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WASHINGTON (November 18, 2010) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is continuing its tradition of providing online resources for the Advent and Christmas seasons with suggestions for daily prayer, reading, reflection and action.
As a special spiritual gift this season, USCCB is providing a downloadable book of scriptural reflections for Advent and Christmas featuring the words of Pope Benedict XVI from his homilies, speeches and other addresses during his papacy.
The 37-page document includes a scripture quote and a reflection from the Holy Father for every day of Advent, which begins on Sunday, November 28, through the seventh day in the Octave of Christmas, December 31. "Advent & Christmas with Pope Benedict XVI" is a preview of the upcoming Vatican publication "A Year with Pope Benedict XVI," which will be available from USCCB.
“This has become one of the more popular features on the bishops’ website,” said Helen Osman, secretary of communications for USCCB. “It is a great one-stop resource for families and individuals seeking ways to enter more deeply into the spirit of the Advent and Christmas seasons.”
Other material highlighted in the interactive online Advent and Christmas calendars is from the Vatican publication “Advent and Christmas with the Church Fathers” and “Reflections on Advent and Christmas: Cultivating the Gift of Self,” new releases which are available from USCCB. A Festival of Lesson and Carols, which is a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, can be heard live online or downloaded for later listening. The audio program features music performed by the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The USCCB Advent/Christmas website also features videos in which Catholics discuss their favorite Old Testament stories, passages and characters.
Other resources on the website include a list of recommended holiday-themed movies, prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, and suggestions for remembering the immigrants and the poor throughout the season.
The Advent/Christmas site (http://www.usccb.org/advent/) was created by the USCCB Department of Communications with funding from the Catholic Communication Campaign.
Keywords: Advent, Christmas, calendar, Helen Osman, USCCB Department of Communications, Catholic Communication Campaign, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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