At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and to prepare for it the Church gives us the season of Advent. Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, means “arrival” and is a time for preparing ourselves for God’s arrival in the world. Each Sunday in Advent, Catholics light one more candle on the Advent wreath. They are a symbol for the ever-brightening light God sends into our darkness.
Christmas is the great celebration of Jesus’ birth, when God gave us His son. God becomes very small and comes into the world as a human being. The Christmas tree, the candles, festive decorations and the crib are not just a decoration for a great marathon of present-giving. They are to remind us of this great event: the birth of Jesus is the reason for this big feast.
Precisely because this feast is so important, the Church celebrates it quite extensively: with Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and church services on Christmas Day. The Christmas season ends with the Baptism of the Lord, which is celebrated on the first Sunday after Epiphany (which is usually 6th January).
In this Advent reflection of the first line of the Hail Mary, discover how Mary helps us to consider our place in salvation history, and how meditating upon Mary's role in the birth of Our Lord also encourages us to meditate upon the fulfilment of the Kingdom.Find out more
As we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Word made flesh, it's helpful to consider Christmas from three perspectives: the past when Our Saviour was born, the present where Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist, and the future when we will one day be judged.Find out more
Do you know the origins of popular Christmas traditions like mistletoe or candy canes? How about the 12 Days of Christmas song? Here are 10 fun facts about Christmas you can use to show off to your friends and family!Find out more
Discover how to use Advent as a time for preparation for Christmas by unpacking Catholic customs, their origins and their significance. What does the Advent wreath symbolise? Who invented the Christmas crib? What are the Catholic origins of the Christmas tree? Learn these fascinating facts and more in this blog.Find out more
What makes a Christmas tree a Christmas tree? Traditionally, Christmas trees are decorated with glass baubles of all different colours, and candles or chains of lights. Why not make your own decorations this year? Discover this fun activity for children!Find out more