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World News

Sustainable Christmas tips, acts of kindness included in Irish Catholic Church online Advent calendar

by Tola Mbakwe

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland launched the 2019 online Advent calendar on the Church's website.

Now in its sixth year, the calendar offers resources for churches, schools and families aimed at helping people to pray and to reflect on how they can keep Christ at the centre of their Christmas preparations.

The interactive Advent calendar has family prayers and suggestions for #LivingAdvent - acts of kindness that all have been encouraged to undertake during the month of December. The calendar also shares tips on how families can care for creation by having a more sustainable Christmas.

Welcoming this year's Advent calendar Archbishop Eamon said: "The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic New Year and the time of spiritual preparation for the Lord's coming at Christmas. It is a time of waiting, conversion and hope. Advent also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time. As Christians, we must always be prepared for the coming of the Lord - 'You must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do no not expect' [Mt 24:37-44].

"Preparation does not happen at once but over time and so each day of Advent allows us to reflect on the joy of the Gospel. Our online calendar is a helpful resource on this journey. By clicking on the virtual doors each of the days of Advent, we are inviting people to take just five minutes to find moments of peace and reflection on the meaning of Advent and Christmas amidst all the rush and busyness of life around us."

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