“Advent...returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God." - Pope Francis

Advent, the four-week period leading up to Christmas, is a season filled with anticipation. The word Advent comes from "ad-venire" in Latin, meaning "to come to."  The season is a time of preparation for the celebration of Our Lord's birth. It is a time to celebrate the way in which the Lord comes into our lives every day.  And, it is a time to look forward in hope to the second coming of Jesus in his glory.  Advent begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer 1) on the Sunday closest to November 30, this year on December 3.

The color for the Advent season is purple, signifying that, just as with Lent, it is a time of heightened prayer, penance and preparation so that we may be truly ready for the Lord's coming.  However, on the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday, the color of priests' vestments changes to rose.  Gaudete is taken from the first word of the Latin Entrance Antiphon for this day, meaning "rejoice." It is the Church's way of noting that the time for the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord is drawing near.

Advent is often celebrated with the lighting of an Advent wreath, comprised of one rose and three purple candles. Candles are lit progressively each week, with the rose candle lit on the third Sunday.

Advent Prayer

We long for your coming, Lord Jesus.  Our hearts are empty until you fill them with your presence. As we prepare to celebrate the feast of your historical coming, fill us with your Spirit so that we may be prepared for your Second Coming, when we will enjoy your presence forever. Amen 

Advent Resources

Advent Events, Faith Sharing, and Retreats around the Diocese

Advent Calendar - USCCB

Advent Calendar - Spanish - USCCB

Advent Calendar - Catholic Relief Services

Advent for Families

Arts & Faith for Advent - Loyola Press

Family Activities - Loyola Press

Jesse Tree w/ Ornaments (Diocese of Erie)

Jesse Tree - Loyola Press

Blessings and Prayers  

Advent Novena - Dynamic Catholic

Advent Prayer for the Family - Dynamic Catholic

Advent Prayer Packet - Loyola Press

Advent Wreath Prayer - CRS

Blessing of an Advent Wreath

Blessing of a Christmas Tree

Blessing of a Christmas Tree - Loyola Press

Blessing of a Manger

Blessing of Ornaments - Loyola Press

Family Prayer - Loyola Press

Lectio Divina - Immaculate Conception

Lectio Divina - Meditation for Advent

Nativity Scene Prayer - CRS

O Antiphons

Saint Andrew Novena

Seasonal Blessings for Catholic Households


Catholic Appeal

Catholic Charities Maine

Readings and teachings

Learn about Advent - Loyola Press

Inspiration During Advent - Loyola Press

Readings - First Sunday of Advent / Second Sunday / Third Sunday Fourth Sunday / Immaculate Conception


Advent Reflections by Priests in our Diocese

Echoing God's Word Reflections

EWTN - Advent Reflections

EWTN - Sign up for online reflections by Father Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA

Ignatian Reflections for Advent

Inspiration during Advent - Loyola Press

Saints and Feasts of the Season

Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer - CRS

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer - St. John Paul II

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer - USCCB

Saint Andrew, the Apostle - Feast: November 30

Saint Nicholas - Feast: December 6

Saint Lucy - Feast: December 13

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception