Archbishop Eamon Martin has launched the tenth annual online Advent Calendar for the Catholic Church in Ireland. The calendar, hosted on the bishops’ conference online website, features daily video reflections on the Advent season from different members of the Catholic community. Archbishop Martin, who is the Primate of All Ireland, sees Advent as a journey towards Christmas and highlights the importance of themes like waiting, preparation, darkness, light, and the promise of comfort and hope.
This year’s Advent journey takes place against the backdrop of global violence and tragedy, including the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land between Israel and Palestine. The patriarchs and church leaders in Jerusalem have called for a more somber and spiritual approach to the season, in solidarity with those suffering amidst the war. Archbishop Martin encourages people to participate in the Advent Calendar and make small sacrifices to show support for their suffering brothers and sisters.
The Irish bishops’ conference explains that Advent is a time of spiritual preparation, similar to Lent, leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The liturgical color for Advent is purple, indicating its connection to Lent. Archbishop Martin emphasizes the message of hope, promise, and peace that Advent brings, as well as the importance of preparing our hearts for the birth of Christ.
He thanks all the contributors to the Advent Calendar and encourages everyone to embark on their own personal journey towards the joy of Christmas. He urges people to prepare their hearts for the light of Christ and to share the good news of the season with those less fortunate.+
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