St Alban’s Catholic Church

Macclesfield

Advent 2017 - A Time of Preparation

St Alban's
Advent Mass Times

Full Prayer & Reflection Calendar

First Sunday of Advent

w/c 3rd December
Sunday
9:30am
11:00am
6:30pm
Monday
9:30am
Tuesday
9:30am
Wednesday
1:00pm (H)
7:00pm (He)
Thursday
9:30am
11:45pm (P)
Friday
9:30am
Saturday
12noon (F)
6:30pm Vigil
8:15pm (S)

(H) Macc Hospital Chapel
(He) Healing Mass
(P) Parkmount
(F) Fellowship Group
(S) Syro-Malabar


Second Sunday of Advent

w/c 10th December
Sunday
9:30am
11:00am
1:00pm (Po)
6:30pm
Monday
9:30am
Tuesday
9:30am
Wednesday
1:00pm (H)
7:00pm
Thursday
9:30am
11:45pm (P)
Friday
9:30am
Saturday
12noon
6:30pm Vigil

(Po) Mass in Polish
(H) Macc Hospital Chapel
(P) Parkmount


Third Sunday of Advent

w/c 17th December
Sunday
9:30am
11:00am
4:00pm (C)
6:30pm
Monday
9:30am
7:00pm (Pe)
Tuesday
9:30am
Wednesday
1:00pm (H)
7:00pm
Thursday
9:30am
11:45pm (P)
Friday
9:30am
Saturday
12noon
6:30pm Vigil

(C) Christingle Service
(Pe) Pentitenial Mass
(H) Macc Hospital Chapel
(P) Parkmount


Fourth Sunday of Advent

w/c 24th December
Sunday
9:30am
11:00am
6:30pm (V)
12mn (M)
Monday
9:00am (Cr)
11am (Cr)
Tuesday
9:30am
Wednesday
1:00pm (H)
7:00pm
Thursday
9:30am
11:45am (P)
Friday
9:30am
Saturday
12noon (B)
6:30pm Vigil

(V) Vigil Mass for Christmas
(M) Midnight Mass
(Cr) Christmas Mass
(H) Macc Hospital Chapel
(P) Parkmount
(B) Bereavement Mass


What is Advent?

Advent is a season of waiting and expectation, as we prepare the way to a meaningful Christmas. In contrast to the busy commercial preparations for a consumer-driven Christmas, Advent focuses on the coming of our Lord and gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring Christ more fully into the centre of our lives as Christmas approaches.

Advent is the beginning of the new liturgical year in the Catholic Church. It starts on the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, which is on the 30th November, and includes four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. Therefore, in 2017, Advent begins on Sunday 3rd December and lasts for twenty-eight days, ending on Christmas Eve.



The Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath has four candles, signifying the light of Christ, surrounded by evergreen branches and leaves. At St Alban's, during Mass each Sunday in Advent, traditionally a young parishioner is invited to come forward and light candles on the wreath. One purple candle is lit the first week and two purple candles are lit in the second week; the candles are purple to signify penance. On the third week, the young person lights two purple candles and one pink candle; the pink candle, lit on Gaudete Sunday signifies joy. On the last Sunday of Advent, all four candles are lit. The St Alban's Advent Wreath also has a white candle in the middle of the wreath, which is lit on Christmas Day.

You can make your own Advent wreath for use at home. See here for instructions.

Learn more about the history of the Advent wreath.


"Wait for the Lord" (Taize)


Weekly Advent Reflections Through The Lens Of Justice and Mercy

These reflections are produced by the Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), a US group that works to enable those who are on death row to be given the chance at repentance.  

Week 1: Watchful and awake
Week 2: Dare to hope
Week 3: Not in my name
Week 4: A chosen people


Sunday Readings During Advent 2017

Each Sunday in Advent has its own special readings and characteristics:

The First Sunday of Advent - Readings
The readings look forward to the "End Times" and the coming of the "Day of the Lord" or the "Messianic Age".

The Second Sunday of Advent - Readings
The Gospel reading focuses on the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist who came to "Prepare the Way of the Lord".

The Third Sunday of Advent - Readings
On 'Gaudete Sunday', the priest wears pink vestments instead of the purple he has been wearing throughout Advent. This is because pink is a symbol of joy. The Gospel continues to focus on John the Baptist. The first and second readings focus on the joy of the increasing closeness of the incarnation.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent - Readings
The Gospels recount the events that immediately preceded the birth of the baby Jesus.


Use the Calendar below to help your daily reflections on the special time of year:

This calendar sets a challenge for each day of Advent. It is designed for children but children of all ages will enjoy it!


Lectio Divina During Advent

Lectio Divina is a form of meditation rooted in liturgical celebration that dates back to early monastic communities. Lectio Divina typically involves follows four steps:

• lectio (reading)
• meditatio (meditation)
• contemplatio (contemplation)
• oratio (prayer)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced a series of resources to help us pray with Lectio Divina each week in Advent.

First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent


An Advent Retreat For Busy People

Clondalkin Parish in Dublin has produced a collection of prayers, reflections and activities to help busy people on their journey through Advent called "Something Different for 2017"


Advent Music on Spotify

There are many interesting playlists of Advent music on Spotify. Here are a few to get you started:

Advent 2017 Playlist by Catholic Apps

Classic Advent by LondonSymphony

The Essential Christmas Collection

The Gregorian Calendar: Advent, Christmas, Marienfeste

Christmas - Advent Worship Songs


Advent Books in the Parish Library

Why not borrow one of these books from the Parish Library? Thank you to Silvia for the suggested titles.

• "The Birth of the Messiah : A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke" by Raymond E. Brown [Category Scriptures, Spine Number 156]

• "A gallery of reflections: the Nativity of Christ" by Richard Harries [Category Various, Spine Number 56]

• "Mary, the womb of God " by A Maloney [Category Our Lady, Spine Number 30]

• "Mary, mother of the Lord: theological meditations" by Karl Rahner [Category Our Lady, Spine Number 31]

• "Mary, the Mother of Jesus: a letter to an enquirer" by Kevin O'Brien [Category Our Lady, Spine Number 32]

• "The apostolate of Holy Motherhood" [Category Our Lady, Spine Number 39]

• "The Coming of God: Daily homily notes and background material" by Russell G. Terra [Category Liturgy, Spine Number 84]

• "Mary's story, Mary's Song" by Elaine Storkey [Category Our Lady, Spine Number 1]

• "Journey into God" by Delia Smith [Category Spirituality, Spine Number 30]

• "The God Who Comes" by Carlo Carretto [Category Spirituality, Spine Number 38]

• "The Word Made Flesh: The meaning of the Christmas season" by John Paul II [Category Liturgy, Spine Number 60]


Free Resources For Advent 2017

Below you will find a selection of ideas and resources to support you during the season of Advent:

Daily Advent Prayers for use by individuals or groups

• Use these Advent reflections based on sacred art and Ignatian prayer to assist your prayer

The Jesse Tree: This useful little booklet (produced by Greg & Anna) explains the history of the Jesse Tree and the meaning of the symbols we traditionally hang on it

Ten Advent activities for families

Advent prayers

Who is St Nicholas?

• Make your own Nativity Set from pieces of card, paper and a printed sheet of figures

Advent Story Colouring Book - colour one page each day to make a booklet to be read on Christmas Day

• Download these Advent podcasts and Video reflections to enhance your experience of this special season

• These Nativity posters have all the characters in the Christmas story

A Nativity Play script to perform with friends


And Finally...

Did you know the "12 Days of Christmas" was written as a Catechism song for young Catholics when they were not permitted to practice their faith openly? Read more about the meaning behind the lyrics of the carol.

Listen to the carol here...


We hope you experience the stillness and peace of Advent

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