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A child in St. Peter's Square holds a figurine of the baby Jesus (CNS)

The particular character of the Christmas season is that of a vigil

Mount Zion seen from the south by Victorian landscape painter Thomas Seddon

Second Sunday of Advent, ISAIAH 40: 1-5; 2 PETER 3: 8-14; MARK 1: 1-8 (Year B)

Michael Caine as Scrooge in The Muppet's Christmas Carol

The antidote to social media malaise this Advent is to spend some time in silence

‘My own veritable Joseph handed me his credit card and left me to it in Mothercare’  (PA)

This year I am experiencing Advent from a fresh angle, from Mary’s remarkable perspective as an expectant mother

George Clooney is set to star in a special charity episode of Downton Abbey (CNS)

The Orthodox guide to surviving Advent

There’s no need to adopt their fasting rules, but we can learn quite a bit from the Russians’ preparations for Christmas

Francis preaches at the parish of St Cyril of Alexandria last night (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 02/12/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Confessions are heard at World Youth Day in Madrid (Photo: CNS)

Why has the practice dropped off so dramatically here, but not in Italy, say, or Kenya?

The Eucharistic Prayer from the new translation of the Roman Missal

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth says this year’s Advent marks a double beginning

Pope Benedict XVI, centre, celebrates Mass at St Massimiliano Kolbe parish on the outskirts of Rome on Sunday (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 13/12/10

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Third Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 35: 1-6; James 5: 7-10; Matthew 11: 2-11