THIS SUNDAY IS THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: This Sunday we begin the start of the church’s liturgical year with the season of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word “advenire” which means “to come to.” It is a season of preparation for two things: the second coming of Jesus at the end of time and the celebration of Jesus’ first coming at Christmas (especially during the final days of Advent from December 17-24).
While, in general, American culture jumps right to Christmas immediately after Thanksgiving, don’t miss out on the importance of celebrating Advent. Christmas takes on so much more meaning when we prepare ourselves spiritually.
Like the season of Lent, before Easter, Advent is a great time to take on a spiritual discipline to prepare yourself. Try reading the Mass readings for each day or pray the rosary or come to daily Mass if you can. Don’t look at it as work, but as a chance to welcome Jesus into your heart in a deeper way, so that you can celebrate Christmas more fully.
SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: This coming Saturday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and is a holyday of obligation for us Catholics. Vigil Masses and the holyday itself are printed in the Mass schedule of today’s bulletin. Let us give Mary her rightful place in our hearts as we honor her on this day.
“LITTLE BLUE ADVENT BOOKS”: Please remember to pick up your “little blue book” for the Advent season located at all of the entrance/exit doors of the churches, and try really hard to read it every day.
OPLATKI ARE HERE: For those of you who celebrate this wonderful Christmas tradition, the oplatki may be picked up in the parish office.
MEN’S CLUB MEETING: The Men’s Club will meet this Monday, Dec. 3, at 6:00pm, in upper Sargus Hall. This is an important meeting as we will be planning to put out the outdoor nativity and the Christmas lights soon.
ADVENT WREATHS AND CANDLES FOR SALE: The St. Thomas Aquinas Speech and Debate Club will be selling Advent wreaths and candles after Masses THIS Sunday at Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Lourdes. You can purchase wreaths ($10), a set of candles ($10) or both ($18). Please help to support this club by participating in this wonderful tradition.
OUR CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS EVE CHOIR: We will once again have our Children’s Christmas Eve Choir singing at the 4:00pm Christmas Eve Mass. This is open to all children in grades 1 through 8. Practices will be on Monday, Dec. 3, and Monday, Dec. 10, from 6:00pm to 6:45pm, in Blessed Sacrament Church. Parents, please encourage your children to participate in this special choir for our Mass.
AIM BABY BOTTLES: This is the weekend to return to the churches your baby bottles with your donations to the AIM Women’s Center. If you have forgotten it, please return it to the parish office as soon as possible so we can get them back down to AIM. Thank you to all who participated in this fundraiser to help support this much needed service in our area. Please pray for them.