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10 Dec, 2014

Pope sends message of peace, hope

Manila, December 7, 2014, Manila Bulletin – Today, the Catholic Church marks the Second Sunday of Advent, with Church rites centering on preparations for the celebration of Christmas, which the Holy Father considers as “the hope for humanity.”

Pope Francis’ list of prayer intentions for the year 2014 includes a message of peace and hope to the Catholic faithful as he prays for “the Birth of the Redeemer to bring peace and hope to all people of goodwill.”

Church rites will include the lighting of the candle of peace, the second purple candle in the Advent wreath. Also known as the Bethlehem candle, the second purple candle “serves as a reminder that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that Jesus is King,” said Church officials.

The first purple candle, the symbol of hope, that was lit last Sunday on the First Sunday of Advent, will also be lighted.

According to the Church, the progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various aspects of our waiting experience. As the candles are lighted over the four-week Season of Advent, it mirrors the darkness of fear receding and the shadows of sin falling away as more and more light is shed into the world.

Confessional prayers will be recited during the Eucharistic celebration as part of the period of anticipation and waiting for the Second Coming while preparing for the celebration of the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. Churchgoers are encouraged to go to confession “to welcome the dawning of the Birth of Christ with clean hearts.”

The traditional theme for the Second Sunday of Advent is “God’s Divine Love for Mankind.”