Category Archives: Liturgy

Celebrate Christmas with Us

CHRISTMAS SERVICES AND MASSES

Click here for the program for our Christmas Masses.

Sunday, December 24
4:00 pm Family Service of Carols and Readings
4:30 pm Family Mass

FAMILY SERVICE OF CAROLS, READINGS, AND MASS “A Storybook Tale of Christmas”.  Not just for kids but the entire family and the parish, the Service of Carols and Readings on Christmas Eve is a tradition that focuses our attention on the Birth of Jesus through the lens of storytelling. Travel through time and sacred places with the children of the parish through carols and readings from scripture and poetic verses. Then we will seamlessly take you into the celebration of the Mass where both children and parishioners will experience the liturgy anew through sacred words and song. Accompanied by a trombone quartet, the children will lead us in prayer to herald the Birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. What to expect: there may be some wiggles and giggles along the way because children are naturally joyful, but it’s ok because we’re going to pray with them, hand-in-hand, so that they experience the fullness of our faith through joy and love. Together, we will pray as one family in Christ.

7:00 pm Vigil Mass
9:00 pm Vigil Mass
11:00 pm Service of Carols and Readings
12:00 am Midnight Mass

Monday, December 25
8:00 am Christmas Mass
10:00 am Christmas Mass
6:00 pm Christmas Mass

For more information, please contact us at liturgy@straymondmp.org.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

The following is a blessing you may use for your Advent wreath at home.
All make the sign of the cross as the leader says:
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response (R/.) Who made heaven and earth.

Then the Scripture, Isaiah 9: (lines 1-2 and 5-6) or Isaiah 63 (lines 16-17 & 19) or Isaiah 64  (lines 2-7) is read:

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God.

With hands joined, the leader says:

Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

The blessing may conclude with a verse from
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:

O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

Advent: Wait, Watch, and Wonder

The Gift of Advent by Mary Abinante, Pastoral Associate 

Next week we begin a new Church year and the season of Advent, a particular gift of our Catholic tradition. Much of the culture around us will be rushing headlong into Christmas, but we recognize two separate but complementary seasons, Advent and Christmastime.

Our observance of Advent, with its quiet, reflective waiting and watching, is very different from the hectic activity of the secular season. Advertisements would lead us to believe that what we do makes or breaks Christmas; we have to make it happen. Our frenetic preparation seems all important. As people of faith, we are challenged to focus not so much on what we do but on what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us. Through our celebration of Advent, we open ourselves to God preparing us for Christ’s coming:

  • in the past — Jesus was born into the world, a day we remember for its significance for history and spirituality.
  • in the present — as Jesus appeared to the first frightened disciples after his death on the cross, so he continues to live in the lives and hearts of believers today.
  • in the future— the coming of the Lord at the end of time. In fact, the liturgy of Advent tells the story of Christ’s coming backward, beginning with this final coming.

This year the scriptures of the Advent season invite us to three actions or attitudes:

Wait: Throughout Advent we wait in joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord. In a world where so much is instantaneous, this season calls us to practice patience. We know that Christ came into our world that long-ago night in Bethlehem. But the kingdom he came to inaugurate is a long way from fulfillment, leaving us to experience it in the state some theologians call “already and not yet”. The prophets and John the Baptist remind us what God’s kingdom looks like: straight paths, mountains made low and valleys raised, mercy and justice, when “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Our Advent waiting is active, as we prepare the way for the presence of Jesus now and in the fullness of time.

Watch: In the gospel for the First Sunday of Advent, Jesus tells his disciples to stay awake, to be constantly on watch. Our Advent call is also to watch. Our lives are filled with demands for our attention, from daily responsibilities to the lure of advertising or cultural norms which promise happiness, wealth, or power. Without judgment, in the midst of all of this, Jesus asks us to be constantly on watch – for his presence in our lives and in our world, for the truth, for those who need us to be their voice or the hand of God.

Wonder: It is no accident that children are the face of Christmas, because they are filled with wonder. But as adults, we have heard the story so many times; we have seen dreams of peace die; we doubt that we can make a difference. Advent invites us to open ourselves to wonder: at God’s unconditional love for each of us, expressed in presence in every moment of our lives; at the mystery of the Incarnation: that God became one of us, and, in the words of our liturgy, “gives our mortal nature immortal value”; at the promise of hope for peace and justice for all the earth.

Mary is a perfect image for Advent. For the first coming of Jesus, she waited for his birth – a mystery she could not comprehend but accepted because of her deep faith and  her knowledge of all the ways that God had been with her people through generations. In his growing up and in his ministry, she watched – and followed as his first disciple, learning from him as he learned from her. And she wondered, which allowed God to work through her to advance the plan of salvation: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. (Luke 1:46)

Let us take the time to enjoy this special season. Not only will we be enriched by its gifts as we go along, we will probably experience its fruits even more in the Christmas season to come. May our gathering and celebrating together overflow into our daily lives and help to prepare a way for Christ in our world.

Altar Server Training and Social

All Altar Servers are invited to a special Altar Server Training and Social on Monday, October 30, 12:00-2:00 PM at the St. Raymond Parish Center/Church. We will spend the first hour on lunch (provided) and a social activity (learn how to throw a rugby ball with Mr. Jesson Mata).

We will discuss some liturgical trivia, learn the ins and outs of the Roman Missal (the book we use for prayers at the Mass), and practice some very cool actions that date all the way back to the time of St. Dominic. To sign up or for more information contact Jesson Mata at liturgy@straymondmp.org. We thank everyone for you and your parents for your work and dedication. 

Pope Francis celebrating Mass.

All Saints/All Souls Celebrations

OCT. 31, VIGIL OF ALL SAINTS, AT 7:30 PM

On “All Hallows Eve,” that is, the Vigil of All Saints, we will have a candlelit evening of chanted Night Prayer, readings from the Saints, and the Litany, followed by drinks and merriment to commemorate this great feast! Please note the Vigil will follow the 6:00 pm Mass.

NOV. 2, ALL SOULS TAIZÉ, AT 7:30 PM

The feast of All Souls will be celebrated this year on Thursday, November 2. We will have a candlelit Taizé service with special readings and prayers to commemorate the dead. As is our custom, we will collect the names of those you wish to remember and place them at the altar for the month of November where they will be a constant part of our prayer as a community. On the tables by the doors of the church there are cards on which to write the names of your beloved deceased as well as envelopes should you desire to make a contribution in their memory.

(Click on the image for a video on Taize)