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CHRISTMAS DAY - December 25

North County Outreach Initiative

HOLY FAMILY CATECHESIS

An Advent Tradition

December 2020



Two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, the world received a very important gift. God the Father sent His Son, Jesus to earth to be with us and to show us the way to live in His Heavenly Kingdom. Every year, dedicated Christians, prepare their hearts to receive Christ’s coming from about December 1-25. This season is called Advent.


Advent comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming.” The Greek word for Advent is Parousia which means “presence”. Here are several ways to experience “the coming presence” of Christ:


1. Before the first Christmas, the saints of old anticipated the coming of Christ with great expectation.

2. We experience the coming of Christ into our hearts as we believe and receive God into our whole life.

3. We experience the Presence and Empowerment of Christ when we hear His words to His disciples and receive Him in Holy Communion with God’s family,

4. We look forward to the final coming of Jesus, in person, to gather His saints as promised in His Word (Parousia).


The Advent Wreath and Candles (first started in about the 16th century) help us to remember some very important points about our faith.


  • The green wreath symbolizes the promise of eternal life through Christ.

  • The four candles represent the four Sundays in Advent.

  • The royal color purple or blue helps us to remember that God is restoring us and preparing us to experience life in His Kingdom even now as we await His Final Coming with Hope, Peace, Joy and His LOVE.

  • The pink candle reminds us of the joy of anticipation experienced with the arrival of the Christ child that first Christmas. We experience the same JOY that John the Baptist felt when he leapt in his mother’s womb, as we yield more and more to God’s reign in our lives.

  • A fifth candle, generally white and placed in the center of the wreath is the Christ candle and is lit on Christmas Eve in honor of His birth, and His reign in our lives

Advent can be a wonderful time of experiencing the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love of that First Christmas as we recognize that true gift of Jesus as Immanuel, God with us, and as we live and share God’s love and kindness with others this Christmas.

PRAYER for GOD'S BLESSING ON THE WREATH

O God, by whose word all things are made holy; we offer to you this Advent Wreath which we ask you to bless; help us to use it to prepare our hearts for the great Coming of your Son, and help us to receive Him into our hearts with joy; through the same Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We invite you to gather for Advent devotions at least once a week with friends or family. Light the candle or candles for the week. Read God’s Word from your Bible and the Prayer for each week. Share what touches your heart from the readings and prayers. Pray for one another as the Lord leads you. Extinguish the candle(s) as you carry His light in your hearts throughout the day.


CHRISTMAS DAY December 25

CHRISTMAS CANDLE Light the white candle and all candles.


Read this Scripture: Luke 2: 2-20


Jesus Is Born 2 In those days, Caesar Augustus made a law. It required that a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world. 2 It was the first time a list was made of the people while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own town to be listed.


4 So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David. 5 He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby. 6 While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. That’s because there was no guest room where they could stay.


8 There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. It was night, and they were taking care of their sheep. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 Here is how you will know I am telling you the truth. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”


13 Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared. They were praising God. They said 14 “May glory be given to God in the highest heaven! And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!”


15 The angels left and went into heaven. Then the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”


16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger. 17 After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over. 20 The shepherds returned. They gave glory and praise to God. Everything they had seen and heard was just as they had been told.


Pray this prayer and pray for others as the Lord leads you.


We thank you, Jesus, that you came as a humble little baby to grow up and live among us. We thank you that you willingly followed God’s plan to teach us and to save us from our own sin that we might have life with you in your heavenly kingdom now and forever. AMEN.


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