2020 has been one crazy year, but while we were busy praying for it to end, the new liturgical year began! The season of Advent is already underway, and with Christmas quickly approaching it’s important that we prepare ourselves to experience all that Advent is meant to be.
Due to its overall theme of waiting and preparing, Advent can often be compared to another particular liturgical season of the Church. Some people can even confuse Lent and Advent, because they’re often overlooked or seen as just the few weeks before Easter and Christmas. However, school chaplain Fr. Patrick has a great explanation for the differences between the two seasons.
“[Advent] is a season all about preparation. The other season of preparation, Lent, is more about acts of penance to mark the somber celebration of Good Friday, but Advent’s preparations are different. During Advent we prepare for one of the greatest events of history: the moment God became man. It is a season of great joy. It is good to remember how Mary and Joseph must have felt as they prepared for their son to be born,” Fr. Patrick said.
What’s not to love about preparing for the coming of our Lord and Savior and our call to enter the kingdom of heaven? Not to mention all of the joy that we can spread to friends and family! Whether it’s small little things or big events, there are plenty of activities we can do over these couple of weeks in preparation.
“The season of Advent is filled with preparations if we realize it or not! We can sing Christmas carols that tell us of God’s coming, we can adorn our homes with decorations, most notably, the nativity scene. We shop for others and generously give which recognizes our call to love others as Jesus did,” Fr. Patrick stated.
Now you may be wondering, what about holiday music? What many people often forget is that listening to Christmas and Advent music can be one of the best ways to get into the spirit of the season!
“‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ has long been my favorite Advent song. There is something so chillingly beautiful about it. I remember when I was in high school, the church I went to would start the Mass with a single drum beating and an acapella singing of ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanual’ and it was always so beautiful!” Fr. Patrick said.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of ways to spread joy and get more in touch with what Advent is all about, but the best way to prepare is always through prayer.
“I think the best thing anyone can do in Advent is pray. It is the best way we can grow in our preparation. Taking extra time to pray to God is a great way to prepare for his coming into our lives and hearts,” Fr. Patrick said.
Despite the hectic year and even crazier holiday season, hopefully everyone is able to settle down and recognize what is really important as we near the celebration of Christmas. It’s an amazing opportunity to have a great priest on campus like Fr. Patrick to discuss topics like these, so if you have any more questions about the season of Advent I’m sure he’d be happy to answer via email or an in-person conversation. Keep on preparing because Christ is almost here!