Advent and Christmas Traditions Around the World

By Monique Sammut | December 18, 2017

Many Countries, Many Traditions Advent and Christmas are exiting times of year in any country.  Depending on what part of the world they are celebrated, however, there are many different traditions that are observed.  It would be impossible to cover every tradition extensively, but a few are mentioned here.  Any tradition from any country could … Continue reading “Advent and Christmas Traditions Around the World”

The ‘O Antiphons’ – Preparing for Christmas

By Monique Sammut | December 17, 2017

Origins of the ‘O Antiphons’ The ‘O Antiphons’ have been present in the Church since around the 8th century.  They are typically said in the context of the Liturgy of the Hours.  They can, however, be prayed by families and meditated on by anyone.  There are seven antiphons beginning on December 17 and ending on … Continue reading “The ‘O Antiphons’ – Preparing for Christmas”

Violet and Rose: The Colors of Advent

By Monique Sammut | December 15, 2017

Four Sundays – Two Colors Advent is a time of preparation leading up to Christmas.  Every liturgical season has its own color and Advent is no exception.  There are two main colors of Advent – violet and rose.  Each of the four weeks of Advent, beginning with the Sunday, has a corresponding color.  The first … Continue reading “Violet and Rose: The Colors of Advent”

Saint Lucy: Let Your Light Shine

By Monique Sammut | December 13, 2017

Who is Saint Lucy? Much of what we know of Saint Lucy is buried in legend.  It is very hard to tell what is true and what is not.  Lucy was a Christian from Syracuse, Sicily.  She lived with her mother, Eutychia, since her father died when she was young.  Her family was supposedly wealthy … Continue reading “Saint Lucy: Let Your Light Shine”

The Advent Calendar: Counting Down the Days

By Monique Sammut | December 10, 2017

Waiting in Hope Waiting is hard.  Very hard.  Even the most patient person can have trouble enduring suspense and expectation for a long period of time.  So why does the Church give us about four weeks when the sole focus is – waiting?  Advent is a time when we wait, prepare, and look forward to … Continue reading “The Advent Calendar: Counting Down the Days”

The Immaculate Conception: Full of Grace

By Monique Sammut | December 7, 2017

“Hail Mary, Full of Grace” The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics believe this feast celebrates Jesus’ conception through the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary.  However, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Mary’s conception in the … Continue reading “The Immaculate Conception: Full of Grace”

The Advent Wreath: Light in Darkness

By Monique Sammut | December 3, 2017

A Tradition Begins A popular Advent tradition among both Catholics and Christians is that of the Advent Wreath.  It is a simple but beautiful way to capture the meaning and symbolism of Advent.  The tradition of using an Advent Wreath originated in pre-Christian times.  People would light candles during the winter in the absence of … Continue reading “The Advent Wreath: Light in Darkness”

The Season of Advent: Waiting in Hope

By Monique Sammut | December 1, 2017

Waiting in Silence Advent is a liturgical season consisting of four Sundays leading up to Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve.  It is an Old English word coming from the Latin adventus (arrival) or advenire (to come).  It is a special time dedicated to the remembrance of Jesus’ coming as a baby over 2,000 years … Continue reading “The Season of Advent: Waiting in Hope”

Saint Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus

By Monique Sammut | November 29, 2017

Saint Nicholas in a Nutshell Saint Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara (modern day Turkey) into a wealthy, Christian family.  When Nicholas was still very young, his parents died of an epidemic.  He then sold his inheritance to help the poor and the suffering. Nicholas became the bishop of Myra (also modern … Continue reading “Saint Nicholas: The Real Santa Claus”

The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe

By Monique Sammut | November 26, 2017

The Liturgical Year Ends The Solemnity of Christ the King is the final Sunday of the liturgical calendar – the last Sunday of Ordinary Time.  The season of Advent begins the following Sunday.  In the Catholic Church it is a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation and priests wear white. The purpose of this … Continue reading “The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe”