Ten ways to celebrate Advent at home
Advent is a very special time of the Church's year when we reflect on the coming of our Lord Jesus into the world at Christmas. The Jesuits in Britain are offering a wide range of ways for you to celebrate Advent and Christmas at home this year – we hope there is something for everyone!
1. Pray as you go and Sacred Space have created a special online retreat for this Advent called 'God is with you'. After a year of challenges, changes, suffering, isolation and social distancing, perhaps there's never been a more important time to reflect on the Incarnation; to reflect on God's incredible plan to draw as close as possible to us, by becoming one of us.
2. Another way to pray during Advent is to follow an Advent Prayer Calendar, with scripture, prayer materials and an image to pray with each day, created by the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow. Open up a 'door' each day to reveal that days prayers.
3. If you are wondering what to do with the children in your life, you can find some Advent activities to try, and a print-at-home an Advent activities calendar in our blog post.
4. How about trying to make your Advent a bit more ecological? You could follow some of our suggestions for how to make your Advent 'greener'. Download our Ecological Advent Calendar:
5. If you're looking for something to read and reflect on, then we have a range of articles on many Advent and Christmas themes, from articles on scripture and theology, to films to watch, to ways to help you decide what presents to buy!
6. Perhaps this Advent you'd like to take part in an online Zoom meditation, led by a spiritual director? Then Imagine is for you, every Wednesday in Advent at 8pm. Check the page for the Zoom link and session information or to sign up for the mailing list.
7. If you are still thinking about what to get friends and family for Christmas? Have you seen 'Refugee Gifts?' from Jesuit Refugee Service? Virtual charity gifts to delight your loved ones and destitute refugees in the UK at the same time.
8. Whether we are able to get to church or not, you could use our This Sunday reflection sheets to pray with the Sunday readings, alone, as a household, or with a group via videocall. As well as this, Dries van den Akker SJ has written reflections for each week of Year B to help you pray with scripture.
9. Some of our parishes are filming reflections for Advent this year on each of the Sunday Gospels. Look out for these on our social media channels, YouTube and the Sacred Heart Edinburgh website.
10. During Advent this year we will also be bringing you some new Advent reflections for each week using art and scripture to help you enter into this season in a new way.