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WASHINGTON—Daily suggestions for prayer, reflection and action during the Advent and Christmas seasons will be available online beginning the first Sunday of Advent, December 2. The content is presented in a clickable calendar format, with each click opening "doors" to a page of suggestions and links for that date.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) provides these online resources, which will be posted at www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/advent/ and www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/christmas/.
New this year are audio retreats in English and Spanish for the four Sundays of Advent and the three Sundays of the Christmas season, which concludes on January 13, 2103, with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
The retreats, produced by Franciscan Media and made possible by funds from the Catholic Communication Campaign, feature music and a Scripture reflection from a different bishop each week. Bishops participating are Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of USCCB; Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, of Anchorage, Alaska; Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City; Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington (English and Spanish); Bishop Fernando Isern of Pueblo, Colorado; auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer of Cincinnati; auxiliary Bishop Bishop José Arturo Cepeda Escobedo of Detroit (English and Spanish); auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares of Phoenix; auxiliary Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama of Atlanta; auxiliary Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha of Newark; and auxiliary Bishop Josu Iriondo of New York. The retreats are hosted by Franciscan Media's Elia Castillo.
A Festival of Lesson and Carols, a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, is also featured for online listening or download. The audio program features music performed by the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
Other resources on the website
include liturgical notes on Advent, a commentary on the proper prayers of the
season from the Roman Missal, a list of recommended holiday-themed movies from
USCCB, and prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.The page also features
printable calendars in English and Spanish with a daily suggestion for a family
activity during Advent and Christmas.
Keywords: USCCB, website, resources, Advent, Christmas, prayer, reflection, retreat, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop John Wester, Bishop Joseph McFadden, Roman Missal, families
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