How to Let the Virgin Mary Help You Prepare for Christmas


Christmas is not just about trees, gifts, and holiday music. For Catholics, it’s primarily about the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, plays a central role in this miraculous event. Who better to help us prepare for Christmas than the mother who prepared the way for the Christ Child? This article will explore ways in which we can invite the Virgin Mary into our hearts and homes during the Advent season, to better prepare for the true meaning of Christmas.

Mary: The First ‘Tabernacle’

Before diving into practical tips, let’s look at who Mary is in the context of Christian faith. Mary was the vessel that carried Jesus in her womb. She is often referred to as the first ‘tabernacle’. While the term ‘tabernacle’ isn’t used in this context in the Bible, this notion arises from the Church’s tradition which sees Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. This concept is not mere theological opinion, but deeply rooted in the faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes, “Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the Ark of the Covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells” (CCC 2676).

Mary’s “Yes” and Its Significance for Us

One of the most significant events in the Bible concerning Mary is the Annunciation. This is when the Angel Gabriel visits Mary to announce that she will conceive and bear a son, Jesus. Her response was a resounding “Yes.”

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38, NABRE)

This ‘Yes’ was not just for that moment; it was an ongoing ‘Yes’ to God’s plan. What this teaches us is obedience and openness to God’s will, something we should cultivate in our lives as we prepare for Christmas.

Practical Ways Mary Can Help You Prepare

Prayer: The Rosary

The Rosary is a traditional Catholic prayer that focuses on different events, or ‘mysteries’, in the lives of Jesus and Mary. The Joyful Mysteries are particularly relevant to Advent and Christmas. While the Rosary isn’t directly found in the Bible or mandatory in the Church’s universal teaching, it is a time-honored form of prayer endorsed by popes and saints. Saying the Rosary can help us meditate on the virtues of Mary—humility, obedience, and love—that we can incorporate into our own Christmas preparations.

Fasting and Almsgiving

Mary’s role at Jesus’ birth wasn’t passive; she took an active role in preparing for His arrival. This includes her journey to Bethlehem, which must’ve been arduous. Fasting and almsgiving are ways we can also prepare actively. Fasting helps us control our desires, making more room in our hearts for God, while almsgiving helps us show love to our neighbors. These are both traditional Catholic practices strongly encouraged especially in preparatory seasons like Advent.

Reading Scripture

Scripture is filled with references and prophecies about Mary and Jesus. Regular reading of these passages can deepen our understanding and relationship with Mary, helping us to emulate her virtues. The Magnificat, Mary’s song of praise found in Luke 1:46-55, is a beautiful piece of scripture to meditate on during Advent.

The Marian Feast Days in Advent

Advent also contains several Marian feast days, including the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe. These feasts remind us of the virtues of Mary and can serve as special days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Mary was “preserved immune from all stain of original sin” from the moment of her conception (CCC 491). This teaching, solemnly defined by the Church, is celebrated on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, making it more than just a theological opinion.

Seeking Mary’s Intercession

Mary isn’t just a figure in the past; Catholics believe that she intercedes for us in Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One” (CCC 2677). Therefore, seeking Mary’s intercession through prayer is another way she can help us prepare for Christmas.


The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ, and who better to guide us in this preparation than Mary, the Mother of God? Through prayer, particularly the Rosary, through fasting and almsgiving, by reading Scripture, by observing Marian feast days, and by seeking her intercession, we can spiritually align ourselves with the true meaning of Christmas.

Let Mary, who prepared a humble stable for the birth of Christ, help prepare your heart to receive Him this Christmas. As we say in the Hail Mary, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” Inviting Mary into our Advent season is inviting a deeper, truer preparation for the miracle of Christmas.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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