Many thanks for the generosity shown to me at Christmas through your prayers, cards and gifts. May the joy of Christ’s birth endure in our hearts throughout the coming New Year. I wish each of you and your families a blessed 2021.
This has been a very difficult year for each of us. As you are aware due to the circumstances of the current epidemic, we have had no choice but to change how we have had to conduct our singing, decorating and sitting arrangements for the safety of all.
One of the best-loved Advent hymns we sing is "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". The verses of that stirring song are comprised of what the Church calls the Advent "O antiphons".
The O antiphons were composed in the 7th or 8th century by an anonymous monk. These seven, short poetic verses, in today's liturgy, are intoned or recited as the Alleluia verse before the Gospel at Mass, and as the antiphon for the Magnificat at vespers. Each Advent, the Church begins singing the O antiphons on December 17—seven days before Christmas.READ MORE
“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324). Our worship of our Eucharistic Lord, Jesus — fully and completely present under the consecrated species of bread and wine — con- tinues outside of the celebration of Mass when the Sacred Hosts are reserved in the tabernacle for adoration.READ MORE
The use of rose vestments during the sacred liturgy of the third Sunday of Advent has been a part of the Church’s tradition for many centuries and is a tradition we must hold onto. Rose gives us joy and a promise of hope; our world is in need of both. The Rose color, which is only used twice in the whole liturgical year, is traditionally associated with a sense of joy amidst a season of penance. On both Sundays (Gaudete in Advent and Laetare in Lent), rose is worn to remind us that the season of preparation is coming to a close and the great feast is swiftly approaching.READ MORE
Advent is not the the same as Christmas. Advent is a time to praise God for his great gift of his Son, Jesus. It is a time to think about how ready we are to receive Jesus whenever he comes to us: in our daily life; in those who are in need; in the Eucharist at Mass; and at the end of time when Jesus comes in glory. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts and souls to celebrate the birthday of the Messiah.