The Third Sunday of Advent



“O God,
who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us,
we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Opening Prayer for Mass on the Third Sunday of Advent.


The illustration is from the painting by Nicolas Poussin, (c.1635): “St John the Baptist Baptizes the People”, on display in The Louvre Museum, Paris.
 The Second Sunday of Advent

 “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For he assumed at his first coming
the lowliness of human flesh,
and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago,
and opened for us the way to eternal salvation,
that, when he comes again in glory and majesty
and all is at last made manifest,
we who watch for that day
may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope.”

From the Preface I of Advent.

The painting shown above is ‘Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness’ (c. 1506.) from the workshop of Francesco Granacci (Italian, 1469–1543 Florence)
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The First Sunday of Advent

“May the almighty and merciful God,
by whose grace you have placed your faith
in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son
and yearn for his coming again,
sanctify you by the radiance of Christ’s Advent
and enrich you with his blessing.

As you run the race of this present life,
may he make you firm in faith,
joyful in hope and active in charity.

So that, rejoicing now with devotion
at the Redeemer’s coming in the flesh,
you may be endowed with the rich reward of eternal life
when he comes again in majesty.

And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever.

Blessing at the end of Mass for the First Sunday of Advent


The photograph above shows Palestinian Christians lighting candles in the Catholic Church of the Annunciation at Beit Jala, Bethlehem, after the Sunday morning Mass on 3rd November 2013.