The Advent season begins today!


Advent is the season of preparation to celebrate of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The word Advent comes from Latin and means ‘coming’ In the past, the season of Advent was marked by fasting and great solemnity, as a symbol of repentance and as a means of preparation for the great celebration and feasting which was to take place at Christmas. Nowadays however, for many people this season has got “lost” in the rush and hectic nature of the lead up to Christmas which has become a material, as well as a spiritual festival.

It is also a time of waiting. But, unlike much of the waiting we have had to do in recent times, like waiting for restrictions to be lifted, so that we can travel and see family and friends again. Our advent waiting is filled with the hope, peace, joy and love of God’s promises. It is also a time of preparation that is rich with tradition and symbolism, e.g. the Advent wreath, the crib etc. As we journey together through Advent, each week we will focus on a different tradition. This week our focus is on the tradition of the Advent wreath and its symbolism.


What is an Advent Wreath

A Symbol of light

The wreath’s circular shape represents God’s eternity (the Alpha and Omega). The evergreen symbolises life and hope. In anticipation of Christ bringing light into the world, we light a candle on each of the Sunday’s of advent. The four candles (3 purple and 1 pink) symbolise hope, peace, joy (pink) and love. A fifth candle is added sometimes this is white and is lit on Christmas day symbolising the light of Christ.


Blessing of the Advent Wreath

Lord our God, bless this wreath and bless all of us gathered here today. May this wreath help us to focus on the coming of Jesus as we journey through Advent. As we light the candles each week may we be reminded of the love, peace, joy and hope that Jesus brings into the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


How to make an Advent Wreath at home

To make your own Advent Wreath you will need …

  • A Foam ring – which you can buy in your local Florist or hardware store. You can also use a circular bowl filled with Oasis foam.
  • Greenery from the garden
  • Three purple candles
  • One Pink Candle
  • One White Candle
  • Five Candle Holders
  • OPTIONAL – Ribbons, cones and berries


Prayer with the Advent Wreath at home


Week 1 – Light the first purple candle

Child: God, we ask you to bless our family Advent Wreath. It has evergreen leaves, reminding us that you will always be with us and it is shaped like a circle, with no beginning or end, just like your love for us is always there for us, surrounding us every day.

Adult: Jesus, we look forward to celebrating your birth at Christmas. Open our hearts to love all the people we meet each day.

All the family: Come Lord Jesus into our hearts and in our home.

Week 2 – Light the second purple candle

Child: Jesus, our brother, we ask you to bless our family during this Advent time. We light these candles to remind us that you bring light into our lives and into the world. We thank you for showing us how to show love and be kind and help those who need help.

Adult: God, your story of love for people all through time reminds us that you are with us, offering us light and hope. Help us to trust in you this week.

All the family: Come Lord Jesus into our hearts and into our homes

Week 3 – Light the pink candle

Child: God, we light the pink candle today. This reminds us that you want joy for us, you want us to trust you and believe that you are there for us, even when things are hard.

Adult: Jesus, our friend, we thank you for the joy you give us as a family, for all the love and fun we enjoy together. Help us to share our joy with others.,

All the family: Come Lord Jesus into our hearts and into our home.

 Week 4 – Light the third purple candle

Child: Jesus our friend and brother, we ask you to bless all the people who are waiting to celebrate your birthday. Help us to spend these days of waiting by showing love and kindness to everyone.

Adult: God, your love for us meant that you would give us your own Son. Help us to realise that you love us so much. We look forward to showing your love by being with you on Christmas Day.

 All the family: Come Lord Jesus into our hearts and into our home.

On Christmas Day Light a white candle in the centre of the Advent Wreath

Child: Jesus, today we light a white candle, to celebrate your birthday…thank you for coming into our lives and thank you for all the presents we received to celebrate your birthday.

Adult: Jesus, you are our friend. Help us to be a friend to everyone we meet.

All the family: Stay with us Lord Jesus in our hearts and in our home.

Advent is a time to think of others

Times are difficult for everyone at the moment particularly the most vulnerable people in our community. This week perhaps we can help support the Dublin Diocese social support agency Crosscare. They provide a range of social care, community and youth work services.

Read more: Crosscare Appeal

Readings for the first Sunday of Advent

A reading from the prophet Isaiah  63:16-17; 64:1. 3-8
Oh that you would tear the heavens open and some down.

A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 1:3-9
We are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 13:33-37
Stay awake, because you

Here are links for this weeks readings

Today’s Mass Readings
Sunday’s Mass Readings
Thought for Today
Saints of the Day


Advent Prayer for Week One

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!’