Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent. Traditionally this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday, which is Latin for rejoice. We rejoice that soon and very soon, we are going to the King, Jesus Christ our Lord. The two visible signs of Gaudete Sunday is the rose colored candle on the Advent wreath, along with the rose colored vestments that the priest and deacon wears for this weekend’s masses. The Advent purple blended with Christmas white produces a rose color, which symbolizes that we are almost at the celebration of Christmas.
This year, as the calendar dates fall, next Sunday is December 24, which is Christmas Eve. It is also the 4th Sunday of Advent. It is important to know that all of the morning Masses for December 24 will be for the 4th Sunday of Advent. The Christmas Masses will begin with the 5:00 Vigil Mass for Christmas, which will be our Family Mass. This year’s Vigil Mass will be held at Holy Rosary Church. As Catholics, we must fulfill our Sunday Mass obligation and the obligation to attend Mass on Christmas. Therefore, to fulfill the Sunday Mass obligation, one must attend the Saturday evening Mass at St. Peter Claver on December 23 or any of the normal scheduled Sunday morning Masses between the three churches. To fulfill the Christmas Mass obligation, one must attend either the Vigil Mass for Christmas at 5:00PM on December 24, the Midnight mass at 12:00AM Midnight which will be held at Our Lady of Victory, or any of the masses on Christmas day.
As we prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord this Christmas, let us continue to pray for unity and peace throughout our nation and within our families. We are in dire need of God’s peace and love now more than ever. Christ comes to us as the light of the world that is in immense darkness. May the light of the Christ child continue to illumine our society in all that we say and do.
Wednesday Evening Advent Vespers & Lessons and Carols
During the season of Advent, we will pray solemn vespers, (evening prayer) on Wednesday evenings. The theme this year is “Go to Joseph”, spiritually preparing ourselves for the birth of Christ, through the intercession of St. Joseph. This Wednesday, December 20, our Advent vespers will conclude at St. Peter Claver Church beginning at 7:00PM. In addition to Vespers we will have the ancient prayer of Lessons and Carols. It is a beautiful spiritual preparation for Christmas. We will welcome Father Mark Bristol, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who currently serves as Associate pastor of St. Anastasia Parish in Douglaston, New York as the homilist. Please be sure to join us.
Children’s Christmas Pageant 2017
This year we are inviting children of all ages to participate in our Christmas pageant, which will take place on Christmas Eve at the 5:00PM Mass at Holy Rosary Church. Rehearsals will begin soon! You may contact Michelle Joseph our Director of Faith Formation or Tamika Daniel our parish Youth Minister for more information about this year’s Christmas pageant.
Have a great week,
Father Alonzo Cox