What can we do to keep Advent holy during COVID-19?
Mother’s Group leaders take note! Covid19 has changed the parameters of our meetings and celebrating mass, but it has not dampened our spirits.
If you haven’t noticed, this year is a bit different than years passed. COVID may have put roadblocks in meeting and gathering and worshipping, but here is a list of 24 things you can do throughout Advent to ready yourself and your family to celebrate the birthday of the king.
Read a chapter each day from the Gospel of Luke. Luke’s Gospel starts with Jesus’ birth and ends with his ascension into heaven. One chapter a day. It will take you to Christmas Eve.
Pray the Rosary daily. Praying will help you clear your heart and will bring you closer to our Blessed Mother, the best comforter for our troubled hearts. And the Rosary is the weapon of Peace.
Sing. God graced you with a voice. Sing Christmas carols with your family as you decorate your home for the season.
Spend time meditating. Sometimes you need to stop and be quiet to gather your thoughts and recharge.
Read books about the saints, or about the faith. There are so many wonderful Catholic writers out there that will inspire you.
Do not be afraid to say NO to that will take you away from the Lord. We are constantly being pulled in so many directions that it can be difficult to find your peace.
Always try to do your best in everything you do. Whatever the task, do it with love.
Go for a walk. The fresh air will do wonders for your well-being and helps you stay calm and focused.
Try journaling. Writing your thoughts down can go a long way to help you quiet things down in your mind.
Listen to spiritual music. Gregorian chants, Christian music – you can find so many downloads on YouTube. It is a peaceful way to work throughout the day. Here are some of my favourite links:
Dedicate your prayer time to praying a Novena. One of the most beloved and popular ones to do is St. Andrew’s Novena. It starts on St. Andrew’s Feast Day, November 30. The prayer is recited 15 times a day until Christmas. It is a deeply meditative prayer that helps to keep us focused and centred on the true meaning of Christmas. The prayer is as follows:
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
In which the Son of God was born
Of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
[hear mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.
Bless yourself daily with Holy water. Bless your family as well. Bless your pets. Bless your house!
Parents and Grandparents – pray for your children and grandchildren. They need them! This world is beautiful but dangerous!
Wives – pray for your husbands. Our husbands are gifts and we need to keep praying for them to be fortified and strengthened in their faith. A wife’s prayer will encourage and promote unity in marriage. Wives who do this seek God’s will over their own.
Husbands — pray for your wives. Wives need to know that when things are tough, when it seems like there is no hope, that you have the faith to believe that things can turn around. You are a team. She needs to know that you have her back.
Do what you can when you can! You can’t do EVERYTHING – make a daily to-do list that is achievable.
Pray as a family. The saying goes, the family that prays together, stays together…
Ask your children to share what they are grateful for every day. This will foster in them a sense of gratitude for the blessings in their lives.
Pray to your guardian angel. Your guardian angel is with you always. Here is the prayer:
Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide. Amen
Every so often, include the Litany of Humility in your prayers. The litany can be found here: https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/litany-of-humility.html
Pray the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer daily. Here is the prayer:
Saint Michael the Archangel
Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and
Snares of the devil; May God rebuke him,
We humbly pray; And do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the power of God,
Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
Who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Take advantage of online programming. Salt + Light Media; RadioMaria; EWTN are all good Catholic sources for Catholic programs.
Call someone who is alone. There are many people who have been negatively impacted by COVID. The restrictions have further limited their contact with the peers and family. Pick up the phone and call someone who may be alone. A friendly voice and some conversation can go a long way to lift one’s spirits.
Make a meal or shop for someone who cannot do so. This is a great act of charity and humility that brings love to other and spreads joy.
This is a long list. You do not have to do it all, but these are some suggestions to help you grow spiritually.
May God bless you all of you this Christmas. May the joy, peace, and love that this season brings find you and shine within you.
Rema Celio is a happily married mom of two young boys and lives in Toronto. She is an active member of St. Benedict Parish.