Advent – preparation and renewal

Ideas for Advent – Preparation

The change to purple vestments and the appearance of the Advent Wreath mark a new season and indeed a new year in the Church’s liturgy. Here is a post about the origins and meaning of the Advent Wreath.

Tuesdays of Advent: On Tuesdays during Advent, Fr David will celebrate an evening Mass at 7pm, and at each mass will preach a teaching Homily.

Reflecting on Scripture: We move from listening mainly to the Gospel of St. Matthew on Sundays to listening to St. Markfor the next year. To help us get more from reading Mark, we will have an introduction to Mark’s Gospel as well as weekly scripture notes on the parish website which, updated as the season progresses, help us get more from the Advent and Christmas readings at Mass.

‘O’ Antiphons: In the liturgy of Advent as the days draw close to Christmas, from 17 December to 23 December, the monastic prayer and the Alleluia verse before the Gospel of the day have antiphons beginning with the exclamation ‘O’. (Antiphon, a word derived from Greek means ‘sounded before’ – or ‘sung before’. It is a short verse, usually from scripture, that sets a theme for the following psalm or other prayer.) These Advent antiphons recapitulate, or summarize, the whole scope of the Old Testament with both words and events that are seen as preparation for the ultimate revelation of God in Jesus. We offer a daily post for each Antiphon for just background information on the preparation for the coming of Jesus, or for your own reflection in this season.

For Families: In our Family Room on the website for the coming Sundays, there will be ideas to help families prepare for the coming of Our Saviour Jesus Christ in human form at Christmas and bring us back to the real meaning of Christmas.

Westminster Youth Ministry: Advent Summit ‘the dwelling place’ – This Advent all young people in the diocese are invited to join Westminster Youth Ministry on Saturday 2nd December from 2pm to 5pm. This afternoon of prayer and adoration will be themed around ‘the dwelling place’ with speakers including Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Emmanuelle McFarlane-Barrow. Confessions will be available throughout. The event will take place at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Queensway. For more information visit the Youth Ministry website or email

Divine Mercy Advent Retreat: Run by the Divine Mercy Apostolate, at Sacred Heart RC Church New Priory Quex Road Kilburn NW6 4PS on Sunday 10 December from 2:30 to 5:30pm and led by the Marian Fathers. The Retreat will include teachings on the Message of Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Mass, Adoration and Benediction and Veneration of the Image of Merciful Jesus. All Welcome. Please call Millie on 07957 594646 for more information.

Our thoughts turn to Giving: Advent is a time of reflection and preparation for the birth of Jesus, an infant born in a stable who soon becomes a refugee. While we think of buying and giving presents for family and loved-ones, the stable reminds us of those who are much less fortunate than us and there are ways to give them presents as well. There is an Advent Giving Calendar suggesting offerings for a local Food Bank; CAFOD World Gifts, can help people fighting poverty in developing countries with “super soup kitchens”, “trees for life”, or “water for a family” and transform lives in a world filled with challenges. Not least, you can donate to our own Soup Run for the homeless or the Poor Box raising money for Christmas vouchers for the needy.

Coming back to God and to Church for Christmas: Sacramentally, perhaps the best way to draw Advent to a close is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession and additional times will be published closer to Christmas. We know many people have not come back to regular Mass attendance post-pandemic. Perhaps if you know a friend or neighbour who has not returned, you might find a way to broach the topic with them during the next few weeks.