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The season of Advent is here, and our preparation for Christmas has begun.  Even though the secular world started their preparations quite awhile ago – this year I saw Christmas-themed commercials as early as October! – our season of preparation officially begins today.  It’s funny how, even though we’ve been hearing Christmas carols for weeks, the season of Advent always seems to sneak up on us.  These weeks leading up to Christmas are very hectic in the secular world, so it’s always a challenge to carve out time to really observe the season of Advent.  But it’s only when we really give Advent its due that we truly experience the peace and joy in our hearts that Christmas is supposed to bring, and that God desires for us.

 

With that in mind, I encourage you to come up with a plan to make this Advent meaningful, if you haven’t already done so.  Here are some things that the parish will offer to help your Advent preparation:

  • Daily Mass: In addition to our usually 8:30am weekday Masses, we’ll offer an evening Mass every Tuesday of Advent at 5:30pm.  Consider coming then, or perhaps on to our 8:00am Saturday Mass if your schedule doesn’t allow you to come during the week.
  • Confession: It’s hard to think of a better way to prepare for Christmas than by a good confession, and we’ll have plenty of opportunities:
    • Saturdays, 9:00am – 10:00am (our normal weekly time)
    • Tuesdays, 6:00pm (immediately following our Tuesday evening Mass)
    • Monday December 17th at 7pm (our Parish Penance Service, perfect for anyone who wants to confess to a priest they don’t know!)
    • December 19th, 20th and 21st (extra confession times during the week leading up to Christmas)
    • By appointment (perfect for those who are a little nervous about the sacrament or haven’t received it in awhile; we’re always available for confessions and are very grateful when people contact us for an appointment!)
  • Personal Prayer: It’s always a good practice to add something to your personal prayer routine during this season, and we have some prayer materials available in the back of the church to help you out.
  • Taize Prayer Service:  This is a beautiful sung prayer service that we’ll have here in the church on Sunday December 9th at 7:00pm.
  • Service: Doing works of mercy is a great way to combat the materialism that tends to creep into this season.  Here at the parish, you can participate in the Giving Tree, buy Advent candles to support our Christmas Food Baskets, for starters.

 

This season goes by quickly, so I’d encourage you to decide soon how you will make this season different, both individually and as a family.  It takes some effort during an already-busy time of year, but it’s worth it!