CHURCH OF SAINT MONICA
Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey
 
679 W. Veteran's Highway, Jackson, N.J.
phone: 732-928-0279, fax: 732-928-1853
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The Advent Wreath

Advent Prayer Guide

• Daily Advent prayer
• Prayer before meals
• Prayer after meals
• Blessing of the Christmas tree
• Blessing of the Nativity scene
• Prayer before Christmas dinner

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An Advent Wreath is an excellent way to focus attention on the Advent Season. Wreaths may be purchased, but families may also consider making their own. All you need is a wreath and three purple and one pink candle. They may be decorated with purple and pink ribbon, holly leaves, etc. The Advent Wreath service below centers around a meal, with the opening and closing prayers taking the place of the prayers before and after the meal.

Advent Wreath Blessing

The Advent Wreath is blessed before its first use of the season. One family member is selected to bless the Wreath.

Leader: Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ; He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides, He is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise to bring salvation. May He come quickly and not delay.

All: Amen. (The wreath may be sprinkled with Holy Water)

The First Week of Advent

One purple candle is lit.

Before the meal:
Leader: Just as the rain and snow come down from heaven, giving seed for sowing and bread to eat, so shall the word be that goes forth from the mouth of God. A voice cries: "Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Clear a highway across the desert for our God.

All: Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill brought low.

Leader: Sow freely, Lord God, the seed of your blessing upon our table and upon all of us. May it strengthen us to serve you and each other. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

After the meal:
Leader: Lord our God, we thank you for this meal together and for inviting us to accept your kingdom like children taking bread from the hand of their parents. Let us live in your peace, at home with you all the days of our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The Second Week of Advent

Two purple candles are lit

Before the meal:
Leader: The victory of the Lord is near, already it is close, his salvation shall not be delayed. A voice cries: "Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Clear a highway across the desert for our God.

All: Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill brought low.

Leader: All-powerful God look kindly on us, bless our table and unite us to all people everywhere who wait for the coming of your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

After the Meal:
Leader: We thank you, Giver of all good gifts, for the grace of life renewed, the strength of life together and the promise of life to come. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

 All: Amen.

The Third Week of Advent

Two purple and one pink candles are lit.

Before the meal:
Leader: The Savior does not call out or lift his voice high, nor does he make himself heard in the open streets. But a voice comes before him saying: "Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Clear a highway across the desert for our God.

All: Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill brought low.

Leader: Lord, bless the food we are about to eat and those who have labored to prepare it. Make us all a sign of the One who is to come. We make this prayer in his name, both now and forever.

All: Amen.

After the meal:
Leader: Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all your mercies, and grant us the grace to love others as fully as you have loved us. We ask this all through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The Fourth Week of Advent

All the candles are lit

Before the meal:
Leader: The Lord God is our refuge and strength, a helper close at hand in times of distress. A voice cries out: "Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Clear a highway across the desert for our God.

All: Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill brought low.

Leader: Lord God, bless this table and let the food we share strengthen us in your service. We ask this through the One who comes in your name and keep us safe, for ever and ever.

All: Amen.

After the meal:
Leader: God of mercy, we thank you for showing us your goodness and loving kindness at this meal and we ask the same blessings for all the members of your family, through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Meal blessings from: Prayers At Meals by Michael Kwatera and Dietrich Reinhart, The Liturgical Press, (c) 1983 by the Order of St. Benedict. Used with permission. Advent Wreath Blessing from Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers. (c) 1988 by the United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Used with permission.

Church of Saint Monica, Catholic parish, Jackson, N.J.

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