Advent is a time of preparation and joyful expectation. In 2023 the First Sunday in Advent is Sunday 3 December.

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.

Advent marks the start of the Church’s liturgical year. In 2023, we enter Cycle B.

Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’. It’s a key time in which we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Lord coming into the world as the incarnate God of love.

Note: This page will be updated with resources and reflections to accompany you through Advent and Christmas.

St Chad's Cathedral Christmas Masses

Cathedral Carol Service: 5pm, Sunday 17 December 

Christmas Vigil Mass: 7.30pm, Sunday 24 December

Midnight Mass and Blessing of the crib: 11.45pm, Sunday 24 December

Christmas Day Masses: 9.30am and 11.30am, Monday 25 December

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Advent Calendars

Prayers, Reflections and Readings

Resources for young people and families



Charitable Appeals


Advent Calendars

CAFOD Advent calendar

The CAFOD 2023 online Advent calendar of daily prayer and reflection will offer an opportunity to pause, reflect, pray and take action as we prepare for Christmas.

Sign up for daily Advent calendar reflections

Kenelm Youth Trust Advent calendar

Free, downloadable calendar for your use.

KYT calendar

Responding to the Call of Creation

12 Days to a Climate Conscious Christmas

Prayers, Reflections and Readings

Advent Readings by Fr Adrian Gaffy

The full presentation of all the Mass readings for Advent with commentary by Fr Adrian Graffy is now available. Reflections on the wonderful collection of Bible readings which we read in the season of Advent. Plus Christmas Readings from the Lectionary.

What Good News - Advent Readings

What Good News - Christmas Readings

Diocesan Deacon publishes latest book on Advent and Christmas

Deacon Sean Loone has released his latest literary work, ‘When Love Came Down – Finding Christ in the Sunday Gospels of Advent and Christmas’.

Profits raised from book sales will benefit the work of the St Vincent de Paul (SVP) group at Deacon Sean’s parish, Our Lady of the Wayside in Shirley.

This book encourages people to spend time lovingly with the scriptures, deepening their relationship with Christ. 

Buy book

Diocesan Vision - the Season of Advent

The Liturgy and Worship Group's video (recorded 2021) on the season of Advent and its importance in our Christian lives.

Diocesan Vision - the Season of Christmas

The Liturgy and Worship Group's video (recorded 2021) on the season of Christmas and the richness it holds.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. It marks the start of the Church’s liturgical year. In 2023, we enter Cycle B.


Liturgy Office of England and Wales - December 2023 - liturgical resources for the days of Advent and Christmas.

Liturgy Office calendar

The God Who Speaks Scripture campaign presents a wealth of resources:

Advent Inspiration and resources for the season of Advent. When we await and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas and also for his Second Coming.

Christmas Celebrate the season of Christmas with us from Christmas day to the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism.

Advent Rosary for Life

Hosted online every Monday evening by the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.

Please join us at 7.45pm any Monday in Advent for our Rosary for Life.  We’ll pray with Mary as she makes her way to Bethlehem carrying our unborn Saviour, and we’ll join with St Joseph, silently protecting Our Lord from the first moment of His conception.  It’s a great way to start your Advent preparations. 
Register for all or some of the events
This year three priests, including Archbishop Leo Cushley, will give their reflection and a blessing on pro-life work:  
1. Monday 4 December - His Grace, Archbishop Cushley
2. Monday 11 December - Fr Gerard Hatton. Fr Gerard is based at St Patrick's parish in Edinburgh and is part of the Edinburgh Oratory Project. 11 December is the vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a major Pro-Life Feast day so Fr Gerard will speak about this.
3. Monday 18 December - Mgr Allan Chambers. Mgr Allan is parish priest of St Mary's, Bathgate and a Vicar General of the Archdiocese.

National Office for Vocation 

2023 Advent Catechesis

This Advent we have put together a resource that was taken from the World Youth Day theme 'Mary arose and went with haste' (Lk 1:39), where Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. This message now carries further as we ourselves prepare for Advent and ponder on the question, Who are we 'called' to bring Jesus to? Just like Mary when she visited Elizabeth, we to can carry Jesus with us to our family members, our friends and those in our communities, bringing Jesus to each of them. 

The Advent Catechesis can be downloaded free and is designed to be used either for personal reflection or in groups throughout Advent. Even if you didn't go on pilgrimage this year, the reflections and questions can help shape prayer and give you time to reflect throughout the Advent Season. 

Download Advent Catechesis

2022 Advent Series - 'As the Light Grows'

Christmas Day: Watch the Christmas Day instalment of our Advent series: 'As The Light Grows'. This week we hear from Fr Philip, who focuses on the Light coming to our world.

"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14)

Fr Philip tells us a beautiful story of a Priest at Christmas!

Week 4: Watch the fourth instalment in our Advent series: 'As The Light Grows'. This week we hear from the Religious of Mary Immaculate Sisters, who focus on the theme of 'LOVE'.

"In Jesus we see the love, compassion, mercy, the seeking heart and the forgiveness of God" - Religious of Mary Immaculate.

Week 3: Watch the third instalment in our Advent series: 'As The Light Grows'. This week we hear from Liam, a Permanent Deacon, who asks us the question: 'What are you waiting for?'

Deacon Liam reflects on Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, "Rejoice Now and begin".

Week 2: Watch the second message in our Advent series 'As The Light Grows'.

This week we hear from Kimberley, a Lay School Chaplain, who speaks to us on the importance of 'PEACE'. We are called to be peacemakers, especially during this time when the whole world needs our prayers. Kimberley focuses on the theme of repentance. ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand'. (Matt 3:2).

Week 1: We begin our Advent Series, 'As The Light Grows', with a message from Jade, Director of Youth 2000.

Jade, on this First Week of Advent, speaks to us on the importance of HOPE. We are called to bring HOPE to our homes and communities this Advent, and Jade prays for an outpouring of HOPE for everyone in this Season of Advent.

CAFOD Advent Prayers

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

Access CAFOD's Advent prayers

Women of the Diocese present Advent Reflections (recorded 2021)

The Women of the Diocese produced a reflection for each Sunday in Advent 2021.

Women of the Diocese Advent Reflections

Walk With Me for Adults

The Advent edition of the Walk with Me journey of prayer.

Advent Gospel Reflections

Journey through the Gospels every day with Bishop Robert Barron. Including the full Gospel reading for each day, daily reflections from Bishop Barron, questions for reflection, and even journal pages for you to write your own reflections.
Free prayer programmes from Hozana

A selection of resources from Hozana, an organisation run by Catholic laypeople with an ecumenical perspective. 

These prayer programmes are audio, written, free and ad-free and include the following:

Audio Advent: Meditations to ignite a spark in your soul! 
Return to Essentials: Advent reflections from Ampleforth Abbey
Learn to Hope with Saint Rita of Cascia to prepare Christmas

Advent with Hozana

Resources for Young People and Families

Keep Watch

The Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT) is hosting a four-part interactive series journeying through Advent.

'Keep Watch' will take place online on Thursday evenings - 30 November, 7, 14 and 21 December in preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Aimed at 16 to 25 year-olds. Talks, discussions, prayer, questions.

Register for Keep Watch


A wealth of resources for liturgies, Advent calendars and World Gifts.

Advent for children

Advent for young people

World Gifts

Bible Society
Brand new resources for 2023 – including two brilliant children’s booklets for both primary and toddler ages with accompanying resources, festive Christmas cards and stickers, and so much more – are waiting to be explored. 

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

Mission Together resources from Missio - engaging and fun resources to help children keep Jesus at the heart of this exciting season. Resources are free to download and include scripture, prayer, craft activities and a call to action.

Including Advent resources, digital advent calendar, Saint Nicholas resources, Epiphany resources.

Mission Together


Music and Video

One Life Music - Full school Advent retreats

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

Online Advent Retreats

CJM Music - Advent Responsorial Psalms

Advent is more than a season of waiting – it is a season of prayerful expectation and anticipation. Through the four weeks of Advent the readings and psalms express the two-fold nature of this profound sense of expectation.

Responsorial Psalms for Advent

Mustard Seeds - Advent Reflections

Supporting the RE Curriculum in Catholic Schools.

Advent Reflections: Four-part series exploring the Season of Advent in collaboration with CJM Music - Stay Awake / John the Baptist / Joy to the World / The Nativity Scene.

Advent Reflections from Mustard Seeds

Christmas 2023 Religious Programming on the BBC

Musical celebration, traditional carols, live worship and spiritual contemplation across TV, BBC iPlayer, Radio and BBC Sounds.

Programming schedule

Charitable Appeals

Pact's Operation Elf

Operation Elf supports parents in prison to give their child a Christmas gift, maintain their identity as a mum or dad, and strengthen family bonds.

Operation Elf

Christian Aid Advent Wreath

Starts Monday 4 December: As we celebrate the coming of the Light of the World by lighting a candle on our Advent Wreaths, join us on our weekly email journey to receive prayerful reflections, stories from Bangladesh and suggestions to maximise your fundraising plans as a church.

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal

CAFOD Advent Appeal 2023

During Advent, as we wait for Christmas and the joy of Jesus’ birth, it’s important to remember that some things can’t wait. For families in Afghanistan, time is running out to get the vital supplies they need to survive the winter.

CAFOD Appeal

JBMS Cristmas Appeal 2023

From the John Bradburne Memorial Society:

As the festive season approaches, we have an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of the Mutemwa community by acquiring a tractor for our 2023 Christmas Appeal.

We understand that these times are challenging for many, yet any contribution, no matter how small, that you can spare during this festive season, would be immensely valued by the Mutemwa community

The John Bradburne Memorial Society was founded as a charity in England in 1995 in order to help support Mutemwa Care Centre in Zimbabwe. It was set up in honour of its late warden, John Bradburne, who spent the last 10 years of his life from 1969 -1979 caring for the leprosy patients of Mutemwa. 

Find out more and donate


St John Henry Newman Parish is hosting an Advent Retreat on Sunday 3 December.

Theme: Miracles and Science.

DYM Advent Retreat: Silent in His Love

Waiting for God during Advent

A weekend retreat organised by the Dominican Youth Movement, Friday 15 to Sunday 17 December, Douai Abbey, Reading.

Talks, meditations, liturgy.

Aimed at students and young professionals aged 18 to 35.

Silent in His Love Retreat

Welcoming the Word - Advent Retreat

An Advent opportunity for prayer, reflection and community. Hosted by the Carmelite Piory, Oxford.

November 26, December 3, 10 and 17 - Four Sundays at 7pm, online.

Welcoming the Word Retreat