Letter from Bishop Robert Muench to
People of God of the Diocese of Baton Rouge
January 2015 Annual Priests' Formation Days
World Meeting of Families
Philadelphia, PA, 2015
September 22-27, 2015
November 30 - December 24
The liturgical color for Advent is purple, just like Lent—as both are seasons that prepare us for great feast days. Also Advent (like Lent) includes an element of penance in the sense of preparing, quieting and disciplining our hearts for the full joy of Christmas. This penitential dimension is expressed through the color purple, but also through the restrained manner of decorating the church and altar: "During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this time of year, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord…[also] the use of the organ and other musical instruments should be marked by a [similar] moderation…" (GIRM n. 305 and n. 313)
The third Sunday of Advent is called "Gaudete" Sunday (coming from the first word of the Latin Entrance Antiphon for this day, meaning "Rejoice") and the liturgical color may be rose instead of purple. This is the Church's way of further heightening our expectation as we draw ever nearer the Solemnity of Christmas.
December 24 - January 11
click here for Christmas Season Calendar
A Christmas Prayer
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate Your birth,
may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding You give us.
As You chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor
to receive the greatest news the world had ever known,
so may we worship You in meekness of heart.
Lord Jesus, help us by Your grace to remember our brothers and sisters
less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.
"Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive presents that demand time and money.
We can transmit this joy simply:
with a smile, with a kind gesture, with some small help, with forgiveness.
Let us give this joy and the joy given will be returned to us."
—Pope Benedict VXI, Homily at Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2005