As the Advent season unfolds prayers serve as guiding beacons to prepare your heart and home for the arrival of Jesus. With each prayer, you can cultivate a sense of sacred anticipation and draw closer to the true meaning of Christmas. Invite the presence of God into your life this season!
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An Advent Prayer for the Family
Heavenly Father, your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us, a great sign of your love. Guide us as we strive to walk in that love together as a family this Advent. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, bring us closer to each other and to your son. Give us the grace and strength we need every day. Help us to always trust in you. Come, Lord Jesus, lead all people closer to you. Come and dispel the darkness of our world with the light of your love. Amen.
Catholics in many cultures have prayed the Christmas Novena (nine consecutive days of prayer) from December 16-24 as part of their Christmas preparation during the season of Advent. This Advent Novena prayer can be prayed individually, in a small group, or with your family.
Day 1 - December 16: Jesus, Wisdom of God
Bible Verse: "After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers". (Lk 2:46-47)
Prayer: O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily: Come and teach us the way of prudence. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 2 - December 17: Jesus, Lord and Ruler of All
Bible Verse: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me”. (Ex 20: 2-3)
Prayer: O Lord and ruler of the nations, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the law on Mount Sinai: Come and redeem us with our outstretched arm. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 3 - December 18: Jesus, Root of Jesse
Bible Verse: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, a branch that shall grow from its roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall be upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." (Is 11:1-3)
Prayer: O Root of Jesse, the long awaited savior of the Chosen People, before whom kings shall kneel and all shall ask for mercy: Come, make haste and deliver your people. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 4 - December 19: Jesus, Key of David
Bible Verse: "And I will place on his shoulder the key of the House of David; he shall open and none shall shut; and he shall shut and none shall open. And he will become a throne of honor to his father's house". (Is 22:22)
Prayer: O Key of David whose life unlocks for us the promise of eternal life: Come and liberate us, free us from the darkness of sin and the shadow of death. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 5 - December 20: Jesus, Dawn of the East
Bible Verse: "In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the east to the west and there is nothing hid from its heat." (Ps 19:5-7)
Prayer: O Dawn of the East, brightness of the light eternal and Sun of Justice: Come and awaken within us compassion for all who are in need. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 6 - December 21: Jesus, King of the Gentiles
Bible Verse: "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone." (Eph. 2:19-20)
Prayer: O King of Gentiles, the cornerstone that makes all believers one in the household of God: Come and deliver your sons and daughters, whom you have formed from the dust of the earth into the eternal image of God. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 7 - December 22: Jesus, Emmanuel
Bible Verse: "Therefore the Lord will give you a sign. Behold, a maiden shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel." (Isa 7:14)
Prayer: O Emmanuel, God with us, the long awaited savior: Come and save us, give us once more the joy of your compassion and mercy. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 8 - December 23: Jesus, Son of the Most High
Bible Verse: "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Lk 1:32-33)
Prayer: Jesus, Son of the Most High, your birth is the fulfillment of the promises made long ago: Come and empower us to be faithful to our baptismal promises. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
Day 9 - December 24: Jesus, Son of God
Bible Verse: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Lk 1:35)
Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, you bring healing to those who cry out to you in faith, Come and restore your people that we might shine once more in the glory of your name. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
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Advent Prayer by Henri Nouwen
Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'
Awaiting Baby Jesus Advent Prayer
My heart is beating, filled with joy,
awaiting Mary’s baby boy.
For with this child, we embrace
the birth of God’s most precious grace.
Baby Jesus, soon to come!
For us comes the Promised One.
Baby Jesus, God’s own Son,
you will be the Chosen One
to lead our flock into salvation.
Our eternal life awaits.
The birth of Jesus brings us nearer
Heaven’s holy gates.
Sing with joy, and count the days,
for soon to come, the Lord we’ll praise.
Rejoice that Jesus will soon arrive,
the Messiah and our faith alive.
The O Antiphons
We often hear the song “O Come O Come Emmanuel” throughout the Advent season. This song is based off of passages in the Book of Isaiah. There are many different names for the coming Messiah prophesied in this book. And when prayed in the days leading up to Christmas Eve, we call these the O Antiphons.
Bible Verse: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear (Isaiah 11:2-3)
Antiphon: O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!
Bible Verse: but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. (Isaiah 11:4-5)
Antiphon: O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!
Bible Verse: In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10)
Antiphon: O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!
Bible Verse: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Antiphon: O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Bible Verse: But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. (Isaiah 9:1)
Antiphon: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Bible Verse: He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)
Antiphon: O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
Bible Verse: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Antiphon: O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
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