The weeks leading up to Christmas are often an exciting time. For many, it’s a whirlwind of putting up decorations, watching our favorite Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, shopping, wrapping presents, and spending time with family. However, as Catholics, we understand that these weeks mean much more — it’s the season of Advent, marking the beginning of our liturgical year. During Advent, we should strive to slow down and enter into the season intentionally, embracing the chance to grow and prepare ourselves spiritually.
“It is a season of anticipation — of waiting, of hoping, and of longing,” says parishioner Cynthia Steinmetz. “We long for, await, and anticipate not only the day of the remembrance of the birthday of our Savior Jesus but also for Jesus’ coming again at the end of time when we will be fully united with our God in body, soul, mind, and spirit. We prepare, we hope, we anticipate.”
At St. Michael, there are a few special opportunities during the Advent season that help to prepare us spiritually, show our love for our community, and join in fellowship as a parish. These include the Giving Tree, which begins on the first Sunday of Advent; a St. Nicholas Feast Day Celebration on Dec. 6 that includes Mass, dinner, cookie decorating, a craft, and a visit from St. Nicholas; and the celebration of a Rorate Caeli Mass, taking place before dawn on December 9, 2023.
In addition, the many service opportunities available through the parish — such as the Hancock County Food Pantry, the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen, and Life Choice Care Center — are always looking for
volunteers to help serve the community.
“St. Michael offers a variety of opportunities to gather, to reflect together, and to pray together as we await the celebration of our Savior’s birth,” Cynthia says. “I try to participate in as many of these gatherings as I can. Praying and celebrating with my fellow parishioners during the season of Advent brings me a sense of fellowship and companionship in my anticipation of the coming of Jesus into my life — both in commemorating His birth and the hope of my own personal resurrection at the end of time.”
Entering into Advent intentionally, and focusing on preparing spiritually, can help make the celebration of the Christmas season much more special and exciting.
“As we prepare, pray, hope, and meditate on the Word of our God and His miraculous birth long ago, we also prepare our hearts to be more open to our God, our family, our friends, and the entire world,” Cynthia says. “We ready ourselves to accept Jesus, our Savior, as our Lord and King.”
If you have questions about the season of Advent or any of the upcoming events, contact Christie Murphy, Communication Director, at 317-462-4240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.