The Road to Bethlehem: Advent and Christmas Time

When the time came for Jesus to be born, Joseph brought Mary to “the city of David that is called Bethlehem [“house of bread”], because he was of the house and family of David” (Luke 2:4). Soon, both shepherds and magi also made the journey. The child they encountered in the house of bread and the house of David was and is “the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51), and “the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father” (Luke 1:32).

This Advent and Christmas Time, we too will take the road to Bethlehem. As we anticipate and then celebrate the feast of our Lord’s birth, we wi
ll submit ourselves to his reign and allow him to feed us with his Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Advent begins on the First Sunday of Advent. Christmas Time begins the evening of December 24 and goes through the Baptism of the Lord in January. Get started by c
licking the “Register for free” button below. If you don’t already have a LANE account, create one for free. Then check out the information on participating in the Mass, Adoration, Confession, penance, service, and evangelization. Finally, browse the seasonal resources and choose some for you and your family to use during Advent and Christmas Time.

Discover Advent

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Participate in the Mass

Jesus' birth was his first coming, and we look forward to his second coming. But no less important is his "middle coming" that we experience in his real presence in the Eucharist. Advent and Christmas Time give us an opportunity to refocus on the holy sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and other holy days.

Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation:
  • First Sunday of Advent
  • Second Sunday of Advent
  • Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: December 8
  • Third Sunday of Advent:
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent
  • Christmas Day: December 25
  • Feast of the Holy Family: Sunday after Christmas Day (if December 25 and January 1 are Sundays, this feast falls on December 30 and is not a holy day of obligation)
  • Solemnity of the Mother of God: January 1
  • Epiphany: Sunday between January 2 and 8
  • Baptism of the Lord: Sunday after January 6 or Monday after Epiphany

Adore Jesus in the Eucharist

During these holy seasons and throughout the year, Adoration extends our worship of our Eucharistic Lord beyond the Mass. It gives us an opportunity to honor him as king and give thanks for the nourishment he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.

Check with your local parish about Adoration times during Advent, Christmas Time, and throughout the year.

Serve the King and Announce His Reign

With the angels and shepherds we can announce the birth of the king, and with the magi we can hasten to give him our gifts. These actions take the form of evangelization and the works of mercy in our parishes and communities.

Ways to Serve and Evangelize:
  • Participate in a parish service project.
  • Sign up for a parish ministry.
  • Participate in a parish guild or group.
  • Volunteer with a local organization.
  • Give to your parish or a Catholic charity.
  • Invite a friend or family member to Mass or a parish event.
  • Share your faith with someone you know.

Fast to Prepare for the Bread of Life

Advent is sometimes called a “little Lent,” but the December “Christmas season” is often a noisy and overindulgent time in our culture. To better prepare for the Christmas feast, fast and offer personal sacrifices in anticipation of our Lord’s birth.

Some Penitential Options:
  • Abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
  • Fast on Fridays or another day of the week.
  • Wait for Christmas Eve before you eat sweets and other holiday foods.
  • Give up a luxury (food, drink, technology, etc.) in your life and use that time for prayer.
  • Commit to times of silence.

Obtain the King's Pardon in Confession

Advent and Christmas Time remind us of Christ's first coming as the infant king, but they also direct our attention forward to his second coming as the triumphant king. As we long for his kingdom to come, we realize that we do not always abide by the kingdom's law of love. Through Confession and penance, we obtain our king's pardon and reconcile ourselves to his kingdom. When we receive absolution, the Prince of Peace gives us his peace in our hearts.

Check with your local parish about Confession times during Advent, Christmas Time, and throughout the year.

Choose Seasonal Resources for Your Family