Month: December 2017

Upcoming Special Services and Events:

Upcoming Special Services and Events:

December 17 –   Hanging of the Advent Greens

                             Sunday, Dec. 17 at 12:15 p.m.

December 24 –   Eucharist for The Fourth Sunday of Advent

                             Sunday, Dec. 24 at 9:30 a.m.

                             Family Mass of Christmas Eve

                            Sunday, Dec. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

                            Christmas Eve Mass (The Vigil of the Nativity)

                            Sunday, Dec. 24 at 10:30 p.m.

December 25 –   Eucharist for the Feast of the Nativity of

                            our Lord Jesus Christ      

                             Monday, Dec. 25 at 12:00 Noon

December 26 –   (Said) Eucharist for the Feast of St. Stephen,

                            Deacon and Martyr              

                           Tuesday, Dec. 26 at 12:00 Noon

December 27 –   (Said) Eucharist for the Feast of St. John,

                            Apostle and Evangelist              

                            Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

December 28 –   (Said) Eucharist for Holy Innocents,

Thursday, Dec. 28 at 12:00 Noon

December 31 –   Eucharist for the Feast of St. John, Apostle and

                           Evangelist (Transferred)

                             Sunday, Jan. 1 at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

January 1 –         (Said) Eucharist for the Feast of the Most Holy

                             Name of our Lord                 

                             Monday, Jan. 1 at 12:00 Noon

January 7 –         Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany (Transferred)        

                            Sunday, Jan. 7 at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

The Advent Wreath and Family Evening Prayer

The Advent Wreath and Family Evening Prayer

“In family practice, the Advent wreath is most appropriately lit at dinner time after the blessing of the food. A traditional prayer service using the Advent wreath proceeds as follows: On the First Sunday of Advent, the father of the family blesses the wreath, praying: O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” He then continues for each of the days of the first week of Advent, O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The youngest child then lights one purple candle.

During the second week of Advent, the father prays: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The oldest child then lights the purple candle from the first week plus one more purple candle.

During the third week of Advent, the father prays: O Lord, we beg Thee, incline Thy ear to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The mother then lights the two previously lit purple candles plus the rose candle.

Finally, the father prays during the fourth week of Advent, O Lord, stir up Thy power, we pray Thee, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of Thy grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins impede. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The father then lights all of the candles of the wreath.

Since Advent is a time to stir-up our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide us a way to augment this special preparation for Christmas. Moreover, this good tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas” (by Fr. William Saunders).

The Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6)

The Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6)

The real St. Nicholas was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ word to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals – murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. He died December 6, A.D. 343, in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, the anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

Why celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas?

  • To tell the story of a Christian, whose model life inspires compassion and charity
  • To reveal the true identity of Santa Claus and Father Christmas
  • To focus on giving more than on receiving
  • To emphasize small treats and family fun
  • To provide a bit of special festivity early in the waiting weeks of Advent
  • To explain the spiritual dimension of gift giving
  • To help keep Jesus the center of Christmas
  • Saint Nicholas loved children and cared for the needy. He brings the love of Christ and the healing of Jesus. We honor this saint by following his example of selflessness.
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