The word Advent comes from the Latin ‘adventus’, meaning ‘coming’. There
is a sense of movement and anticipation. The tradition of the Advent calendar
is one way to bring this movement to life. The Lord is coming. We are moving
towards Christmas. We are lifting our souls towards God. And we are moving
always towards the end times and the second coming, as Jesus himself reminds
us in the Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent.
A couple of questions we could reflect on:
- Why do we need this ‘lead-in’ time
- What are my hopes and goals for Advent?
- Where do I want to be in my faith journey, come Christmas day?
If we decide we want to get somewhere, we have to take steps to get there
– for example, when we decide on a particular career path we have to undertake
the right training and experience. Perhaps this Advent we would like to
spend more time in prayer, to be more patient, or to get involved in our
local community. What is the point of Advent, if we don’t end up somewhere
different from where we started?
There is a sense of anticipation in the readings. St Paul tells us ‘the
night is almost over, it will be daylight soon.’ We need to get
Extras Masses during Advent
In addition to the regular Masses (click here), there will be the following
- On Saturdays, 7th, 14th & 21st December at
10am in the Church.
- Advent Mass of Healing on 14th December. Lifts
can be arranged for this Mass, please call
Christmas Mass Times
Click here for
times of Masses and Other Services over Christmas
Advent and Christmas have a particular part to play in our lives. Advent
gives us the opportunity to think afresh about the fact and meaning of the
birth of Christ, the eternal word of God taking on our human condition.
It is a great mystery for us to comprehend and I urge everyone to spend
Advent preparing well for this joyous occasion. There are lots of material
things that we prepare for when celebrating Christmas, let us not forget
our spiritual preparations too.
God became incarnate in Jesus, in a tiny child, and in doing so
offered humanity the hope of salvation and of a share in the divine life.
The Eternal Love of God took on our flesh and blood in order to save us.
This is the greatest gift of all and it should be foremost in our mind at
May every act of prayer, work, gift giving and spending time with friends
and family, reflect the love and generosity of the incarnation that we celebrate.
May that same love and generosity shape our actions in the New Year as we
try and follow Christ more faithfully in the Year of Faith
An Advent Psalm
Awaken, my heart, God’s reign is near; the Peaceable Kingdom
is in my hands.
If the wolf can be the guest of the lamb, and the bear and cow be friends,
then no injury or hate can be a guest within the kingdom of my heart.
Eden’s peace and harmony will only return when first, in my heart, there
hides no harm or ruin, for the Peaceable Kingdom is in my hands.
Isaiah’s dream became Jesus’ vision: ‘Come, follow me,’ Emmanuel’s echo
rings. ‘Reform your life, recover Eden’s peace,’ for only then will salvation
For Advent’s dream is the healing of earth, when the eagle and bear become
friends, the child and the serpent playmates.
Arise, awaken, my heart, the Peaceable Kingdom is in your hands.
Ss Alban & Stephen Catholic Church Official Website
Herts, AL1 3RB
phone 01727 853585
Parish Priest Fr Charles Sweeney