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Session Title: Advent/Christmas Season, Incarnation

Opening Prayer

"Busted Halo" - Advent in Two Minutes



  • Advent is: at time of expecting, waiting, hoping, praying for Christ to enter our lives.
  • At Christmas we commemorate the birth of Jesus - "Incarnatus Est - He became incarnate and makes His home with us. - Creed
  • At the same time that we Commemorate/Remember we prepare for Christ's return. We know neither the day nor the hour, but we prepare our hearts to receive him.
  • Eschatalogy
    • Christmas Season begins with the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve and continues through the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (this year celebrated on Sunday January 13).
    • So we go from the Infancy of Jesus to the beginning of Jesus' public ministry in a very brief time!
  • Readings for Christmas:
    • Vigil Mass: Isaiah 62:1-5 - New name signifying the change in relationship between God and the people of Israel / us!
    • Acts:13:16-17;22-25 - Salvation history focus on the Jewish background of our belief in Jesus the Savior.
    • Matthew: 1:1-25 - Genealogy leading to the 'back story' of Jesus' birth.
    • Midnight Mass: Isaiah 9: 1-6 - From this reading we recognize Jesus, the Light of the World
    • Titus: 2: 11-14 - Jesus' coming as the Grace of God in history and His saving work through His life, death and resurrection.
    • Luke: 2: 1 - 14 - Luke's narrative of Christ's birth - most familiar to us, and from which most of our traditions arise.
  • Creche: ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi - interpreted by many cultures and inspiration for much of religious art from that time to now.
  • Christmas Tree: traditionally thought to have been initiated by Martin Luther and seen as an appropriation of an earlier 'pagan' symbol of light from the darkness: now signifies Jesus.
  • Posadas: Ritual telling of the Nativity story - particularly in Latin American cultures.
  • Christmas Pageants: similar to above.
  • Gift Giving: (Not the craziness!) Symbolizes the Gifts of the Magi to Jesus on the Feast of the Epiphany.

Closing Prayer

Closing Prayer: Luke 2:15-20 with prayer and reflection.


Cultural Applications

Homework for next session