I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013
sponsored by the Catholic Bloggers Network.
Be sure to visit as many links as possible,
listed at the bottom of this post
I am excited to again participate in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Blog Carnival. Last year, I wrote about how our family strives to live without over consuming all year, which helps us avoid the commercialization of Christmas. This year, I am writing about our new involvement in church ministries will keep us close to God during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
A few months ago, our church hosted a ministry fair, so my husband, myself, and our oldest daughter each signed up for different ministries. My husband had been discerning about the Knights of Columbus, as a way to give back some of the good fortune we have experienced in our lives. He participated in the induction ceremony a couple of weeks ago, so he is looking forward to learning more about how the Knights are involved in our parish, and to participating in service projects and church fundraising events throughout the year.
I have been waiting for my children to reach the age where they could sit quietly during the readings without me next them in the pew so I could serve as a lector. Now that my youngest daughter is five, I decided to put my reading talents to use at mass. My first experience as a lector was exhilarating; I felt the power and Truth of the Word touch my soul as I listened to my fellow lector and to my own voice during the readings. I am grateful for the public speaking ability God granted me, and for the opportunity to use that talent in His service.
Participating as a lector has also pushed me to study the weekly mass readings more closely every week, something I have been trying to do for most of this year, but not succeeding at very often. Now that I am responsible for reading about once a month, I try to spend a little time each week thinking about how the readings are connected to the previous and next weeks’ themes. This will help me prepare to read with understanding and purpose when it is my turn at the ambo. My next lector assignment is during the Christmas season, so I will be paying close attention to the Advent readings in preparation. Look for a future post that is more descriptive of the preparation leading up to and the actual reading experience itself.
My nine-year-old daughter has developed an interest in music and singing, so she joined one of the children’s choirs. Over the summer, she participated in a few of the “anyone can join us” choir sessions to try out the experience. Her first performance with the children’s choir was last week, during the mass for Christ the King. Even though this choir will not sing at mass during Advent, the opportunity has renewed her interest in liturgical songs, especially those used during the Christmas season. We will be singing these songs as a family in the weeks to come while we wait for Christmas to arrive.
Even if you don’t join church ministries this Advent season, there are usually plenty of opportunities to serve the church this time of year, especially as a family. Churches with food pantries may need help sorting the extra donations, or organizing the food for a holiday meal giveaway. Many churches collect gifts for needy families, and need help organizing and distributing those gifts; this is a way to assist in addition to bringing donations. There may also be opportunities to help to decorate the church grounds before Christmas, and remove decorations after. You could also get involved in the church’s efforts to present a live Nativity or a Nativity play.
How will you use your talents to serve the church this Advent? I am also interested in your comments about ministry service throughout the year.
In addition to our new focus on church ministries, we are going to participate in many of the same traditions I have written about in previous years, including making an advent wreath that we can “light” with paper or yarn flames. Here are last year’s wreaths (yes, each of my daughters wanted to make her own).
I have two older blog posts about our daily Advent activities that are focused on faith. You can find the first post here. The second post includes more activities and a list of books we have enjoyed.
I plan to return to regular blogging after the first of the year. In the meantime, I hope you will read some of the carnival links posted below.
Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool Living Advent Series 12/1 - 12/25
Fifth of Five Keeping Christ in Christmas - Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam The Light of Hope
Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition
Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home: Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH
Canadian Catholic Mom Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception
Adoro Ergo Sum: How We Keep Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9 Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child
Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts 10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent
Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins
Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas
Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas
Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager
Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season
Homeschooling With Joy Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique's Desk Keeping Christ in Christmas