Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

First Week of Advent

Posted: December 4, 2017 in Advent

candle1Happy New Year.  Advent is the start of the Liturgical year for us as Catholics.  Having celebrated the feast of Christ the King, we now start our preparations for the coming of Jesus. The word Advent, derives from the Latin word meaning “coming” so Advent is a great time to get our house in order.  Whilst Lent is traditionally a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we are encouraged to do similar acts during Advent.

According to the Catechism:

When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent  each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviours first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating John the Baptists birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: He must increase, but I must decrease (Catechism, no. 524).

At St James’ we will be participating in various time-honoured traditions, such as making Jesse trees and participating in Advent Services during the last week of term. Some of our staff will be going to Bethlehem this Christmas and will place your prayers and petitions at the place of Jesus birth.  The whole school will also be collecting for the Colindale Foodbank as part of our Advent almsgiving.

Have a look at the Chaplaincy News and get involved, so that this you are ready for December 25th.

God bless,

Miss Whelan

Gaudete Sunday

Posted: December 13, 2015 in Advent, Uncategorized

rejoyceThis week is a week in the Churches year characterised by joy.  Gaudete Sunday is represented by the pick candle in our Advent wreath and our readings are filled with rejoicing and praising. When you look around the world, it can seem hard to find joy amidst the refugee crisis, the Syrian bombing, the Paris shootings and the extreme weather. Christian joy however is not rooted in the circumstances and struggles of our daily lives. Christian Joy finds its root in the relationship we now have, in and through Jesus Christ, with the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We rejoice on Guadete Sunday, because the Lord is always near, He is always coming to those who have the eyes of living faith.

We can often find joy in the unexpected.  Whilst enjoying the X Factor final last night, I witnessed a moment of heaven touching earth. As part of the final, contestants sing a pre-chosen song that is subsequently released by the winner. This year’s song is Forever Young written by Bob Dylan.  As a prayer it is perfect to be used as a blessing with your classes – especially in light of this weeks theme – Achievement.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Have a joyful week, not just because it is the end of term, but because Christ is very near,

Advent

Posted: December 6, 2015 in Advent

2011-Advent-copy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

When we look around the work – the refugee crisis, the Paris terrorist attacks, the shootings in California; we realise that the world is in desperate need of Advent Hope, Peace Love and Joy.  At school we will be using symbolism of the Advent wreath to help point us to the light of the world, Jesus.

1st CANDLE – THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE – We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13)

2nd CANDLE – THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION – God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem.  Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD! “As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)

3rd CANDLE – THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY – The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15)

4th CANDLE – THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angels announced the good news of a Savior.  “…I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10b-11).  God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” 
(John 3:16-17)

5th CANDLE – (white) CHRIST CANDLE – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29)

Second Week of Advent

Posted: December 10, 2014 in Advent
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We light a second purple candle on the second Sunday of Advent to represent the hope of Christ coming to the world.

The word “hope” has two meanings in the Bible. The first, tiqvah, contains the sense of eager anticipation or waiting. The second, elpis. depicts a sense of confident expectation based on certainty. Biblical hope is secured by God’s faithfulness to His promises. For the Old Testament leaders, their hope was in the Messiah’s arrival. For us, it is the hope of the Messiah’s return.

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:“‘Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight.’”

Excellent daily Advent video reflections:

As well as the prayer booklet, you may wish to use this excellent Advent resource called Made for Glory. It aims to help young people go deeper in their personal relationship with Christ through 25 short films reflecting on the daily Gospel.  Below is the link to today’s reflection.

May your week be blessed with hope,

Second week of Advent

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Advent

Second week of Advent

HOPE

We light a second purple candle on the second Sunday of Advent to represent the hope of Christ coming to the world.

The word “hope” has two meanings in the Bible. The first, tiqvah, contains the sense of eager anticipation or waiting. The second, elpis. depicts a sense of confident expectation based on certainty. Biblical hope is secured by God’s faithfulness to His promises. For the Old Testament leaders, their hope was in the Messiah’s arrival. For us, it is the hope of the Messiah’s return.

God’s plan for humanity unfolded in the town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Messiah, joyously fulfilling a long-awaited promise. Today we confidently wait for the Messiah’s triumphant return.

Gangnam Style Advent

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Advent

Enough said …

I will wait, I will wait for you

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Advent

Mumford and Sons help us prepare in our waiting for Jesus’ coming