My Holy Rosary family,
As we once again are drawn into the holy season of Advent, the words of St. John the Baptist should resound within us, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” Over the next four weeks we are invited to get ready, to prepare, to make a place for the Lord in our lives and in our hearts and to anticipate His coming. Advent is a time to get ready and to build up the hope within our hearts for the promised coming of Jesus Christ! We do this by repenting of our sins and emptying ourselves of all that keeps us from totally embracing Christ. I encourage each of us to take advantage of this Advent season to really dig deep into our hearts and souls. So as we seek Christ this season let us pay attention to devotions that have always helped us draw closer to Him. Gathering as a family to pray and light our Advent Wreaths, blessing our Christmas trees, praying the St. Andrew Christmas Novena, having a daily family devotional, the options are unlimited, please see our website for things your family can do together.
But once again, we need to remind ourselves that we don’t just prepare individually, we as a parish family also reflect in our communal worship a change from the “norm” to prepare ourselves more intently. During the Advent season, we fast from singing the Gloria as a reminder that we are waiting for Jesus to come. Each, Wednesday and Friday in addition to our normal adoration we will also be offering the Sacrament of Confession from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Sunday evenings we will offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confessions, and Solemn Vespers so that we can prepare ourselves more fully for the Christ’s coming among us. And finally, each weekend as we gather together for Mass during this holy season we will light the candles of our Advent wreath. As we do so, we tell the world, “The darkness will not last! For there is someone more powerful than all the evils affecting this world. Christ is ‘the Light that came into the world’ to dispel the darkness.” My brothers and sisters, I pray that you will have a blessed Advent!
Blessings in Christ!
Fr. Patrick Gallagher
Advent Confession Schedule
2023 Advent Schedule:
Solemn Vespers and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament offered on the first three Sundays during Advent (the fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve):
December 3rd, 10th, and 17th at 5:00pm in the Church.
Every Wednesday and Friday 1:00pm – 6:00pm with Confessions from 5:00pm-6:00pm
Every Sunday from 2:00pm- Solemn Vespers with Confessions from 4:00pm – 5:00pm.
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle’s feast day, November 30th, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.
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 request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.
Then follows the prayer which is said before the evening meal each night of the first week in Advent.
FIRST WEEK The following prayer should be repeated each day during the first week. After the prayer, the family’s youngest child lights the first purple candle. (Family members can also take turns lighting and blowing out the candles on each night.)
Leader: O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come, That by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Through Christ our Lord.
The candle is allowed to burn during evening meals for the first week.
SECOND WEEK The prayer that follows is to be repeated each day of the second week. After the prayer, the oldest child lights the first and second purple candles.
Leader: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds. Through Christ our Lord.
The two candles are allowed to burn during the evening meals of the second week.
THIRD WEEK The joyful Sunday in Advent (known as “Gaudete”) is represented by rose (or pink) instead of the penitential purple color. Each night during the third week the mother of the family lights the pink, as well as the two previously burned purple candles, after the following prayer has been said.
Leader: O Lord, we beg Thee, incline Thy ear to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Through Christ our Lord.
The three candles are allowed to burn during the evening meals of the third week.
FOURTH WEEK The prayer that follows is to be repeated each day of the fourth week. After the prayer, the father lights all four candles.
Leader: O Lord, stir up Thy power, we pray Thee, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of Thy Grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins impede. Through Christ our Lord.
The four candles are allowed to burn during the evening meals of the fourth week.
Most people spend the time leading up to Christmas feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and stuck. Caught in the complexity and busyness of the holiday season, we end up striving for all the things that aren’t worth having. It’s no wonder the beauty, meaning, joy and life-changing power of Christmas has become lost!
This year, do something different. Reclaim the peace that can only come from simplicity this Christmas.
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Advent Solemn Vespers
Sunday: December 3rd, 10th, 17th
The Liturgy of the Hours also known as the “Divine Office” is, following the Mass, the most important prayer of the Church. Priests, deacons and religious are bound to pray it every day, but the Laity are also highly encouraged to unite their voices and intentions to those of the whole Church in this prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours is prayed continually by Catholics throughout the world. At any given time someone will be praying this beautiful prayer which purpose is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers), the two main hours, are accorded the highest importance. Before the Second Vatican Council it was not unusual to see many parishes celebrating Sunday Vespers; and while, in our diocese, it has fallen out of normal parish life, the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, is very intentional in calling us to pray with and for the Church in this way. In fact, it states: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts…” (100) In following this call of the Church we will celebrate Solemn Vespers with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament during the Advent Season.
The Holiday Food Baskets Ministry provides food baskets to the needy in the parish and community during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Food is donated by parishioners and purchased from local grocery stores. People can help by providing non-perishable canned food, giving monetary donations for the ministry to purchase food, giving Kroger Gift Certificates, help fill the baskets, and help distribute the baskets to the needy families.
If you would like to volunteer to help fill baskets please contact the church office.