Weekly Advent Ideas for Catholic Families
Advent Ideas for Catholic Families
Did you realize when you arrived at church for Mass on the Sunday of the first week of Advent that it was Advent already? Sometimes the season of Advent slips up on me, even when I try to plan ahead. If you are looking for some easy and meaningful weekly Advent ideas for Catholic families, look no further. You can use these ideas for your family or for just yourself. Either way, they are to help you have a more meaningful Advent season. ✨
Advent ides for each week of Advent
During Advent, we have the opportunity to take time to prepare our hearts for God’s Incarnation-God made man in the infant Jesus. These simple Advent activities can help us to focus more on Jesus and our faith as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas.
Note: even though these ideas are listed under particular weeks, feel free to do them during any week of Advent or use them to spark an idea of something different that you want to do instead.
Week 1 of Advent-Pray
One way to prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus is to pray more often. Think of what prayer(s) you would like to add to this week or to each day of the week.
If you are looking for something to pray each day, perhaps you can pray the Memorare or spend quiet time with God each day. You may also enjoy reading a chapter in the Bible each day or reading the Mass readings each day.
Think about what you want to do, what time you have to do it, make a plan, and then do what you planned to add more prayer to your week.
Week 2 of Advent-Act of Kindness
What is an act of kindness that you can do this week for someone else?
Perhaps you can call someone who is lonely, drop a care package off at a convalescent home or our local police station, or take a meal to someone who is ill.
You could drop a secret Santa gift off at someone’s front door as a surprise or mail a fun card to a friend.
You could make your family’s favorite meal or a special dessert as a surprise. (You know-the one you don’t often make but the one they are always so happy to see.) You could be a secret Santa to your husband and kids, too.
The possibilities are endless. When we do an act of kindness for someone else, we step outside of ourselves and focus on someone else. Showing love and kindness to others are what Jesus asks us to do. We are closer to His heart when we show love and kindness to others, especially when we do not expect anything in return.
Week 3 of Advent-Sacrifice
What sacrifice can you offer to God this week?
Perhaps you can give something up, like coffee or a favorite TV show this week. It may be helpful to add something meaningful to a time slot we now have open since we have given up something. Perhaps you could pray, read your Bible, or spend extra fun time with your family.
Instead of giving something up, maybe you want to add a sacrifice, like doing something you really would rather not, but you know it will help another person. Filling up the gas tank in the family car even when it is your husband’s turn to do it is one idea.
Another idea is a sacrifice of words-do not say anything negative this week about anyone (yourself included) or anything. Challenge yourself to say only positive things (nice positive things, not sarcastic ones 😏) or nothing at all.
Week 4 of Advent-Praise
Praise to God is part of who we are as Catholics. The Mass is a prayer of praise. God is the creator of all the universe and the creator of each of us. How can you praise Him more this week?
Perhaps you can say thank you to Him as you take a walk and see the beauty of nature around you. Maybe you can spend time in quiet prayer praising God for Who He is and for His blessings to you. If you like to sing, singing praise and worship songs is a wonderful way to praise God.
Week 3 and 4 of Advent-the O Antiphons
The O Antiphons are daily antiphons (they are very short prayers) to be prayed each day from December 17-23. There is a different short prayer for each day as we approach Christmas Eve, the eve of our Savior’s birth, to remind us of Jesus as the fulfillment of the promise of the Old Testament. The O Antiphons repeat the call “come” to our Lord. You can find all of the O Antiphons on the USCCB website.
Praying the O Antiphons each day from the 17th to the 23rd is a nice way to help us prepare for celebrating Jesus’ birth. They are very short. It would be easy to incorporate them into your daily family prayers.
Weekly Advent Ideas for Catholic Families
Taking on one task or action each week of Advent (as a family or by yourself) can help you to keep your focus on the reason for this season of preparation before Christmas. Pray more, do an act of kindness, sacrifice, and spend time praising God to help you prepare your heart for him this Advent.
I hope that you have a wonderful Advent season.
Short Advent reflections: Excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI’s Spiritual Thoughts Series: “Christmas”