Skip to content
Home » Blog » 5 Ways to Celebrate Advent

5 Ways to Celebrate Advent

There is nothing like Christmas. The music, decorations and gifts are just a few of the reasons it is such a special time for families. 

Despite the busyness of the Christmas season, many Christians celebrate a season of waiting called Advent. 

Advent includes the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to Christmas. For Catholics, it also marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. The First Sunday of Advent is December 3, 2023.

There are many ways to celebrate Advent with family and friends. Check out this list of five ways you can observe this season of waiting. 

Light the Advent wreath

One of the most iconic and traditional celebrations of the season is the Advent wreath. It consists of four candles, each representing the four weeks of Advent. Some wreaths also include a white candle in the middle that represents Christmas. 

The first purple candle lit on the first Sunday represents hope. The second purple candle represents love. The pink candle lit on the third Sunday represents joy, and the last purple candle represents peace. 

Follow an Advent calendar

Advent calendars have grown in popularity over the last few years. Each day includes an activity, Scripture reading or a reflection.

Download the FREE ADVENT CALENDAR from the Spirit and Sparkle Catholic blog to use this year. You can also find Advent calendars in Christian stores and big retailers, such as Amazon.

Do works of mercy

The works of mercy are charitable actions that extend Jesus’ compassion and mercy to others. The corporal works of mercy focus on things you do for the body, while the spiritual works of mercy focus on helping others with their spiritual needs. 

Corporal works of mercy include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, burying the dead and giving alms to the poor. The spiritual works of mercy are to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the sorrowful, forgive injuries, bear wrongs patiently and pray for the living and the dead. 

Consider which corporal and spiritual works of mercy you can do yourself or with your family during the Advent season. Additional resources are available on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website below.

USCCB – Corporal Works of Mercy

USCCB – Spiritual Works of Mercy

Attend a retreat

Spiritual retreats are designed to encourage spiritual growth in one or more areas. For more information, check out my blog post on why retreats are essential for your faith.

Usually, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is very busy. From buying presents to social gatherings, there is usually so much going on that it can be easy to forget the reason for the season. An Advent retreat provides time for you to sit still and refocus on the meaning of Christmas. 

Reach out to your parish or local diocese for Advent retreat events in your area. Retreats can be for a day, weekend or longer.

Do an examination of conscience

An examination of conscience is a prayerful reflection on your thoughts and actions prior to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You do this in silence to prepare your heart to ask for forgiveness.

Even if you’re not Catholic, an examination of conscience can be helpful as you prepare yourself for Christmas. You could write your thoughts in a journal and make intentions on how you can improve in various areas.

Some of the reflection questions include:

  • Am I open to God’s will?
  • Do I cause tension and fights in my family?
  • Have I failed to help someone in danger or in need?

Visit the USCCB website for various options.

May this Advent season bring hope, love, joy and peace to you and your loved ones as you prepare for Christmas!

Don’t forget to download your FREE Advent Calendar!

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission when you click on the links and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *