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Notre Dame celebrates Advent with events, opportunities for engagement

| Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Campus Ministry is planning a number of opportunities for the Notre Dame community this Advent season, from special prayer opportunities to masses. 

Advent Lessons and Carols is one prayer service that anyone may attend. It is a celebration of the Advent season that combines scripture readings and music from the Folk Choir, Liturgical Choir, Magnificat Choir and Basilica Schola. The service will take place Sunday, Dec. 5 at 7:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. 

Another event, called Las Posadas, will take place Dec. 7 at 9 p.m. in Coleman-Morse Center. Las Posadas is a traditional re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay for the birth of Jesus. Participants walk door to door encountering rejections until finally they are joyfully accepted. 

Fr. Brian Ching, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, said while it may be tempting to rush right into Christmas, Advent is an important season itself. 

“There’s a very thoughtful intentionality to designating the four weeks prior to Christmas as weeks of preparation and weeks of expected hopeful waiting,” said Ching. “I think, for us as Christians, that journey is really beneficial to us.”

Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry, said these next few weeks are very busy for students with final exams, but it is an important time to slow down and celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ. 

Ching said Campus Ministry tried to keep its Advent offerings simple because they know this is such a busy time of year. 

“Rather than trying to give you six other things to do in the midst of preparing for finals, we try to keep it meaningful but relatively simple,” Ching said. 

The Basilica has quiet hours Dec. 13-17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. During this time, except for masses and confessions, the Basilica will be open for anyone to come in for quiet prayer and reflection. 

McCormick said he encourages students to stop by the Basilica amidst the stress of finals to take a minute for prayer during the Advent season. 

“The Basilica is there for folks,” McCormick said. 

The Basilica continues to offer masses and confessions at the normal times. The schedule can be found on Campus Ministry’s website

Three Sundays of Advent remain — two of which will take place before winter break. 

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation, takes place during the Advent season, on Dec. 8. The Basilica will have its usual masses at 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. to celebrate. 

Brett Perkins, assistant director for evangelization and religious education, said Advent means “coming,” which is important to embrace in the past and future to fully grasp the significance of the season.

I love Advent because of its way of drawing us out of the regular pre-Christmas hubbub and errands, to focus on two central Truths of our Christian faith: the Incarnation, God becoming man in the person of Jesus, and the Parousia, the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time,” Perkins said. 

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