Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,935 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Move to: Previous Day | Next Day

Advent: December 1st

First Sunday of Advent

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

Old Calendar: First Sunday of Advent

For us Catholics, the new Liturgical Year commences with the first Sunday of Advent. In this new liturgical year, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by all those who follow Christ, the Lord. This time of prayer and path of penance that is so powerful, rich and intense, endeavors to give us a renewed impetus to truly welcome the message of the One who was incarnated for us. In fact, the entire Liturgy of the Advent Season, will spur us to an awakening in our Christian life and will put us in a ‘vigilant’ disposition, to wait for Our Lord Jesus who is coming:

‘Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now! The one true God, "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", is not a God who is there in Heaven, unconcerned with us and our history, but he is the-God-who-comes.1

The Season of Advent is therefore a season of vigilant waiting, that prepares us to welcome the mystery of the Word Incarnate, who will give the ‘Light’ to the womb of the Virgin Mary, but essentially this time prepares us not only to welcome this great event but to incarnate it in our lives. We could say that the true light enters the world through the immaculate womb of Mary but it does not stay there. On the contrary, this light flows out into our dark, obscure, sinful lives to illuminate them, so that we can become the light that illuminates the world. For this reason, let us live this time of waiting not only to celebrate a historical memory but to repeat this memory in our lives and in the service of others. To wait for the Lord who comes, means to wait and to watch so that the Word of Love enters inside us and focuses us every day of our lives.

As Blessed John Henry Newman reminded us in a homily for the Advent Season: “Advent is a time of waiting, it is a time of joy because the coming of Christ is not only a gift of grace and salvation but it is also a time of commitment because it motivates us to live the present as a time of responsibility and vigilance. This ‘vigilance’ means the necessity, the urgency of an industrious, living ‘wait’. To make all this happen, then we need to wake up, as we are warned by the apostle to the Gentiles, in today's reading to the Romans: ‘Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rm 13:11).

We must start our journey to ascend to the mountain of the Lord, to be illuminated by His Words of peace and to allow Him to indicate the path to tread. (cf. Is 2:1-5). Moreover, we must change our conduct abandoning the works of darkness and put on the ‘armor of light’ and so seek only to do God’s work and to abandon the deeds of the flesh. (cf. Rm 13:12-14). Jesus, through the story in the parable, outlines the Christian life style that must not be distracted and indifferent but must be vigilant and recognize even the smallest sign of the Lord’s coming because we don’t know the hour in which He will arrive. (cf. Mt 24:39-44)

1 Pope Benedict XVI, Celebration of First Vespers of Advent, Vatican Basilica, December 2006


Excerpted from the website of Congregation for the Clergy

On the First Sunday of Advent, the traditional opening prayer (or Collect) prayed: "Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come." With this request to God to "stir up" His might, this day was traditionally called Stir-Up Sunday. Many families create a traditional plum pudding or fruit cake or some other recipe that all the family and guests can "stir-up." This activity of stirring-up the ingredients symbolizes our hearts that must be stirred in preparation for Christ's birth.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Jesse Tree ~ Creation


Commentary for the Readings in the Extraordinary Form:
First Sunday of Advent

"There will be signs in the . . .(heavens). . .and upon the earth, distress of nations. . .they will see the Son of Man coming. . .lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand" (Gospel).

On His second Advent at the end of the world Jesus will come in the fullness of Divine Power. Then will we be obliged to accept Him as King of Justice. So today let us begin to prepare for this year's anniversary of His first Advent as King of Mercy.

Because His coming is "nearer" we are warned to "rise from sleep,. . .lay aside the works of darkness. . .and put on he Lord Jesus Christ" (Epistle).

Aware of the dangers ahead during this preparation, we call upon His "power" to protect us (Prayer) and to "cleanse us" (Secret). Finally, we promise to "prepare with due reverence for the coming festival" (Postcommunion).

Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($126,428 to go):
$150,000.00 $23,571.70
84% 16%
Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 3 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 5 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 10 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6