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Events celebrate Advent on campus

Nicole McAlee | Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Campus Ministry will celebrate Advent by hosting a variety of events meant to encourage students to take time off during the pre-finals rush to prepare for Christmas.

Kate Barrett, assistant director of undergraduate ministry, said she helps coordinate Advent events and prayer opportunities around campus that balance the Advent and the Christmas seasons.

“Unfortunately, we’re never here for the Christmas season, except at the very end of it, when students return to campus after break,” Barrett said. “I try to help figure out ways to celebrate Christmas in the halls that allows students to enjoy all the warmth of Christmas while still respecting the beauty and enormity of the Advent season itself.”

Barrett said a highlight of the scheduled events is Lessons and Carols next Sunday at 7:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Folk Choir, Liturgical Choir and Basilica Schola will perform Advent music, which will be supplemented by Scripture readings.

“Lessons and Carols is a must-do event,” Barrett said. “[It] has a long tradition in the Church and at Notre Dame, so it’s long been an Advent tradition.”

Other Advent events on campus include an RCIA Rite of Welcome at the 11:45 a.m. Basilica Mass on Sunday, a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Basilica on Dec. 12 at 5:15 p.m. and Advent Vespers in the Basilica’s Lady Chapel on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

One-time events that celebrate the season are most effective on a busy college campus, Barrett said.

“It’s meant to be a peaceful, reflective season, anyway, so there’s no need to add a lot of action and events,” Barrett said. “One great way to celebrate Advent is just to spend some quiet time each day with the daily Gospel readings. We have a little resource called the Little Blue Book that has daily reflections for Advent in it.”

The Little Blue Book is available in the Campus Ministry office in Coleman-Morse Center, and Barrett said more prayer and reflection resources are available on the Campus Ministry website.

Barrett said taking time to celebrate Advent is important, especially in the midst of final exams.

 “When you think you’re too stressed to stop and pray, you should stop and pray,” Barrett said.

“So many forces encourage us to jump right to Christmas, but Advent offers us the opportunity to slow down, to reflect on how we prepare our hearts for anything, but in this case, specifically for the coming of Christ into our world.

“Advent also helps us keep Christmas in perspective by reminding us that – as Jesus did – what we really have to offer each other is ourselves, not all the stuff that the stores and websites want us to buy.”

Information about events occurring during Advent is available on the Campus Ministry website, as well as its Twitter feed, Facebook page and app.  

Contact Nicole McAlee at nmcale@nd.edu