Nightly Prayer: Joy
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Leader: Come Holy Spirit! In this third week of Advent, we ask You to fill our hearts with joy as we prepare for Jesus, who is coming soon!
All: Come, Lord Jesus.
Family member lights the first and second purple, as well as the rose candle.
Leader: Lord, as we journey closer to Christmas, center our joyful anticipation on Jesus’ coming. Of course You know that we are excited about gifts, decorations, gatherings, and treats. Let all of these passing joys point us toward the unending joy that we find in knowing and loving Jesus.
All: Come, Lord Jesus.
Leader: Lord, as we joyfully look forward to Christmas, guard us against worry, stress, and unnecessary obligations. Help us clear out whatever busyness distracts us from Jesus or steals our joy. Give us clear eyes and hearts so that, without distractions, we might joyfully prepare for Jesus’ birth.
All: Fill our hearts with hope, peace, and joy! Amen.
The third candle is rose colored and is the “Candle of Joy.” It recalls the joy we have in knowing, loving, and following Christ – no material possession or gift can take the place of the joy we have in friendship with Jesus.
- How is Joy different from happiness? Can you recall a time in your life when you experienced great joy despite difficult circumstances?
- Why is joy one of the themes of Advent? How do we joyfully anticipate Christ coming? How might we keep our hearts focused toward the true source of Christmas joy?
- How might we share joy with others, particularly with those who may be struggling during the holiday season?
From the Catechism: Joy is another fruit of the Holy Spirit. “True happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or any human achievement…or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love“ (CCC 1723). “Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness” (CCC 30).
Advent Beyond the Wreath: Daily Scripture Cards
- Cut the scripture cards apart on the dotted lines, using each card as dated.
- Place the cards in fun locations where your child(ren) can discover and read them on their own. Possible places: in their lunchbox, on their pillow, or at their place at the kitchen table.
- Optional: leave a small piece of candy or treat with each verse card.
- Circle back to the daily verses during family meal/prayer time. Let conversation develop naturally — some verses may be of particular interest to you or your child, and others not. Remember to consider the verses in context (who said it, when was it said, what story or thoughts surround the verse). Don’t be afraid to look the verses up in your Bible!