Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Every year the Knights of Columbus sponsor “the movement” KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS. You might have seen signs on churches or bumper stickers. This is not a political stand, but rather a thoughtful reminder to what is most important during these days. But how can we keep Christ in Christmas?
This week, as we began the novena for Christmas, all the readings from the liturgy will focus on the promises of the Old Testament about the first coming of the messiah. So one good way to help us to keep Christ in the center of this celebration is to read the readings of the day before supper. The same way that we say grace, we can grow our expectation of Christmas day. Another way is to decorate the house with Christian symbols, such as a nice nativity set (without baby Jesus), the Christmas Tree (it was first used by St. Boniface to evangelize in Germany), a Crucifix (which is good all year round), Picture of Holy Family etc… And please don’t take them down after the 25th. Remember the famous song “Twelve Days of Christmas”? It’s because we celebrate Christmas until Epiphany!!! As much as some people get tired of listening to Christmas carols already, THIS TIME IS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.
However, if we get distracted by all the shopping, the stress of having people over, and trying to meet everyone’s expectations, we can lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. We will go through the motions, but Christ wants to give us much more than just a nice dinner and gifts. He is born in Bethlehem in a SILENT NIGHT to give JOY TO THE WORLD. He brings GLAD TIDINGS to you and your Kin, the forgiveness of our sins, and the promise of Eternal life. All of these things are wonderful, and we should share them with everyone else. So another way to keep Christ in Christmas is to WISH PEOPLE MERRY CHRISTMAS, and not other sorts of greetings.
Lastly, the most important way to celebrate Christmas is to christMASS!!! Whether you stay local or go to visit someone, check the mass times and plan ahead. Below we have our mass schedule which we hope to see you and your loved ones. In case we don’t see you I, on behalf on the priests of IC and all the staff, wish you a HOLY AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Christmas Mass Schedule
Friday, December 24
7:30am - Daily Weekday Mass
4:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
4:00pm Lower Church - Christmas Mass - English
6:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
8:00pm Upper Church - Christmas Mass - Portuguese
12:00am Upper Church - Christmas Mass - English
Saturday, December 25 - All Masses will be in the Upper Church
8:00am - Christmas Mass - English
10:00am - Christmas Mass - English
1:00pm - Christmas Mass - Spanish
Since Christmas falls on Friday/Saturday this year, our mass obligation for Sunday remains the same. The Church invites us to go to mass twice that weekend, once for Christmas and once for the weekend. For example, you could attend mass on Saturday morning for Christmas and Saturday afternoon, 4:00pm for the weekend.
Father Steven Clemence