Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Goals

As I've mentioned before, we are Catholic. This past Sunday marked the 'new year' for Catholics, with the start of Advent. Advent is also recognized as a liturgical season by various other Christian denominations. I don't want to get "preachy" on you, as this is a 'mom blog,' but I do want to share a little bit about my faith.

Advent Facts:

Advent is a season of preparing ourselves to celebrate Christ's birthday at Christmas, while at the same time reminding us to be ready for His final coming--either at our death or the end of the present world. It gets it's name from the Latin word meaning 'coming.'

The readings at mass are mostly about preparing our souls to be worthy of Christ & Heaven.

There are four Sundays in Advent (although this was not always the case, and in Eastern Churches it is still 6 weeks). Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, Advent started as early as possible (11/27) and will be as long as possible (28 days).

We 'celebrate' Advent, although it is more of a solemn time than many realize. In the secular world, the month leading up to Christmas is often a time of celebration, shopping, and materialism. Religiously speaking, it is supposed to be a anticipatory time of self-examination and spiritual preparation.

--I like how AmericanCatholic.org puts it:
"Advent is a time of joyous anticipation, but also of penance and preparation for the great Christmas feast. The liturgical color of the season is purple, a sign of penance, which is also used during Lent. The Church discourages excessive ornamentation, boisterous music and even weddings during Advent, in order to foster a sense of quiet hope."
Each Sunday in Advent is represented by a candle within the Advent wreath (which is not an originally Catholic tradition). The first, second, and fourth Sundays are marked with purple candles and the third Sunday is marked with a pink candle. I will write more about the third Sunday--Gaudete Sunday--when it happens because it is my favorite non-Christmas/Easter day!

Here are my goals for Advent:

our humble tree and (currently empty) Nativity scene
Attend mass each Advent Wednesday. G and I have made it to ONE daily mass since her birthday, and she actually behaved wonderfully! The only excuse I have for making it to only one so far is that her nap/eating schedule is nonexistent, so getting anywhere on time is really hard. 8:30 AM is a good time, so we are doing it.

Read our Advent devotional book each day. Last year we read our book, but didn't do it every day--so some days we would have to read more than one, and then it just loses it's effect. My goal is to read it before dinner each night.

Bring cookies to the church office--an act of service/thankfulness.

Take hot chocolate to Salvation Army bell ringers at the mall on a cold night--an act of generosity.

Make a hand-made gift for my husband--an act of love.

Make a felt advent wreath like this for baby G.

...and as always, try to be more patient and less nagging of my husband. :-)

If you blog about your Advent goals, please let me know so I can check it out!


  1. I've never really though about making "Advent goals" before, but it's a beautiful idea. I especially love your goals to do acts of service, generosity, and love. I hope to light the candle(s) on our Advent wreath every night while we eat dinner and pray an Advent meal prayer that I came across before we eat. That's all I'm really feeling up to with the baby coming, but I anticipate I'll be a little more ambitious next year.

    Your Advent facts are awesome, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that almost all of that was new information to me! Thanks, Kaylene!

  2. After reading your goals and what Mandi wrote here and on her blog I kind of like making "Advent Goals" like your "new years resolutions" the only thing I haven't really though of anything BUT I'm doing wordless advent on my blog thecatholiccouponer.com and it's been an interesting journey of finding things to post that mean something about advent to me :)

  3. thanks for your comments ladies! Advent is really a great time to prepare ourselves through specific goals :-)


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