Advent and Christmas Time: The Road to Bethlehem

When the time came for Jesus to be born, Joseph brought Mary to “the city of David that is called Bethlehem [“house of bread”], because he was of the house and family of David” (Luke 2:4). Soon, both shepherds and magi also made the journey. The child they encountered in the house of bread and the house of David was and is “the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51), and “the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father” (Luke 1:32).

This Advent and Christmas Time, we too will take the road to Bethlehem. As we anticipate and then celebrate the feast of our Lord’s birth, we will submit ourselves to his reign and allow him to feed us with his Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Advent begins on Sunday, November 28. Get started by clicking the “Register for free” button below. If you don’t already have a LANE account, create one for free. Then check out the OLL Advent retreat and information on participating in the Mass, Adoration, Confession, penance, service, and evangelization. Finally, browse the seasonal resources and choose some for you and your family to use during Advent and Christmas Time.

OLL Advent Retreat

When: Sunday, December 5, from noon to 3 p.m.

Who: All OLL parishioners and their guests are invited to attend. RSVP is required by Sunday, November 28, to Cory Lakatos at clakatos@oll.org or 616-399-1062 ext. 110.

What: A retreat designed for both individuals and families. It will include a meal, activities for adults and children, a service project, prayer, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Where: Meet in the hall at OLL after the 11 a.m. Mass.

Why: Together we will take the road to Bethlehem, preparing our hearts to welcome the child born to be our king and our bread.

Advent by Candlelight

When: Thursday, December 2

Who: All women in our Holland Catholic community are invited to this event. RSVP to the CCCS Mission Effectiveness Committee at ccoffice@dogrschools.org by November 24.

What: There will be dinner, a program, and social time. The event will be preceded by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Where: Corpus Christi Catholic School

Participate in the Mass

Jesus’ birth was his first coming, and we look forward to his second coming. But no less important is his “middle coming” that we experience in his real presence in the Eucharist. Advent and Christmas Time give us an opportunity to refocus on the holy sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and other holy days.

Holy Days of Obligation:

  • First Sunday of Advent: November 28
  • Second Sunday of Advent: December 5
  • Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: Wednesday, December 8 (12 and 6:30 p.m.)
  • Third Sunday of Advent: December 12
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent: December 19
  • Christmas Eve: Friday, December 24 (5 and 10 p.m.)
  • Christmas Day: Saturday, December 25 (10 a.m.)
  • Feast of the Holy Family: Sunday, December 26 (a Christmas Eve/Day Mass does not count for your Sunday obligation)
  • Solemnity of the Mother of God: Saturday, January 1 (the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated this year)
  • Epiphany: Sunday, January 2
  • Baptism of the Lord: Sunday, January 9

Adore Jesus in the Eucharist

During these holy seasons and throughout the year, Adoration extends our worship of our Eucharistic Lord beyond the Mass. It gives us an opportunity to honor him as king and give thanks for the nourishment he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.

Adoration at OLL:

  • Thursday, December 2, 3-9 p.m.
  • Friday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (begins with Mass)
  • Sunday, December 5 (part of the Advent retreat)
  • Thursday, December 9, 3-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 16, 3-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 23, 3-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 30, 3-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 6, 3-9 p.m.
  • Friday, January 7, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (begins with Mass)

Obtain the King’s Pardon in Confession

Advent and Christmas Time remind us of Christ’s first coming as the infant king, but they also direct our attention forward to his second coming as the triumphant king. As we long for his kingdom to come, we realize that we do not always abide by the kingdom’s law of love. Through Confession and penance, we obtain our king’s pardon and reconcile ourselves to his kingdom. When we receive absolution, the Prince of Peace gives us his peace in our hearts.

Confession at OLL:

  • Monday, November 29, 6-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 7, 6-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 16, 6-7 p.m. (during Adoration)
  • Wednesday, December 22, 6-7 p.m.
  • Every Saturday, 9-10 a.m.

Fast to Prepare for the Bread of Life

Advent is sometimes called a “little Lent,” but the December “Christmas season” is often a noisy and overindulgent time in our culture. To better prepare for the Christmas feast, fast and offer personal sacrifices in anticipation of our Lord’s birth.

Some Penitential Options:

  • Abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
  • Fast on Fridays or another day of the week.
  • Wait for Christmas Eve before you eat sweets and other holiday foods.
  • Give up a luxury (food, drink, technology, etc.) in your life and use that time for prayer.
  • Commit to times of silence.

Serve the King and Announce His Reign

With the angels and shepherds we can announce the birth of the king, and with the magi we can hasten to give him our gifts. These actions take the form of evangelization and the works of mercy in our parish and community.

Ways to Serve and Evangelize at OLL:

  • Attend the OLL Advent Retreat on December 5 and participate in the service project.
  • Prison and Jail Ministry Drive: November 27 — December 8
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing: December 11
  • Giving Tree for Resilience: December 11-19
  • Sign up for a parish ministry.
    Participate in a parish guild or group.
  • Volunteer with one of our mission partners.
  • Give to our parish.
  • Invite a friend or family member to Mass or a parish event.
  • Share your faith with someone you know.
Mass on Thanksgiving Day is at 9 a.m. Mass on Friday is cancelled.