Saturday, November 27, 2010

Planning for Advent

Advent begins tomorrow --Sunday, November 28, 2010.  How will you be spending your Advent?  I find that unless I sit down and plan some Advent-focused activities, December is quickly over-run with Christmas preparations. My focus shifts to the many "to do" items on my work list -- the Christmas cards, the baking, the gift buying and the house decorating. I have to make a concerted effort to build prayer and contemplation into my family's daily schedule.

Yesterday night I sat down and read a helpful little booklet called What Am I Doing for Advent This Year? Written by Father Paul Turner, the pastor of St. Munchin parish in Cameron, Missouri, it is only 32 pages, yet provides quick questions and exercises to help you prioritize your holiday preparations while still allowing time for the quiet meditation and prayer that truly makes Advent and Christmas meaningful.  It helps you survey your secular activities and suggests spiritual ones--like using a Jesse tree--to enhance the season.

It also offers a meaningful explanation into the liturgical colors of the season and the Sunday readings.  Finally, the back of the book includes a blank chart that you can use to plan your Advent.

This little gem is only $1.  It can be purchased from Liturgy Training Publications.  It would make a nice Advent gift for friends and family who are also searching for a more meaningful holiday.

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