Christmas Activities and Resources
Family Advent Traditions
- Bless your Advent wreath and light it every night. The traditional Advent wreath is a wreath (sometimes of evergreen branches) that holds four candles (three violet, one pink) representing the four weeks of Advent. Put it on your dinner table (or nearby), and light it each night leading up to Christmas with your children or grandchildren.
- Pray special Advent prayers during dinnertime. During dinner, pray a short Advent prayer or sing an Advent hymn with your family. O God, Who gladdens us by the annual expectation of our redemption, grant that we, who now receive with joy your only-begotten son as our Redeemer, may behold him without fear when he comes as our judge.
- Prepare the empty manger for Jesus. Place an empty manger in a special place in your home. Have your family members place a piece of straw in the manger every time they do a kind deed or make a sacrifice. This tradition symbolizes each person’s effort to prepare a special place in their hearts for the baby Jesus.
- Assign family Advent Angels. Randomly assign your family members as secret “advent angels” to each other. The goal is for each person to perform acts of kindness and service (in secret) for the person to whom they’ve been assigned.
- Make a Jesse Tree with your children. The tradition of the Jesse tree comes from the passage in Isaiah : 11:1-3. The symbols hung on the Jesse tree tell the story of salvation history, leading up to the birth of Christ at Christmas.
- Go through the salvation History and retell the story of salvation history with simple illustrations on notecards. Check it out here.
- Listen to Advent music instead of Christmas music. For ideas, try out these free Advent playlists:
- Advent of Ephesus by the Benedictines of Mary
- Advent Promise by Roger Wilcock & The London Fox Players
- The Advent of Christmas by Matt Maher
- Handel’s Messiah
- Encourage kids to do the Advent calendar
- Put up the Christmas tree together as a family and bless it.
- Jesus is the Greatest gift that we received from God. Let us prepare a gift for a deserving family or contribute towards a charity.
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS CHOIR
If your child would like to be involved in the Children’s Christmas Choir for the Christmas Eve Vigil (5 pm) Mass, please contact Megan.
There will be a weekly practice leading up to the Mass
Vinnies Christmas Appeal – From 26 November 2022
Advent is a season of joy and giving. We are again seeking your generosity to support our Christmas Appeal and share that happiness with those in need in our community. Concord West Conference assists singles and families who have fallen upon difficult times. The poverty cycle creates barriers and generates other hardships such as social isolation, exclusion, anxiety and depression.
How can you support the Vinnies Appeal?
Giving Tree tags, for a child or an adult, will be available from the basket beneath the Giving Tree at the front of the Church from Saturday, 26 November. Please place your gift in the box in front of the Giving Tree. We would appreciate all gifts donated by 14 December to ensure they’re delivered to our clients prior to Christmas.
Cash/credit card and online donations are available. Envelopes will be placed on pews for cash and credit card giving donations. On the weekends of 3/4 and 10/11 December, bucket collections will be at exits of the Church following Masses.
For those wishing to use the online option, please visit our fund-raising page.
On behalf of those we assist, we extend our sincere thanks and wish you a safe, joyous and blessed Advent season and Christmas.
Samaritan’ Purse – Operation Christmas Child
A simple shoebox blesses children with wonderful gifts, but also most importantly provides an opportunity to share the hope of Jesus.
“Pack a Shoebox Online’ is now available.
For just $30 you can select a shoebox for a boy or girl, chose an age group and write a personalised letter and we will pack and ship the shoebox for you.
Visit here to donate
The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher OP, is inviting parishioners to the opening of Christmas in the Cathedral on Thursday, 8 December, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It begins with 5.30pm Mass. Entertainment commences in the forecourt at 7pm, with the official launch of the Christmas display at 8pm.
BLESSING AN ADVENT WREATH – A Family Activity
Before your family has gathered for the blessing, select one of the following Scripture passages to be read during the blessing: Isaiah 11:1-4, 61:1-2; Mark 1:1-8; James 5:7-10; or Philippians 4:4-7.
Have someone volunteer to read the passage.
Place the Advent wreath on a table and have your family gather around it. Lower the light level in the room to create an appropriate atmosphere for the blessing. Place the four candles (symbolizing the four weeks of Advent) on the table and light a single candle for the first week of Advent. Have someone lead your family in the following prayer.
Leader: This week we begin the season of Advent, when the days grow short, and darkness closes in. We are preparing to celebrate at Christmas the birth of Jesus, who is the light of the world. Let’s spend some quiet time being aware of the darkness and longing for the light.
(Pause a few moments and then pray the Sign of the Cross.)
Leader: Lord God, bless this wreath and bless us as well. May this wreath remind us of the hope and joy that Jesus brings into the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Leader: Advent means “arrival.” In the season of Advent, the church prepares to celebrate the coming of Jesus. We recall the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future with hope. We prepare to celebrate not only the birth of Jesus but also his presence in our family. We wait for the return of the Lord at the end of time when all hopes will be fulfilled. We await the coming of the light that will shine in the darkness, shining light on our path to peace.
Reader: A reading from [name of book in Bible].
(Reader reads selected passage.)
Leader: The Word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
(Pray the Lord’s Prayer)