The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created an Advent and Christmas website with suggestions for daily prayers, readings, reflection and action. A collection of Lessons and Carols is also provided for live listening or download.
Printable calendars in English and Spanish are one new feature of the site, a USCCB press release says. They suggest a family activity for each day of Advent, which begins on Nov. 29, and for each day of the Christmas Season.
Many of the calendar’s reflections are taken from four of the collections from the Spiritual Thoughts Series by Pope Benedict XVI: “Following Christ,” “The Priesthood,” “Mary” and “The Saints.”
The Festival of Lessons and Carols, a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, is available for download at the site. It also lists recommended holiday-themed movies, prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication, “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.”
The site makes suggestions for remembering the needs of the immigrants and the poor throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons and also provides photos of seasonal decorations of Catholic sanctuaries, including the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The Scripture resources of the Advent/Christmas web site focus on the Old Testament. Jem Sullivan, Ph.D., from the USCCB Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, opens the Advent season with a video about how families can enrich their faith through reading the Old Testament.
The calendars also feature video clips of USCCB members and staff discussing their favorite Old Testament figures, stories and passages.
The Advent/Christmas web site is at http://www.usccb.org/advent/