USCCB News Release
November 24, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Advent/Christmas Season Web Site Offers Resources For Prayer, Reflection; Has Printable Family Activity Calendar
Interactive calendar posts ideas for Advent, Christmas
Site provides information on saints of Advent, Christmas season
Festival of lessons and carols can be downloaded
WASHINGTON—For the second consecutive year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created a Website (www.usccb.org/advent/ ) with suggestions for daily prayer, reading, reflection and action throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.
New for this year are printable calendars in English and Spanish with a suggested family activity for each day of the Advent season, which begins November 29, and the Christmas season, which ends on January 10 with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.
The interactive online calendars present a menu of resources for reading, prayer, reflection and action for each day of the two seasons. Many of the reflections are taken from “Following Christ,” “The Priesthood,” “Mary,” and “The Saints,” four of the collections from the Spiritual Thoughts Series by Pope Benedict XVI. A Festival of Lesson and Carols, which is a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, can be heard live online or downloaded for later listening.
The USCCB Advent/Christmas Web site also features a variety of scripture resources focusing on the Old Testament. Jem Sullivan, PhD., of the USCCB Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, starts off the Advent season with a video explaining how families can enrich their faith by reading the Old Testament. Featured throughout the calendars are video clips of USCCB members and staff discussing their favorite Old Testament stories, passages and characters.
Decorating the Web site are photos of sanctuaries adorned for Advent and Christmas from across the country including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, and photos of seasonal events from several Catholic dioceses.
Other resources on the Website include a list of recommend holiday-themed movies from the USCCB’s Film and Broadcasting office, prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, and suggestions for remembering the needs of immigrants and the poor throughout the season.