During the next several weeks the Bellarmine Forum will be posting some prayers to cultivate devotions in the home for you and your families. We hope that these devotions will help you in your spiritual life as the Church prays with the rhythm of the seasons in her liturgical life. The beauty of these prayers is that they are a tangible way to mark this season of anticipation of our Lord’s coming and can be accomplished by anyone in any circumstance. Whether you are a college student in the midst of finals and stressed out from your studies, a busy married couple raising children, a member of the military far from home, or even a homebound person looking for a way to join with the Church universal in her preparations for Christmas, we hope that these devotions will spur greater love for Christ in and through His Church.–The Board of Directors
The Advent Wreath is a circle of evergreen leaves with four candles–3 violet and 1 rose–representing the four weeks of the season of Advent. The candles represent the Light of the World coming upon the earth to dispel the darkness. They are arranged in the home mirroring the points of the compass as a way to show the wondrous work of Our Lord over all the earth.
Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent
Leader (L). Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
All (A). Who made heaven and earth.
L. Let us pray: O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour out your blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive your abundant grace. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The wreath is then sprinkled with Holy Water.
L. The Lord our coming King, hasten to adore Him.
A. The Lord our coming King, hasten to adore Him.
L. Son of the Most High, your coming was announced to the Virgin Mary by Gabriel.
A. Come and rule over your people forever.
L. Holy One of God, in your presence John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb.
A. Bring the joy of salvation to all the earth.
L. Watch over our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and our Bishop N.
A. Grant them grace and wisdom to shepherd our Church wisely.
L. Protect all our men and women in the armed forces.
A. Bring them home safely.
L. Raise up to new life those who have fallen asleep in the peace of Christ.
A. That they may see the glory of the Resurrection.
L. Let us pray. Stir up your might, we beg you, O Lord, and come, so that we may escape through your protection and be saved by your help from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The first candle is lit. South candle–representing Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ.
(Prayers taken from Devotions for the Family: Advent and Christmas Season. Compiled by Rev. C. Frank Phillips, C.R. Chicago: Biretta Books, 2010)