Between the cascade of calendar events, decorating, and shopping that inevitably bombard us in December, it’s easy to become distracted. If we aren’t careful, the trappings of the season can tear our eyes away from the one thing that matters most: the celebration of Christ’s birth.
Whether you feel the distractions tugging at your heart, or simply wish to strengthen the practice of your own devotion during this time, we invite you to consider these four ways to prepare your heart for Christmas.
1. Listen to sacred music.
Rejoice in the miracle of the Savior’s birth and uplift your spirit with the sounds of the season! There’s nothing like heavenly harmonies and words of praise sung for our Savior to orient you towards Christmas, whether that simply means listening to recordings or attending a concert in person. Listen to God With Us: A Concert of Choral Music for the Christmas Season.
2. Participate in Mass during Advent and Christmas Eve
Grow in holiness and strengthen your devotion by drawing near to the Lord in the celebration of the Mass. Here at the Basilica, you can join us in person or virtually via livestream every Sunday and on Christmas Eve for Masses as you prepare your heart to be a dwelling place fit for our Lord and King on the day of His birth.
3. Volunteer at your church or community
Just as Christ came to serve and gave us the ultimate gift in His sacrifice for us, so too does He call us to service. This Christmas season, try volunteering at your church or in your community to embrace the practice of service Christ calls us to. If you’re local to the Washington, D.C. area, you can volunteer to help with the Basilica’s Christmas dinners.
4. Reflect on the Nativity story
As Msgr. Rossi has said:
“In the Nativity of Jesus, God chose to become one of us, a tangible human being. With the Nativity, we now can physically see God, see how God acts, and hear how God speaks.”
The miracle of the Nativity is that Christ is Emmanuel, God with us. By coming to earth and taking on flesh, He knew all our struggles and pains – He experienced all the limitations that we do as human beings. That our God should humble Himself to become man – and to come quietly in a stable in Bethlehem is an unfathomable miracle. To meditate upon the profundity of that miracle, read the narrative in Luke 2 yourself, or learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Nativity in our Q & A with Msgr. Vito.