Action Alert!
Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

December 2022 — Overview for the Month

by Catholic Culture Staff

Description

The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.


Highlights

December 12
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary, who was "intimately united with the birth of the Church in America, became the radiant Star illuminating the proclamation of Christ the Saviour to the sons of these nations." — John Paul II

Recipe of the Month
Speculaus

This hard spice cookie is made for the feast of St. Nicholas in Holland. It is a delicious cookie and appropriate for Christmas as well.

Activity of the Month
Jesse Tree

The Tree of Jesse, with its symbols representing Old Testament stories and events leading up to the birth of Christ, is another approach to the meaning of Christmas.


Symbols
Immaculate Conception

Based on dogma, the singular grace of Our Lady is celebrated on December 8th.

St. John

This emblem of St. John, the "Beloved Apostle," refers to the legend of a poisoned chalice being offered to him in an attempt made on his life.

St. Stephen

These arms, evidently of French origin, are displayed at Dijon. The stones refer to the manner of his death and the palm to his spiritual victory.

St. Lucy

This wealthy Sicilian maiden was, after torture, killed by a sword thrust through her throat. The emblem refers to her continuing devotion to Christ—an early symbol of martyrdom, deriving possibly from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.


O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

Publisher & Date

Catholic Culture, July 2, 2021

The first 24 days of December fall during the liturgical season known as of Advent and are represented by the liturgical color purple—a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remaining days of December mark the beginning of the Christmas season. The liturgical color changes to white or gold — a symbol of joy, purity and innocence.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of December 2022

For volunteer not-for-profit organizations: We pray that volunteer non-profit organizations committed to human development find people dedicated to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths to international cooperation. (See also http://www.popesprayerusa.net/)


Feasts for December

3. Francis Xavier, Memorial
4. SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, Sunday
6. Nicholas, Opt. Mem.
7. Ambrose, Memorial
8. IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY, Solemnity
9. Juan Diego (USA), Opt. Mem.
11. THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT, GUADETE SUNDAY, Sunday
12. Our Lady of Guadalupe (USA), Feast
13. Lucy, Memorial
14. John of the Cross, Ember Wednesday, Memorial
18. FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, Sunday
21. Peter Canisius; O Dayspring, Opt. Mem.
23. John of Kanty; O Emmanuel, Opt. Mem.
25. NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas), Solemnity
26. Stephen, Feast
27. John, Apostle, Feast
28. Holy Innocents, Feast
29. 5th Day in the Octave of Christmas; Thomas Becket , Opt. Mem.
30. Feast of the Holy Family, Feast
31. 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas; Sylvester I, Opt. Mem.

Focus of the Liturgy

The Gospels for the four Sundays in December 2022, are taken from St. Matthew are from Cycle A. The Weekday readings are from Year I.

December 4th—2nd Sunday in Advent

The Gospel is about John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness.

December 11th—3rd Sunday in Advent

The Gospel today recounts the story of St. John the Baptist telling his followers about the coming Messiah.

December 18th—4th Sunday of Advent

The Gospel is about the revelation to St. Joseph of Mary's virginal conception.

December 25th—Solemnity of Christmas

The Gospel at Night recounts the birth of Christ in Bethlehem and the visit of the shepherds.


Highlights of the Month

The liturgy of Advent focuses on remembering Christ's first coming at Bethlehem which then directs our mind to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. The readings focus on the people of the Old Testament awaiting the Messiah, John the Baptist, heralding the way for Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and her maternal preparations.

The liturgy of Advent focuses on remembering Christ's first coming at Bethlehem which then directs our mind to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. The readings focus on the people of the Old Testament awaiting the Messiah, John the Baptist, heralding the way for Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and her maternal preparations.

The main feasts of Advent are St. Francis Xavier (December 3), St. Nicholas (December 6), St. Ambrose (December 7), Immaculate Conception (December 8), St. Juan Diego (December 9), Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), St. Lucy (December 13), St. John of the Cross (December 14), St. Peter Canisius (December 21) and St. John of Kanty (December 23). Christmastide begins with the First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Christmas on December 24th and ends on the Sunday after Epiphany, which is transferred to January 8 in the United States. Christmas and Easter are the only solemnities with octaves attached in the current calendar. The Christmas octave differs from Easter in that it includes some major feasts: St. Stephen, Protomartyr (December 26), St. John the Evangelist (December 27), the Holy Innocents (December 28), St. Thomas Becket (December 29) and St. Sylvester I (December 31). The octave closes on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The optional memorials of St. John Damascene (December 4) and St. Damasus I (December 11) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.


The Reason for the Season

The month of December is filled with expectation and celebration. Preparation is the key word for the first 24 days of December. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity.

Christmas is a Christian feast — and we must reclaim it as such! In the same way that a family eagerly prepares for a baby, so in Advent should we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. We should keep Advent as a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and of hope and keep our thoughts on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on the flesh of the Virgin Mary. Let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.

The best person we can turn to for help during Advent is Mary, Christ's and our Mother. She awaited the day of His birth with more eagerness than any other human being. Her preparation was complete in every respect. Let's crown our preparation and borrow something of Mary's prayerfulness, her purity and whole-hearted submission to God's will.

This item 12537 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org