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1st Sunday of Advent

The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian liturgical year, and on the 1st Sunday of Advent, Christians worldwide celebrate the anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ into our world. It is a time of spiritual reflection, preparation, and renewal, as we await the birth of Christ and reflect on the transformative power of his arrival.

The readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent vary depending on the year, but they all share a common theme of readiness, urging us to prepare our hearts and minds for the new life that is to come.

Here, you will find a collection of resources, including themes, homilies, games, lesson plans, and more for the 1st Sunday of Advent, as well as the Mass readings for Year A, Year B, and Year C.

Mass Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A

See resources, homilies, and more for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A readings here.

  • First Reading Isaiah 2:1-5: A prophetic vision of the future where all nations will come to worship God on his holy mountain. The passage speaks of an era of peace and unity where weapons of war will be turned into tools for agriculture and all people will live according to God's teachings.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 122: This psalm expresses the joy and anticipation of going to worship God in the holy city of Jerusalem, which is seen as a symbol of unity for all the tribes of Israel. The psalmist prays for peace and prosperity in Jerusalem, and expresses a desire to see God's blessings upon the city and its people.
  • Second ReadingRomans 13:11-14: Christians should live in a way that is appropriate for those who are followers of Christ, awakening from spiritual sleep and putting on the armor of light. The passage reminds believers to reject sinful behaviors and desires and to instead live in a way that reflects the teachings of Jesus.
  • GospelMatthew 24:37-44: Jesus warns to his disciples about the need to remain vigilant and prepared for his eventual return, which will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Jesus likens his return to the story of Noah and the flood, emphasizing the importance of being ready for his arrival at any moment.

Mass Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year B

See resources, homilies, and more for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year B readings here.

  • First ReadingIsaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7: The prophet cries out to God on behalf of the people of Israel, acknowledging God's power and past deeds on their behalf, while also confessing their sins and asking for forgiveness. The passage reflects the Israelites' longing for God's mercy and redemption, as they recognize their unworthiness and their need for God's grace.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 80: A prayer asking God to turn his face towards his people and save them from their troubles. The psalmist seeks God's help and protection, recognizing the need for divine intervention to bring about restoration and renewal.
  • Second Reading1 Corinthians 1:3-9: Paul offers a greeting to the church in Corinth, expressing thankfulness for their faith in Jesus Christ and the spiritual gifts that God has given them. He encourages them to persevere in their faith, reminding them that God is faithful and will strengthen them until the end.
  • GospelMark 13:33-37: Jesus instructs his disciples to stay alert and watchful, emphasizing the need to be prepared for his return at any moment. He uses the analogy of a master who goes on a journey and leaves his servants in charge, urging them to be ready for his unexpected arrival.

Mass Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C

See resources, homilies, and more for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C readings here.

  • First ReadingJeremiah 33:14-16: A prophetic vision of a time when God will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel, and raise up a righteous descendant of King David to reign over them. The passage emphasizes God's faithfulness to his promises and his desire to bring about redemption and renewal for his people.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 25: A prayer of trust and dependence on God, as the psalmist seeks guidance and direction in following God's ways. The passage reflects a desire to grow in wisdom and righteousness, acknowledging God's goodness and faithfulness towards those who keep his covenant.
  • Second Reading1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2: Paul urges the Thessalonian believers to increase in love for one another and to live in a way that pleases God. He encourages them to continue following the teachings they received from him and to avoid immoral behavior, reminding them that they are called to holiness and purity as followers of Christ.
  • GospelLuke 21:25-28, 34-36: Jesus speaks about the signs of the end times, warning his disciples of the coming of difficult and tumultuous events. He instructs them to be watchful and prayerful, living in a way that is pleasing to God and being ready for his return. The passage emphasizes the need for preparedness and faithfulness in the face of adversity.

Advent Ideas for the 1st Sunday of Advent

Have an Advent Prayer Service

The 1st Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year, marking the start of a season of preparation and anticipation for the coming of Jesus Christ. A simple Advent prayer service is a great way for families to gather and reflect on the meaning of the season together. This can include reading scripture, offering petitions, and saying traditional prayers like the Hail Mary. By taking time to focus on the love and grace of Jesus, families can prepare their hearts for the coming of the Prince of Peace, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah.

Make a Jesse Tree

The tradition of the Jesse tree is a wonderful way to connect the stories of the Bible with the coming of Jesus Christ during the season of Advent. The readings and symbols on the tree show the lineage of Jesus, reminding us that he is part of our salvation history and that God has been working throughout time to bring about our redemption.

This is especially relevant on the 1st Sunday of Advent when we begin our journey of preparation and anticipation for the coming of Christ. The Jesse tree helps us to focus on this journey of preparation, reminding us that the true joy of Christmas comes from the love and grace of God, and not just from the celebration itself. By reflecting on the stories of the Bible and preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ, we can deepen our faith and grow closer to God during this holy season.

Set Up an Advent Table

Setting up an Advent table is a wonderful way to keep the focus on the true meaning of the season and to observe the 1st Sunday of Advent. The table can serve as a visual reminder of the preparations needed to welcome the coming of Christ, as well as an opportunity to gather together as a family or youth group to reflect on the meaning of the season.

Including items such as the Advent wreath, Jesse tree, and a family Bible can help to ground us in the traditions of the Church, while candles and a charity collection jar can remind us to reach out to others during this time of year. By lighting the Advent wreath each day and writing down good deeds done during Advent, families and youth groups can keep track of their progress as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

More Advent Ideas

Discover a variety of Advent activities, prayer services, and lesson plans that are relevant to the 1st Sunday of Advent and can be applied throughout the Advent season, all aimed at inspiring families and youth groups to prepare themselves for the coming of Christ.

These engaging activities include making a Jesse tree, setting up an Advent table, performing acts of charity, and visiting the elderly, while the lesson plans offer insightful reflections on St. John the Baptist, Our Blessed Mother, and the second coming of Christ. By utilizing these resources, individuals can shift their focus away from the worldly distractions of the holiday season and instead, cultivate a heart ready for the arrival of Christ.

More About Lectionary Cycles

Learn more about the difference between a Bible and a Lectionary, how the Lectionary is arranged, and translations of the Bible used at Mass on the 1st Sunday of Advent.

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