Parish Faith Formation
The Diocese of Manchester, Parish Faith Formation, is committed to supporting life-long faith formation to our parishes, children, youth and families.
Through prayer, study, and professional development we invite people to a personal and intentional relationship with Jesus Christ.
The season of Advent is upon us. Worship, scripture readings, and prayers not only help prepare us spiritually for Christmas, but also for Christ's second coming at the end of time. As you enter this time of waiting and preparation, take a moment to explore the many devotions and resources available for individuals and families.
12/3/17: First Sunday of Advent
12/10/17: Second Sunday of Advent
12/17/17: Third Sunday of Advent
12/24/17: Fourth Sunday of Advent
The following blessings and text are provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Advent Wreath: The use of the Advent Wreath is a traditional practice which has found its place in the Church as well as in the home. The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent
Christmas Tree: The use of the Christmas tree is relatively modern. Its origins are found in the medieval mystery plays that depicted the tree of paradise and the Christmas light or candle that symbolized Christ, the Light of the world. According to custom, the Christmas tree is set up just before Christmas and may remain in place until the Solemnity of Epiphany. The lights of the tree are illuminated after the prayer of blessing.
Christmas Manger or Nativity Scene: In its present form the custom of displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ owes its origin to St. Francis of Assisi, who made the Christmas crèche or manger for Christmas Eve of 1223. The blessing of the Christmas manger or nativity scene may take place on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time.
Advent Calendar (English and Spanish)
Family Advent Calendar (English and Spanish)
Various Catholic publishers and organizations provide free materials and resources for parishes and families to strengthen their practice of faith, especially at this time of year. We recommend a few of those resources below.
Assorted Advent Resources (Prayers, Activities, and Lessons)
Our Sunday Visitor
Advent Activities (For Families and Children)
Pflaum Publishing Group
Absolutely Advent! (Separated by grade level, from 1 - 12)
Restore, Renew Proclaim: the Hope that is Christ
The Diocese of Manchester has launched a new initiative for strengthening and renewing lifelong faith formation, known as “Restore, Renew, Proclaim the Hope that is Christ.” The Secretariat for Catholic Formation has developed five announcements, to be inserted in parish bulletins starting on Catechetical Sunday (September 17), to inform parishioners about the initiative.