Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.

The vision of life that Advent gives us is twofold; it looks back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, and it looks to the future when Christ will come again. In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian.

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.

Advent Prayer

O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
O guide of the flock of Joseph!
Rouse your power, and come to save us.
O Lord of hosts, restore us,
if your face shine upon us, then we shall be safe.
O Lord of hosts, how long will you burn with anger
while your people pray?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in ample measure.
You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.
O Lord of hosts, restore us,
if your face shine upon us, then we shall be safe.

To Our Lady, Mother of Advent

O Mother of our Advent, be with us and see to it that he will remain with us in this difficult Advent of the struggles for truth and hope, for justice and peace: He, alone, Emmanuel.