Give Your Spouse a Happier Marriage for Christmas!
Advent, that time of the year where our focus is upon the upcoming celebration
of the birth of Christ. It’s a time for a bit of penance and a lot of love. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the purposes of marriage as, "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring;…” (CCC, 1610). What
could possibly be the greatest good we want for our spouse than their salvation?
How about giving your spouse a “merrier marriage” this Christmas by growing in spiritual intimacy with one another?
This guide can help you do that. Each week will focus on the Sunday Liturgy by taking parts of the Sunday Mass into each day of the week. There will be a reading with which to pray or a prayer from the Mass, and an action item. Consider it as a Benedictine exercise for your marriage; ora et labora, prayer and work. I hope it will do what its purpose is, give you a merrier marriage for Christmas. Benedicite!
Before The First Sunday of Advent
Blessing of the Advent Wreath
You are most likely aware of the meaning and purpose of the Advent Wreath but here’s a refresher. “Wreaths symbolize eternity because they are in circular form, without a beginning or an end, so to speak. Before Christ came, wreaths had long been in use as symbols of fertility, victory, and the like. The first Christians kept the habit of adornment with wreaths but with more significance than ever, as various
kinds came to represent the various aspects of the Christian life and the life of Our Lord and His Mother: The evergreen for eternity because it lasts so long without withering [fidelity and God unchanging], the holly and ivy symbolize the Passion, and the pomegranate which symbolizes the Church, because of the fruit’s almost countless seeds, and for the hope we place in the Resurrection. A special form of wreath is the Advent Wreath, lit each evening by a designated member of the
The father or someone taking his place if he cannot be there, reads the blessing, before the first purple candle is lit:
BLESSING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
Father: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who hath made Heaven and earth.
Father: Let us pray.
O God, by Whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ Our Lord.
The father or leader can read the Collect for the first week, then holds up the youngest child to light the first candle, which is also lighted all through the week when the family gathers in the room with the wreath. Two candles are lighted by the oldest child the second week, three the third by the mother, four the fourth by the father. Each week the Collect from the Sunday Liturgy is read as the candles are lighted.
Once your Advent Wreath is blessed you are ready to begin the Advent Reflections.