December Parish Prayer Day for Marriage and Family Life
Proposed Theme: A child is born for us
Sunday 20th December 2020
As we prepare for another twenty-four hours of Continuous Prayer for Marriage & Family Life this Sunday, our focus is Christmas. Thank you for your efforts to keep this prayer going. And as we pray it is very important to remember that God does not need our prayer in order to bless Marriage and Family Life. It is we, who need this prayer so as to keep these vital parts of our faith and human life at the forefront of our attention and hope. This year Christmas is going to be very different. Some people will hear that statement as saying that it could be a disaster! Hopefully, it can be heard as a call to make it even better than ever because of the focus on our family life. Everyone is invited to join in this prayer, either by taking on an hour, or by including this intention in your own prayer during that day and including it in the prayers of the Masses celebrated on that day. Please pray for all the parishes that take part in this important venture month by month. May God bless you and all your loved ones. May God keep you and them and all our parishioners safe from the effects of Covid-19. And may Advent be a time of renewed hope with Christ at the centre of our faith.
The Joy of Love – Pope Francis
Every family should look to the icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Its daily life had its share of burdens and even nightmares, as when they met with Herod’s implacable violence………. Like the Magi, our families are invited to contemplate the Child and his Mother, to bow down and worship him. Like Mary they are asked to face their family’s challenge with courage and serenity, in good times and in bad, and to keep in their heart the great things God has done. (30)
Family prayer is a special way of expressing and strengthening this paschal faith. A few minutes can be found each day to come together before the living God, to tell God our worries, to ask for the needs of our family, to pray for someone experiencing difficulty, to ask for help in showing love, to give thanks for life and its blessings, and ask Our Lady to protect us beneath her maternal mantle. (318)
- Christmas is very much centre stage all through the month of December.
- This is true commercially and it is true from the point of view of our Christian faith.
- This year, 2020, the big question people are asking is can we have Christmas at all this year. They are mostly thinking about the commercial Christmas and that is not looking too good. The Christian Christmas still looks as good as ever, even if in very different circumstances.
- Sometimes people say that Christmas is for children. This could not be further from the truth.
- Rather Christmas is the time when we are taught by children.
- First of all, we are taught by the child born in Bethlehem, Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Mary. He teaches us the most important message for human life, namely the wonderful love that God has for us and for all human beings.
- Secondly Christmas is a time when children teach us the important things of our own lives.
- They teach us that our family life is the most important thing of all as we prepare for this great feast.
- They teach us the importance of joy in our homes as they laugh and look forward to, not just Santa, but also to the Crib
- They teach us the importance of a sense of wonder about the mystery of life as their eyes open wide with wonder at everything during this time.
- They teach us the importance of love and affection by their hugs and kisses
- They teach us a sense of adventure as they live this season with freshness and with expectation.
- And they teach us the importance of taking time with one another and not just giving things to one another.
And Christmas itself is celebrated around the Crib where Jesus Mary and Joseph are presented to us as the very core of this very special event. This is followed up by the feast of the Holy Family, giving us an opportunity to consecrate our family to them and set out to become an ever-greater family through our love for one another and for our God who loves us so much.
- What are some of your best memories of Christmas as you grew up? This is for parents to share with their children
- What are some of the things you would like to do this Christmas as a family? This is for children to share with their parents.
- How could you use Advent/December to prepare yourselves as a family for Christmas this year?
- How could you, as a family, help to bring joy to other people in your parish and beyond during this season of Advent and Christmas?