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For many Catholic families, the Advent wreath is a treasured tradition. In the darkest days of winter, as we gather around the dinner table, the candles remind us of the light of Christ. This is the perfect time for family prayer.
The suggested Scripture passages are taken from one of the Mass readings for the day. The accompanying prayers can be read by different members of the family on alternating days. On Christmas Day, you can continue your family prayer time by removing the three purple and one pink candle and replacing them with white or red candles. We hope these prayers will prepare everyone in your family for Christmas. May the Lord bless you as together you raise your voices and hearts to him.
Sunday, December 3—First Sunday of Advent
Read Mark 13:33-37
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, we want to look for you this Advent. We give this time to you and ask you to surprise us with your presence and your love. Any time of the day or night, we want to know your touch and receive your word into our hearts.
Monday, December 4
Read Matthew 8:5-11
Father, it is amazing that you want to speak to us! Help us to hear you in little ways today. We are like little children climbing onto you lap, longing to hear you speak to us. We want to receive all that you have for us. How generous you are!
Tuesday, December 5
Read Isaiah 11:1-10
Father, we want to tell you that we need you every day. Convince us that you have a perfect plan for our family life, as we look at how you worked your ways in the life of your Son. We declare that your ways are perfect.
Wednesday, December 6
Read Isaiah 25:6-10
Lord God, we see in Jesus that you keep all your promises and bring everything about at just the right time. You said you would send your Son, and you did! We trust in your promises and your faithfulness.
Thursday, December 7
Read Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Jesus, you are our rock. Our plans and decisions must be built on your faithfulness and wisdom. You love us and care for our family so much! Show us how to rely on you for our strength and hope.
Friday, December 8—Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Read Luke 1:26-38
Father, you promised that nothing is impossible. We entrust to you the problems and areas of our lives that seem impossible. We trust your word to us. You are an awesome, mighty, and infinite God!
Saturday, December 9
Read Psalm 147:1-6
Jesus, you came to be with us, to heal us, and to make us beautiful for the Father. Heal any divisions and hurts in our families. You who gave names to billions of stars care much more for us. Only you can change our hearts!
Sunday, December 10—Second Sunday of Advent
Read Mark 1:1-8
We could never be worthy of you, Jesus, but through Baptism, you are now our brother, and we are sons and daughters of your Father. Your love is extravagant! You have more for us than we can ask or imagine.
Monday, December 11
Read Isaiah 35:1-10
Father, you know everything and watch over all creation! We are not ashamed to admit that we are weak and rely on you for strength. All day long you care for our families and give us all that we need.
Tuesday, December 12—Our Lady of Guadalupe
Read Zechariah 2:14-17
You created us, Father, and we belong to you. Deliver us from the evil one, who has no authority over our lives. Bring your might against the devil’s lies so we can be reassured that we are your children.
Wednesday, December 13
Read Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10
Lord, there are many things we think we need to do. But our real peace and fulfillment come from you alone and from spending time with you. Having you present with our family in every moment is our greatest treasure. We praise you and we love you!
Thursday, December 14
Jesus, you came from your holy dwelling to live in us! What can we say but “yes”—we want you to come into our midst. We love you, Jesus, and we praise you. We open our hearts to you!
Friday, December 15
Read Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Holy Spirit, we don’t want to follow the ways of those who don’t know you. We want to sit with you and delight in you just as you delight in us. Write your ways on our hearts.
Saturday, December 16
Read Matthew 17:9a, 10-13
Lord Jesus, you came to lay down your life for us. You did not seek fame and recognition, but obedience and love. We set aside our desire for attention and say we love you above all.
Sunday, December 17—Third Sunday of Advent
Read John 1:6-8, 19-28
Lord, like John the Baptist, we turn to you. Give each member of our family the grace to recognize and proclaim you as John did. Give us the grace and wisdom to follow you joyfully all the days of our lives.
Friday, December 18
Read Jeremiah 23:5-8
Jesus, you are the righteous Branch. It is only as we are grafted into you, as branches are grafted onto the vine, that we are made righteous. You reign forever and ever!
Tuesday, December 19
Read Luke 1:5-25
Yes, Lord, we love you and we seek your face. Help us to prepare for your coming and to open wide our hearts to you. Enter in, Lord Jesus, and make your home in us and in our whole family.
Wednesday, December 20
Lord, thank you that do want to show yourself to us more and more. You ask us to come to you and so run with expectant hearts. Open our eyes to see you in a new way. We love you!
Thursday, December 21
Read Luke 1:39-45
Lord, by filling Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit, she was able to recognize your Son in her midst. Although we feel as unworthy as Elizabeth, pour out your Holy Spirit on us as well so that we may recognize you in one another and in the poor and needy.
Friday, December 22
Read Luke 1:46-56
Lord, like Mary, our spirits rejoice in you. Give each member of our family the grace to magnify you, just as Mary did. Like those before us, we call Mary “blessed” for her complete surrender to your will.
Saturday, December 23
Read Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Holy Spirit, we want our hearts to be ready to receive Jesus. Open our eyes to see our sins and the areas in our lives that need to change. Purify us so that we can give Jesus a pleasing offering of our lives. He is worthy!
Sunday, December 24—Fourth Sunday of Advent
Read Luke 1:26-38
Jesus, as the dawn breaks each morning, let your light break into our lives in a new way this Christmas. As we come to you each day in prayer with our burdens and our needs, help us to comprehend more fully your mercy and love. Give us hearts like yours.
Monday, December 25
Jesus, you have always been and always will be. Our hope is set on you alone. We welcome you into our lives and our families. We want all that you are (truth) to transform all that we are (grace). You are so worthy!
Tuesday, December 26— St. Stephen, the First Martyr
Read Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Lord Jesus, we look forward to the day when you will come again in glory. And we rejoice that right now you come into our hearts each and every time we come to you in prayer. Reveal your wonders to us, Lord. We await your coming!
Wednesday, December 27—St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Read 1 John 1:1-4
Father, you first loved us! You chose us and declared: “I want them to be my children forever.” And then through Jesus you poured out grace upon grace on us so we could love you and follow you. It is not by our power, but by your incredible love for us, that we believe in your Son.
Thursday, December 28—The Holy Innocents
Read Matthew 2:13-18
Lord, although the powers of darkness rage against the light of Christ, you are always the victor. We join our voices with those innocent children who were martyred that day and now enjoy the light of your presence forever. Keep away from us all darkness, and protect us from evil.
Friday, December 29
Read Luke 2:22-35
Father, you have fulfilled all your promises in your Son Jesus. Through him you have established a new covenant with your people. We thank you for your steadfast, never-ending love. Like Simeon and Anna, we will sing of your love and proclaim your mercy through all generations.
Saturday, December 30
Read Psalm 96:7-10
You are worthy, Lord God, of every word of praise we could utter. We praise so many things and people around us, but who can compare with you? You made everything there is, and you hold all of us in your hand and in your heart. We praise you above all.
Sunday, December 31—The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Read Sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Read 1 John 1:1-4
Lord, in our family today and every day, may we be clothed with your mercy and love. Bind us together in perfect harmony. We lift our hearts to you in thanksgiving for the family you have given us. Help us to be more like the Holy Family each day.
Theresa Keller enjoys writing in addition to her customer service work for The Word Among Us magazine.