Last Sunday we began the holy season of Advent. So I’ll offer a few thoughts and ideas on what works for our family to keep this season holy and prayerful. If you have any great traditions or ideas, I’d love to hear about them too.
Where to we start?
Lately I’ve mentioned the importance of Confession and Adoration. While we never quit going to Confession throughout the year, our family has taken a three-month hiatus from Adoration, as we were into the chaotic business of packing and moving and switching parishes. Now that that’s over, it is our top priority to get back to a weekly holy hour, beginning this week.
This is a difficult thing, however, as we feel strongly that not only my husband and I ought to have an hour, but that all those children who have received First Holy Communion should too. So, we just have to make it a priority, which sometimes means saying no to other things, while also getting creative.
My hour will be during the evening and by myself, as I’m home all day and need a break. My husband’s hour, however, will be in the morning before work, and he’ll take the four older children with him. This is doable because after the holy hour, two of the children will walk over to their school, one will join her homeschool coop, which happens to be at our parish, and the last remaining child will get picked up by me.
Complicated? Yes. Worth it. Double Yes Yes. Prayer is the most important thing we can make time for. It is our top priority.
Advent Prayer Intentions
This Advent we will be of course offering prayers for our Church, but also specifically for our son who suffers from migraines. Lately they’ve become more intense and debilitating, which landed us back at his neurologist’s office. After an MRI, we discovered that he has a Chiari I Malformation, which is fancy talk for the lower brain extending too far into the spinal cord.
We don’t know if this is causing his migraines, so we’ll be traveling to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis to have a specialized, pediatric neurologist examine him. We hope to find some answers. And if you think of it, please pray for him.
And now the Fun Stuff
Of course we’ll be lighting our Advent wreath every evening at dinner. The children love this because we shut all the lights off, light the candle, and sing two verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Then my husband prays the Vespers Responsory and the Magnificat Antiphons, with the O Antiphons being the last seven days of Advent. It’s beautiful.
As many of you also do, we have our nativity set out too. Well, just the stable, shepherds, Drummer Boy, and the animals, as Mary and Joseph are traveling. We start them off somewhere else in the house and move them closer every few days or so.
And for school? During Midmorning Prayer Time, our hymns will reflect the season. Our favorite is On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry. And we’ll be listening the Benedictines of Mary Advent at Ephesus during all hours of the day!
And for poetry? I’m still looking for a good piece. Anyone have any ideas? Drop me a line.
I pray your season of Advent may be prayerful and fruitful!