Sunday School: First Sunday of Advent
Dec01

Sunday School: First Sunday of Advent

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-First Sunday of Advent Cycle B

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From the Rector: The meaning of the Advent wreath and candles
Dec01

From the Rector: The meaning of the Advent wreath and candles

The meaning of the Advent wreath and candles. Darkness and Light The Advent candles readily demonstrate the strong contrast between darkness and light. In the Bible, Christ is referred to as the “Light of the World” contrasted with the darkness of sin. Human history spanned long ages before our prophesied Savior would finally make his appearance, and God’s promise to make all things new through him. As his Advent, or “coming,” draws nearer another candle is lit, with each candle dispelling the darkness a little more. Thus, the Advent wreath helps us to spiritually contemplate the great drama of salvation history that surrounds the birth of God Incarnate who comes to redeem the human race. The Four Weeks of Advent During the first two weeks of Advent we light the first two purple candles. The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. On this day we celebrate that our waiting for the birth of Jesus on Christmas day is almost over. Rose is a liturgical color that is used to signify joy, so we light the single pink candle on the third Sunday of Advent. Then on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the final purple candle is lit to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait expectantly for the soon-coming birth of the King of Kings. Traditionally, each of the four Advent candles have a deeper meaning The 1st Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. The 2nd Sunday of Advent symbolizes Faith with the “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. The 3rd Sunday of Advent symbolizes Joy with the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. The 4th Sunday of Advent symbolizes Peace with the “Angel’s Candle” reminding us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” Color Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice and is used during Advent and Lent.  Advent, also called “little Lent,” is the season where we spiritually wait in our “darkness” with hopeful expectation for our promised redemption, just as the whole world did before Christ’s birth, and just as the whole world does now as we eagerly await his promised return....

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Sunday School: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Nov21

Sunday School: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Christ the King Cycle A

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From the Rector: Feast of Christ the King
Nov21

From the Rector: Feast of Christ the King

Feast of Christ the King The Feast of Christ the King is, as Catholic feasts go, a relatively recent one. It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, to remind Catholics (and the world generally) that Jesus Christ is Lord of the Universe, both as God and as Man. Pius XI announced the feast in his encyclical Quas Primas, which was delivered on December 11, 1925. At the end of the encyclical, he declared that he expected three “blessings” to flow from the celebration of the feast: first, that “men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state”; second, that “Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ”; and third, that “The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal.” HOW IS THE DATE OF THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING DETERMINED? In Quas Primas, Pius XI established the celebration of the feast “on the last Sunday of the month of October—the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints.” He tied it to All Saints Day because “before celebrating the triumph of all the Saints, we proclaim and extol the glory of him who triumphs in all the Saints and in all the Elect.” With the revision of the Church’s liturgical calendar in 1969, however, Pope Paul VI moved the Feast of Christ the King to the final Sunday of the liturgical year—that is, the last Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent. As such, it is a moveable feast; the date changes every year. From what Jesus said about His Father’s kingdom, some interesting facts emerge: It is an eternal Kingdom. It existed in THE PAST. Jesus warned the Pharisees: “There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out.” [LK 13;20] It exists in THE PRESENT. He said: “The Kingdom of God is among you.” It is a universal kingdom; not territorial or national, but worldwide. Jesus said: “People will come from the east and the west from north and south to sit at table in the kingdom of God.” [LK 12;30] It certainly is not a political kingdom. Jesus said to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jn. 18;36] It is a hidden kingdom. Jesus said:...

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Sunday School: Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Nov16

Sunday School: Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

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