Fr. Samuel's e-Epistle-Wed, Dec. 20
Meeting the Sunday and Holy Day Mass Obligations
As I mentioned at Masses this past weekend I have had some questions about meeting the Mass obligations for the 4th Sunday of Advent and for Christmas. The faithful are obligated to attend a Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent and for Christmas which is a holy day of obligation. The schedule of those Masses is below. Attending a Christmas vigil Mass on Sunday afternoon does not cover both obligations.
Fourth Sunday of Advent Mass Schedule
Saturday Dec. 23
7:00 PM (Spanish)
Sunday, Dec. 24
10:00 AM (Queen of Angels Chapel)
Sunday Dec. 24
4:00 PM (Children’s in the Church-Children’s Pageant begins @ 3:45)
4:15 PM (Children’s in the Great Hall of the PLC)
8:00 PM (Spanish, pageant begins @ 7:30, El Arrullo del Niño Dios follows Mass)
11:59 PM Midnight (English)
Monday, Dec. 25
10:00 AM @ Queen of Angels Chapel
Some advice about attending the Christmas Masses:
The 4:00 and 8:00 PM Christmas Eve Masses are preceded by a Christmas pageant staged by our children in religious education. That pageants will begin at about 3:45 and 7:30 PM.
Last year more than 2000 people attended the 4:00 PM and 4:15 PM Masses. We expect the same this year. If you wish to attend the 4:00 Mass in the church you need to be here by 3:00. Because that Mass is preceded by a children’s Nativity play, after that time, seating is pretty much filled.
For the Christmas Eve Masses there is additional parking at the elementary school across the street from the parish grounds. For the 4:00 Mass I suggest that you make that your first choice for parking if you arrive after about 3:15 PM. Otherwise you will probably spend a lot of time wandering the church parking lots looking for a space and ending up in the school parking lot anyway as well as probably being late for Mass.
We also expect a large crowd at the 6:00 PM Mass. Again, I urge that you make use of the school parking lot.
My favorite Mass of Christmas
Indeed one of my favorite Masses of the year is the Midnight Mass. At the stroke of 12 midnight Mass begins with the Christmas proclamation. That then is followed by the opening hymn as we begin the celebration of the birth of our Savior in the very first minutes of Christmas. For me that experience of our faith tradition is one of the high points of the year. I hope that many of you will join me for this extremely beautiful experience of the Mass.
One more thing: A great opportunity for evangelization through friendliness.
We will have a lot of guests and visitors at our Masses. In addition we will have a large number of those who come to Mass only on Christmas and Easter. I ask that we all be welcoming and rejoice that so many are with us on this wonderful day. I also ask that we remember that all of us are at varying places in our faith lives and that we should not judge one another about that. Instead we are called to be gentle and supportive of one another. I have experienced numerous instances of people who have not often attended Mass, coming and upon finding a welcoming environment and beautiful liturgy at Christmas or Easter were inspired to return more frequently. Let us all be aware that the Spirit will be endeavoring to work through all of us for their sakes. Let us not get in its way with frowns but help it with smiles.
Remember Christmas begins on December 25 and it lasts for 12 days.
With the beginning of the midnight Mass Advent ends and the Christmas season begins. That season lasts until Epiphany. With that if you are late, by secular standards, in sending out your Christmas cards you are not late in the eyes of the Church. Just get them sent by January 6 and you will still be in time for the Christmas season.
So with that Christmas card reprieve, please consider that help is needed with our church Christmas Decorating and Hand-Outs after Masses this weekend:
Please click here if you can help
This is something the whole family can do.
One more thing
As of today you will be reminded by many sources that you have just three shopping days left until Christmas. However, as we view things we have just three praying days left before Christmas. I know that you will be busy with things that you need to do on the secular level. I just encourage all to prepare spiritually for the wonderful celebration that awaits us on December 25. If we do prepare then Christmas becomes a day on which our sharing of presents and gathering with family and friends is built on a far deeper meaning than what the secular world provides.
With that in mind I want to share the following reflection and prayer with you...
Meister Eckhart who once said:
What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in your heart?
Lord, we do far too much celebrating your actual coming in our hearts. I believe in God but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven but do I believe in God-on-earth? I believe in God out there but do I believe in God-with-us?
Lord, be born in my heart.
Come alive in me this Christmas.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Hose
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 1:52PM