The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated on December 8. The first 2 days of December fall during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time and are represented by the liturgical color green. The next 22 days fall during the liturgical season of Advent and are represented by the liturgical color purple. The remaining days of December mark the beginning of the Christmas season. The liturgical color changes to white or gold — a symbol of joy, purity and innocence.
The Elderly: That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations. (See also www.apostleshipofprayer.net)
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of December are:
3. First Sunday of Advent, Sunday
6. Nicholas, Opt. Mem.
7. Ambrose, Memorial
8. Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feastday of the United States of America , Solemnity
9. Juan Diego (USA), Opt. Mem.
10. Second Sunday of Advent, Sunday
11. Damasus I, Opt. Mem.
12. Our Lady of Guadalupe (USA), Feast
13. Lucy, Memorial
14. John of the Cross, Memorial
17. Third Sunday of Advent, Sunday
21. Peter Canisius, Opt. Mem.
23. John of Kanty, Opt. Mem.
24. Fourth Sunday of Advent, Sunday
25. Christmas, Solemnity
26. Stephen, Feast
27. John, Feast
28. Holy Innocents, Feast
29. Thomas Becket, Opt. Mem.
31. Holy Family, Feast
The Gospels for the Sundays in December are taken from St. Mark, St. John and St. Luke and are from Year B, Cycle 2 of the readings.
December 3 - 1st Sunday in Advent: Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming.
December 10 - 2nd Sunday in Advent: The Gospel is about John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness.
December 17 - 3rd Sunday in Advent: The crowds question St. John the Baptist asking him who he is.
December 24 - 4th Sunday in Advent: The Gospel today recounts the story of the angel Gabriel's revelation to Our Lady that she was to be the Mother of the Savior.
December 31 - Holy Family: This Gospel recounts the prophecy of Simeon.
The liturgy of Advent focuses on remembering Christ's first coming at Bethlehem which then directs our mind to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. The readings focus on the people of the Old Testament awaiting the Messiah, John the Baptist, heralding the way for Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and her maternal preparations.
The main Feasts of Advent are St. John Damascene, (December 4), St. Nicholas (December 6), St. Ambrose(December 7), Immaculate Conception (December 8), St. Juan Diego(December 9), St. Damascus (December 11), Our Lady of Guadalupe(December 12), St. Lucy (December 13), St. John of the Cross (December 14) and St. Peter Canisius (December 21).
Christmastide begins with the First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Christmas on December 24th and ends on the Sunday after Epiphany. Christmas and Easter are the only solemnities with octaves attached in the revised calendar. The Christmas octave differs from Easter in that it includes some major feasts: St. Stephen (December 26), St. John the Evangelist (December 27), and St. Thomas Becket (December 29). The octave closes on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
The feast of St. Francis Xavier (December 3) is superseded by the Sunday liturgy. The feast of St. Sylvester I (December 31) is superseded by the Feast of the Holy Family.
The month of December is filled with expectation and celebration. Preparation is the key word for the first 24 days of December. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity.
Christmas is a Christian feast — and we must reclaim it as such! In the same way that a family eagerly prepares for a baby, so in Advent should we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. We should keep Advent as a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and of hope and keep our thoughts on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on the flesh of the Virgin Mary. Let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.
The best person we can turn to for help during Advent is Mary, Christ's and our Mother. She awaited the day of His birth with more eagerness than any other human being. Her preparation was complete in every respect. Let's crown our preparation and borrow something of Mary's prayerfulness, her purity and whole-hearted submission to God's will.
Advent and Christmas Blessing to you and your family!BACK TO LIST