Advent is a time of preparation and joyful expectation.

As we prepare for the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, these weeks provide a wonderful opportunity to slow down and reflect.

We look forward to the coming of Christ: celebrating His birth, His renewed coming into our lives this Christmas, especially through the Eucharist, and His second coming at the end of time. This page will be updated with resources and reflections to accompany you through Advent and Christmas.

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Advent Calendars

Prayers and Reflections

Resources for young people and families

Parishes

Music

When Christmas is difficult

Charitable Appeals


Advent Calendars

National Office for Vocations Advent Calendar

A Video Advent Calendar that runs from the 1st Sunday of Advent through to the Feast of The Holy Family.  There are 29 different videos one shown each day with peoples' messages on the importance of ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’.

Keep Christ in Christmas - Advent Calendar

CAFOD Advent calendar

Daily prayer and reflection.

Online Advent calendar

Family Advent Box

An amazing alternative to an advent calendar, the Family Advent Box provides all the ingredients for a meaningful, memory making, relationship building family Christmas that will be fun for all (for purchase).


God Who Speaks - Traditional Advent Resources

Celebrate the season of Advent in your home with these services and resources including the Advent Wreath and Jesse tree.


Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference

The Advent Calendar for 2021 will go live on the First Sunday of Advent, 28 November.



Prayers and Reflections

Daily Advent Emails - Reflecting on the Synod

Running from 12-26 December. We hope that the Archdiocese of Birmingham's daily Advent emails will help you to understand, to pray into, and reflect on the Synod that Pope Francis has called us to participate in.

Each daily email will be made up of a short excerpt on the Synod, followed by questions and prayers to encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit's voice in your life and in the life of the Church.

Sign up for Advent Emails

Dreaming with Joseph this Christmas: On Dreaming in a Time of Crisis

Part of the God Who Speaks.

Part 1- Professor David McLoughlin takes a closer look at St Joseph's background and story.

Dreaming with Joseph Part One

Part 2 - Professor David McLoughlin continues his reflections on the life of St Joseph and the lessons we can learn from him.

Dreaming with Joseph Part Two

Christmas: The Lord who enters his Temple

Part of the resources from the God Who Speaks.

Why wasn’t Jesus born in the Temple? Fr Michael Hall shows us the expected in the unexpected this Christmas with a richer understanding of the Scriptures, and where God reveals his holiness and glory in a new light.

The Lord who Enters His Temple

Commandment 9: Let the child make all things new (The New Creation)

"Restoring, renewing and preserving the Creation is fundamental to establishing the Kingdom on earth."

These opening words of Margaret Barker's short article are written to make us sit up and pay attention. COP26 - whatever our opinion about its successes and failures - has passed into history. But the challenge to "Restore, renew and preserve" God's creation should be a constant desire of Catholic Christians. This is no new thing.

Yes, Pope Francis spoke eloquently about it in Laudato Si. But so had Pope Benedict (Section 51 of Caritas in Veritate) and Pope John Paul (Section 80 of Veritatis Splendor).

Margaret will show us how the renewal of creation is a theme which runs throughout the Scriptures. But the heart of that renewal is God placing himself into the heart of his Creation by being born in human flesh.

Strictly speaking, of course, this starts at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary conceives in her heart and in her womb. But God's presence is made manifest in the mystery of the Nativity.

The one who makes all things new is the one who lay in the manger, the one who fed at Mary's breast.

The New Creation

CAFOD Advent Prayers

Pray and reflect with CAFOD this Advent during this season of preparation, hope and expectation ahead of Christmas.

CAFOD Advent prayers

God Who Speaks - Making Room for God

In the midst of all the preparation and busyness this Christmas, take some time out to create space for the sacred. Try out the God Who Speaks new 'Room for God' resource.

Making room for God this Christmas

Advent Bible series

Catholic speaker Mauro Iannicelli (Come & See Catholic Evangelisation Ministries) will break-open the forthcoming Advent Sunday Gospels with in-depth teaching and stimulating questions. As a result, you will experience Sunday Mass in a new way!

Five Wednesdays: 24 November, 1 December, 8 December, 15 December, 22 December. 7 - 8pm UK time.

Free of Charge. Live sessions on YouTube.

Information and registration

Advent Weekend Retreat 26-28 November

Hosted by The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality, Carmelite Priory, Oxford.

Enlarge the space of your Heart: Cultivating Friendship through Prayer.

We invite you to join us on our residential Advent weekend retreat with Fr Matt Blake, OCD.

Enrol on retreat

Walk with Me - A Journey of Prayer for Advent 2021

Produced by Alive Publishing with an introduction from Archbishop Bernard Longley.

Walk with Me is a prayer and scripture journey for the season, available as an A6 booklet.

Available in parishes across the Archdiocese or directly from Alive Publishing.

Walk with Me

Women of the Diocese present Advent Reflections

The Women of the Diocese have produced a reflection for each Sunday in Advent. The reflection will also be available on the Women of the Diocese Facebook page and Friday prayer email.

The first Sunday reflection focuses on HOPE with scripture readings, music and reflections.

Women of the Diocese Advent Reflections

Resources for Young People and Families

CAFOD Advent resources for young people

Resources for Advent, including our Advent calendar and classroom liturgy. 

Advent resources for young people

Advent resources for children

God Who Speaks: The Christmas Story in plain English

A Christmas story resource designed for children who prefer the Bible in plain English words and pictures.

The God Who Speaks: Top Ten Nativity Animal Paintings
No manger is complete without its donkey, ox and sheep. So here we've gathered together our favourite Nativity animal images for you to enjoy.

Celebrate Christmas with Bible Society!

Discover Bible Society's Christmas booklets, animations, stickers, gifts and more.


God Who Speaks: The Christmas Donkey

A new and interactive way to tell the Christmas story.

The Christmas Donkey

The Advent Feast

The Advent Feast is very loosely based on the Jewish Passover Meal, which is a wonderful example of how faith and teachings are kept alive in the family.

This has enabled the Jews to hold onto their faith throughout even the most difficult of situations. As Christians we share their great inheritance, and the stories of the Scriptures are our own story too. One of the difficulties we have in western culture, is that often we only reflect on our faith when we are in religious settings such as in a Church.

This has been a problem for us during the pandemic when church attendance has been so challenging. It would be helpful for us to return to a tradition of family celebrations which focus on the values and beliefs which are central to our lives. Drawing on these ideas, here is a format for an Advent Feast. It is first and foremost a family meal and not a religious service!

It has elements to keep younger children happy but is intended to also be suitable for adults. The meal should be relaxed but have a sense of occasion and importance. All the instructions for how to put on the meal are included in the booklet.

The Advent Feast - Booklet


Family friendly reflections

A family friendly series of reflections for Sundays during Advent, written by a parishioner in Solihull.

Family reflections

[email protected]! Family pack

Everything in this pack is designed to help you connect with God, your family and others.

[email protected]!


Parishes

CAFOD Parish Fundraising for Advent

Fundraise with your parish this Advent (in person or online) and give comfort and hope to families around the world.


Advent Evening of Renewal

Hosted by Birmingham Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference, in person and online event. Tuesday 7 December.



Music

One Life Music - Full school Advent retreats

These retreats are a wonderful way to prepare during this truly blessed time of expectant waiting. 

Full school Advent retreats


CJM Music - Advent Responsorial Psalms

Responsorial Psalms for Advent, Year C.

CJM Music resources



When Christmas is Difficult

God Who Speaks - Soul to Soul

We know that Christmas can be a difficult time for many and so we wanted to repost this resource from earlier in the year, in the hope that it can be helpful to you or somebody you know at this time.

Soul to Soul



Charitable Appeals

As churches prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, Covid has left pregnant mothers in Bethlehem today wondering how they can afford their medical care.

Ecumenical charity Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) has launched an Advent Appeal to help mothers pay for their maternal healthcare and we are appealing to churches to support us as Bethlehem approaches its second Christmas with very few visitors.

Friends of the Holy Land appeal