29/11/2011 4:05 pm
Advent is a time when, with the Church, we anticipate and prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. But the season has a two-fold character - it's a season when remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period for devout and joyful expectation.
There are a number of online resources and initiatives to mark the season.
This Advent marks the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal in England and Wales. We have uploaded a series of videos to our sister site missal.org.uk, to help visitors familiarise themselves with the new responses and how Mass is now celebrated in our parishes.
We are also uploading new podcasts to our series "Talking about the Missal" featuring Canon Alan Griffiths. Canon Griffiths is a priest of the Portsmouth Diocese who teaches liturgy at St John's Seminary, Wonersh. He has worked with clergy and lay people of many dioceses preparing them for the new translation.
Come Home for Christmas is a seasonal outreach initiative which aims to offer a welcome to Catholics who for different reasons no longer or rarely attend Mass. It is a project of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. A variety of posters and invitation cards to appeal to different audiences can be found on our Christmas outreach feature. There is also a bespoke website for those wanting to explore reconnecting with parish life: comehomeforchristmas.co.uk.
The Church meets pop culture for this podcast series of Advent reflections. In The Gospel and the Movies, contributor Fr Peter Malone MSC relates 26 movies to the day's readings throughout the season. Following an Advent Calendar theme, one MP3 review is uploaded for each day of Advent.
In 2010, we headed down to the National Gallery just off London's Trafalgar Square to reflect on some Advent-related works from the gallery's world-famous collection. Our contributors were Fr Christopher Whitehead, Clifton Diocese's Head of Adult Education and art expert Dr James Hanvey SJ. Pieces depicting the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of St John the Baptist and the Nativity were studied over the four Sundays of the liturgical season. You can listen to Advent Art on our Art and Culture podcast channel.
At this time of year we are asked to pray for openness to the Word of God, for migrants and, appropriately, expectant mothers.