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When Does “Advent” Begin

The traditional Advent period begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, and it lasts through Christmas Eve (December 24), unless Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, in which case, Christmas Eve becomes the fourth Sunday of Advent. And that is the case this year, 2023.

The fourth Sunday of Advent, this year, falls on a Sunday, which means Advent doesn’t start until December 3rd this year. Usually the Sunday right after Thanksgiving is the first Sunday of Advent, but not this year.

Here are some things to think about as Advent approaches and to prepare for Christmas.

• Begin your Advent journey by blessing your Advent wreath. Light the first violet candle and sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

• On Wednesday, December 6, St. Nicholas is honored. Consider ways that you can share your time, treasure, and talent to assist those who are in need.

• Friday, December 8th is the “Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception”, patroness of the United States of America. For Catholics this is a holy day of obligation. Consider praying for the needs of the nation.

• According to custom, the Christmas tree is set up before Christmas and remains in place until the Solemnity of Epiphany.

• “For the believer, the Word of God is not simply a text to read. The Word of God is a living presence, it is a work of the Holy Spirit that comforts, instructs, gives light, strength, relief, and a zest for life. To read the Bible, to read a piece, one or two passages of the Bible, is like a short telegram from God that immediately goes to the heart.” Pope Francis

• The liturgical Season of Advent … invites us to go to the encounter with the Lord who comes through prayer, penitence and works of charity. Prepare yourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus with assiduous listening to the Word of God and a generous response to his grace.” Pope Francis

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