Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent Feast Days 2015: Feast of the Immaculate Conception, St. Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucy and "O" Antiphons!

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Last week was a big week for celebrating some fun and faith-filled feast days during this Advent season.  We haven't always celebrated so many feast days during this time of year or other times, but for the past 15 years we have gradually added new liturgical feast day celebrations as our family learns about them or if I feel inspired to "copy" fun ideas. :)  Sometimes we have celebrated with other families and friends, while many times it is just with our family.

On December 6, we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas, which is always a fun tradition for our family.

On December 8, we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This is the day in the liturgical calendar that we celebrate when Mary was conceived without original sin in Saint Anne's wombMany are mistaken and think this is the day Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb, but that is not correct.  It is 9 months from today, September 8, when we celebrate our Blessed Mother's birthday in the Church.
We had a "white" themed lunch in honor of Mary's purity. This is a tradition we just started last year.  We ate our chicken alfredo (bought from Costco), salad with Ranch dressing and vanilla ice cream during my husband's lunch break so he could join us and because we had a busy evening with Mass and choir practice for my daughters.  On our Advent Tree we hung the 3-D ornament of St. Anne holding Mary in her womb made by Lacy at Catholic Icing and Kristen at Drawn 2B Creative and we also hung our Advent ornament of the Immaculate Conception that I printed out and made from Jennifer at Catholic Inspired.

We also watched a favorite CCC of America DVD called Bernadette-The Princess of Lourdes.  
See below for an explanation from the CCC of America website about the graces this beautiful young girl received from God and our Blessed Mother in 1858...

It’s February 11, 1858. Three girls from Lourdes, France, gather firewood in front of a grotto. Suddenly one of them, Bernadette Soubirous, 14, drops to her knees, gazes ecstatically at something beautiful only she can see, and starts to pray. Soon the town buzzes: Has Bernadette, poor, sickly, and always behind in school, really seen a Lady from Heaven? The police chief is angry, the pastor busy, and the crowd amused, but Bernadette is calm and brave. Then a spring bubbles up from nowhere and withered arms and sightless eyes are cured. At last, the Lady tells Bernadette her name: “I am The Immaculate Conception.”
BERNADETTE, THE PRINCESS OF LOURDES, is the exciting true story of a visit by the Queen of Heaven that left all the world a source of health for body and soul.

Here is a short video with Father Barron talking about Saint Bernadette and the Immaculate Conception while visiting Lourdes, France:

December 9 is Saint Juan Diego's feast day, the peasant man who received the miraculous image our Our Lady of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his tilma.  More about him and St. Juan Diego resources on my post from 2014. 

December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is another fun feast day we try to celebrate each year!

To learn more about this miraculous event that happened in December 1531, there are many resources to use. One DVD that I just discovered is Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message.  Watching this DVD is a great way to start learning more about Our Lady of Guadalupe.   Be sure to check out my review that I posted about the film.

On the evening before December 12, I set up an Our Lady of Guadalupe poster, candles, Our Lady of Guadalupe book, Our Lady of Guadalupe Shining Light Doll and our Wandering Wisemen and camel stopped in.  We left this display up during the day on December 12 and enjoyed reading the Our Lady of Guadalupe book that my children got on St. Nicholas' feast day

Then in the evening on December 12, we had a Mexican potluck dinner with friends at our friend's home. 

We were able to see our parish decorated with the Our Lady of Guadalupe image, beautiful roses and lit candles on Sunday.  We didn't get to the early morning Mass and procession on December 12, but maybe one year our family will take part in the festive occasion!

December 13 is the feast day of Saint Lucy and we hung our St. Lucy ornament on our Advent tree and cooked a pastry filled with cream cheese (that was a frozen bread) and we read Lucia: Saint of Light, which is a beautiful book!  

Whew!  It's been a whirlwind of feast days this past week and celebrating them in simple and fun ways is a great way to focus on the Advent season as we prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth!

December 17-23 are called the "O" Antiphon Days as explained by Jennifer at Family in Feast and Feria.   A few years ago we made an "O" Antiphon Lapbook with my children to learn more about these special days leading up to Christmas Day.  We'll be pulling out these lapbooks to use for this year.

May the rest of your Advent season be blessed!


Billie Jo said...

Such beautiful, inspirational celebrations!
Thank you for sharing....
I will save these for next year!
Have a blessed remainder of the season, my friend!!!

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