Advent Begins

Dear Friends,

I pray that everyone had a blessed, safe, and enjoyable Thanksgiving. This weekend, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and thus the beginning of a new liturgical year. Happy and blessed new year to all! It also means that Christmas is less than a month away… May we take advantage of this holy season of Advent as a time of prayer and reflection on the awesome mystery of the Word made Flesh, the coming of God into our fallen human world to bring forth the gift of our redemption.

Monday, November 30, the Feast of Saint Andrew, we will hold our annual Tree Blessing and Lighting behind the Chapel. This will allow for folks to remain in/near their cars in the back parking lot and for those who walk over to remain socially distant. We ask that masks be worn. The ceremony is short, and a take home bag of goodies will be available for you to pick up. We will have amplification as well as a FM frequency you can tune to to listen to the program.

There is a traditional Christmas Anticipation Prayer that is prayed from November 30 until Christmas. We will have cards with the words of the prayer printed on the cards in the take home bags at our Tree lighting but here are the words of the prayer for your personal use ~

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment, in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your requests] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

The tradition is that this prayer is recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. It is a very meditative prayer, focusing our attention to the mystery of God’s love in Christ’s Birth. It spiritually prepares us for Jesus’ coming ~ He who came at Bethlehem, He who comes to us in the Sacraments and the Church, He who will come at the end of time. In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus says, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” He is speaking of His coming in glory. We also realize that this admonition applies to our own passing from this world. Advent reminds us that we must continuously prepare ourselves daily to encounter the Lord who is with us and who one day will take us to be with Him where He is.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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