Morning everyone! I'm feeling pretty chipper today, which is surprising given that Anne didn't sleep all that well. She's been doing better overall, but last night just wasn't a good night for her. There was a "MONSTER IN MY ROOM!" incident, but I think that happened only because her mouth was bothering her and she couldn't sleep. She's getting a molar, and clearly wasn't feeling great, poor babe.
Besides that one wakeup, Mike and I slept well, although Anne woke up with a super sour expression on her little face. :) I downed a few cups of coffee and was ready for the day, so all is right with the world.
I've been thinking about Advent a lot this week, and I'm sure the thought has crossed all of your minds as well, since it will begin just over two weeks from now. This coming weekend is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, followed by the Feast of Christ the King the next, then BAM! The First Sunday of Advent. :) Hence, we need to start planning...NOW!
I treat Advent very much like Lent. It's a season of waiting, of expectation, not yet a time of celebration. And I like to have a spiritual plan for it. I try not to be TOO ambitious, in such a way that it's doubtful I'll be able to stick to The Plan for the entirety of the liturgical season. In recent years, I've tried to really tailor The Plan to my current responsibilities and lifestyle and make it doable. So here goes. :)
(1) I'd like to use my Divine Office app as much as I can. I'm aiming for Morning and Evening Prayer each day, but I recognize that I may not always get to it. That's ok, but the goal is to always get back on the horse and start praying again. I'm absolutely loving this app, so I'm optimistic on this one.
(2) The Magnificat Advent Companion. Here is my lovely print copy:
You can also download the Advent Companion for I believe 99 cents on Amazon. There are meditations for each day, special prayers for blessing your Advent wreath and tree, Advent Stations of the Cross, all kinds of Catholic goodness in there.
So, the Divine Office app and the Magnificat, those are the two things are that I will focus on daily. For weekly items, we have:
(3) Mass and adoration. As much as I love daily Mass, it's just not feasible with my current schedule and responsibilities to my job and family. But during Advent, maybe I can squeeze an extra Mass in (in addition to Sunday) once or twice per week? That is a feasible goal. The semester will end during Advent, so the parking situation, and my meeting schedule, eases, and thus getting to work 15 minutes or so later than usual will not be a problem. And I would LOVE to find a way to get to adoration once per week. We'll see how this goes, but this will be my aspirational goal for Advent. :)
I also love to fill my Advent with traditional items like Advent calendars and a family Advent wreath. Of course, I will take pictures of this year's installment to post here. :) Henry has a Lego Advent calendar, and both children are getting chocolate ones. I'm ordering a print one as our "main" Advent calendar, and this is the one I have picked:
I also got turned on to Advent music last year:
I listened to this album on Spotify last year, but I think this year I'm planning to buy it. I actually have the old fashioned CD in my Amazon cart since that way I can listen to it easily in the car if I forget my iPod (yes, my car has a CD player, it's old fashioned just like I am :0) plus have the digital files.
Oh, oh, oh! I just saw this last night on my Facebook feed: if you're a fan of nuns and sacred music, the wonderful Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (my favorite nuns EVER) have a new album out:
I'm planning on procuring it. :) I have their 2013 album, Mater Eucharistiae, and just love it. This will make a beautiful Advent addition to use as we pray our rosary.
So, what are your Advent plans, dear reader? Please do detail in the comments. :) And I do mean detail, I'm a detail-oriented kind of gal. :0 Let's get specific here, people!