass on Christmas day, the Christmas day Mass is able to be watched live on the internet at Live Mass, an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.  We have done this before at Easter when we were sick and unable to go to Mass.  

    Christmas Hymns to sing daily:  Silent Night 

    Marian Antiphon for the Month to sing daily:  Alma Redemptoris Mater 

    The Nativity of Christ by Vladimir Borovikovsky

    Day Mass 2016

    Christ Child in the manger on Christmas morning.

    Light the Christ candle.

    Christmas display, set up on Christmas eve. (The 'J' was missing from Rejoice as it was lost at the time.)
    I must remember too to make a new 'Christmas' banner.

    Playlist of Christmas Carols and Hymns  

    December 26th- St. Stephen, First Martyr


    December 27th- St. John the Evangelist

    Source: Wikimedia

    December 28th- The Holy Innocents

    The Holy Innocents, William Charles Thomas Dobson  1858  Source



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