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Advent Schedule & Resources

 

DECEMBER 2-24

Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).

Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind us of the meaning of the season. Our Advent calendar below can help you fully enter the season with activities and prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.  

 

Get Involved this Advent!

November 19:
SVDP annual giving tree program.

December 2:
Breakfast with Santa. Click here to learn more.

December 2-3:
Blessing of the Advent Wreath at all Masses.

December 8:
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mass at 8:45 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. This is a holy day of obligation. The parish office is closed in observance for the day. Click here to learn more info and to volunteer!

December 9:
The St. John Neumann Music Department invites you to our first ever Festival of Lessons and Carols! The Festival is a service of Scripture and song which tells the Christmas Story. A tradition among Christian families for generations, come and hear the Christmas Story made new through Scripture, music and Prayers which are sure to renew your wonder, heart, and spirit as we prepare for the magical Season of Christmas.

December 9-10:
In this Fatima centennial year and in the 70th year since the founding of our diocese, Bishop Vasquez has decided to consecrate the local church of the Diocese of Austin to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On Dec. 10, he has asked all priests and people to join him in a solemn prayer of consecration to the Mother of God, asking for her maternal help and protection. At SJN, we’ll pray this prayer at all Masses and offer 1,000 prayer cards. Learn more on the diocesan webpage.

December 12:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass & Celebration, learn more information and volunteer here.

December 17:
Children’s Christmas Pageant in the Church at 4:00pm. Learn more information.

December 19:
Advent Penance Service from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Church. Prepare your soul for Christmas with prayer, Scripture, music, and confession with eight to ten priests! Come and go at anytime! Can’t make our service? Need a resource? Click here to learn more information and to volunteer!

December 21:
Join us in decorating our church for Christmas! We’ll have snacks & Christmas music to help get us in the spirit! Click here to learn more & volunteer.

To see our Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Schedule, please click here!

 

Blessing of an Advent Wreath

The use of the Advent Wreath is a traditional practice which has found its place in the Church as well as in the home. The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent. When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family.


All make the sign of the cross as the leader says: 

Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response (R/.) Who made heaven and earth.

Then the Scripture, Isaiah 9: (lines 1-2 and 5-6) or Isaiah 63 (lines 16-17 & 19) or Isaiah 64  (lines 2-7) is read:

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God.

With hands joined, the leader says:

Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

The blessing may conclude with a verse from
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:

O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

 

Other Advent Opportunities

Advent Revival, Holy Cross in Austin

Holy Cross Parish in Austin will host an Advent Revival Dec. 3 at 6 p.m., Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call the parish at (512) 472-3741.

Fatima Tour for Peace

The world-famous international Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is touring the dioceses of Texas this fall as part of a nation-wide call to prayer and penance for peace in our nation and conversion of hearts. From Dec. 6-10, the statue will visit five parishes in the Diocese of Austin: St. Luke in Temple, St. Helen in Georgetown, St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, St. Thomas Aquinas in College Station and St. John the Evangelist in Marble Falls. For more information about parishes and schedules, visit www.austindiocese.org/fatima100.

 

Upcoming activities at Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton

The Silent Advent Retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton Dec. 1-3 is a weekend of silence and solitude combined with communal prayer and Mass. Brian Egan and Beverly Collin will lead this retreat. Spiritual direction will be available. The cost is $185 per person. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or visit www.cedarbrake.org.

El día de Adviento de Reflexión se llevará a cabo en el Centro de Retiros Católicos de Cedarbrake en Belton el 2 de diciembre. Esta es una oportunidad para preparar sus corazones mientras nos enfocamos en el nacimiento de nuestro Señor. El Padre Everdo Cazares, pastor asociado de la Iglesia Católica de Emaús, presentará este día. El costo es de $ 35 e incluye el almuerzo. Por favor llame a Cedarbrake al (254) 780-2436.

The annual Advent Dinner at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton will be Dec. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Join in an evening of wine and cheese, a delicious dinner, with a reflection on the season of Advent by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The cost is $25 per person. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or visit www.cedarbrake.org.

The Heart of Jesus Discernment Retreat will be held Dec.15-17 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This is a weekend retreat for Catholic men (ages 17-45) with an openness to a priestly vocation and at varying stages of discernment. The weekend will include talks by priests and seminarians, prayer, silence and meals. Visit www.godiscalling.me for more information about the priesthood, consecrated life and tools for prayer and discernment or contact the diocesan Vocations Office at (512) 949-2430.

 

Activities at the Schoenstatt Shrine

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Advent Blessing will be held Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt in Austin. The blessing will be followed by Christmas carols, hot chocolate and s’mores. For more information, visit www.schoenstatt.us.

Couples Time Out, a morning of prayer and reflection, will be offered Dec. 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt in Austin. This month’s theme is “Advent: A Time of Waiting.” The morning will include a talk by one of the Schoenstatt Fathers, private reflection time and will conclude with Adoration in the Shrine. Donation of $10 per couple/family will be accepted. Babysitting is provided. To register, contact cto@schoenstatt.us.

Mary’s Encounter – A Time of Waiting with Mary will be held Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt in Austin. All women are invited to this morning of reflection. The cost is $10 per person. Register by e-mailing marysencounter@schoenstatt.us.

 

Other Online Resources

Bishop Robert Barron’s daily e-mail Advent reflections: adventreflections.com/

Matthew Kelly: dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever

Advent videos, podcasts & more from Loyola Press: www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent

Online study from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology— The Bible and the Virgin Mary: stpaulcenter.com/streaming

Check out our calendar OF UPCOMING EVENTS!