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From Fr. Jim

Dear Friends,
Today the Church embarks on a brand-new Church Year: the Year of Grace, 2019. And we begin the new Church
year with the new Season of Advent. The “advent” of what? The advent of the coming of Christ in two ways:

1. We ready ourselves during these four weeks for the yearly commemoration of Christ’s coming at Bethlehem on Christmas Day;

2.We prepare for the coming of Christ once again in glory at the end of time…it’s our Christian hope. We say it every Sunday at the Creed “…He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…”. So, while we associate all this “getting ready for Christmas” with shopping…decorating…sending cards, etc…all fun things to do, what we are REALLY getting ready for is that welcoming of Jesus into our world when He chooses to come back. The great question is: ARE YOU READY???

One of the most prominent signs of Advent in church is the ADVENT WREATH. The circle of evergreens symbolizes
the everlastingness of God. The four candles symbolize the four weeks of Advent…but four weeks really symbolize the lifetime we have to prepare for Christ’s coming. The candles are purple and rose: purple symbolizes Advent as the penitential time: Christians use these four weeks before Christmas to cleanse their souls from sin and make a worthy “manger” in their hearts for Christ in time for Christmas . We
should all think about getting to Confession before Christmas…no better way to gift Jesus at Christmas than by receiving the gift of forgiveness: it’s Christ’s Christmas gift to the world!

Notice also the purple/deep blue of the priest’s vestments: these colors symbolize the deep rose/blue of the horizon outside on these mornings before Christmas: those are the colors of the eastern sky before the rising of the sun. So during Advent we use purple/dark blue/rose as we ready for the coming of the SON of Man.

I want to thank Lisa Roberts for creating such a lovely purple frontal for our altar…and thanks to Chris for his supporting role! Also, the Flora-Dora girls are busily preparing ribbons, wreaths and candles for the Season…thanks to all!

Have a great week, Fr. Jim

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