This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent; we begin anew Liturgical Year. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and therefore, begins no earlier than November 27th, and no later than December 3rd.
The Church document, Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year, and the General Roman Calendar, describes Advent in this way: Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight (#39).
The people of Israel had been waiting for centuries for the Messiah to appear. Coming to Mass each Sunday during Advent, should stir up within our hearts that ancient longing for the Savior, and it should renew within us a desire for His Second Coming.
Like the Season of Lent, Advent is a penitential season in which the liturgical color purple is used. Both are seasons of preparation, but there is nevertheless a slight difference in character. Advent has a strong character of hope because it leads directly to the birth of a child. So, though a penitential season preparing for the coming of the Lord, Advent is also accompanied with a very strong and lively sense of hope.
This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent. During Advent, our Parish will participate in an “Advent Outreach Drive” for Cross Catholic Outreach (CCO). From their website: “Cross Catholic Outreach is a 501c3 Catholic relief and development ministry that provides food, shelter, medical care, water, education, self-help programs, care for orphans, and emergency relief to the poorest of the poor in Dioceses around the world in the name of Christ.” In particular, our Advent Outreach Drive will support CCO’s “Homes For Christmas” Program. It only costs $8,580 to build a solid, concrete home for a family in Haiti. My hope is that our Parish will raise at least the $8,580 to build a home for a family in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere with six out of ten people living on a little over two dollars a day. Please note that I have researched and found CCO to be a safe organization which doesn’t support organizations promoting anti-Catholic values. Over 95% of their budget goes directly to program services (2.77% Administration, 1.98% Fundraising). Truly a quality, Catholic non-profit. Please prayerfully consider supporting our Advent Outreach Drive.
Calling All Musicians: Those interested in joining the OLH Virtual Choir should contact our Director of Music, Angela Conover, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer later in this bulletin to a note about limited seating capacity for next weekend’s Saturday, December 5th, 5PM Mass, and Sunday, December 6th, 9AM Mass.
During this season of Advent, I invite you to spend more time in prayer, so that you may welcome the Lord Jesus into your heart in a new way on Christmas Day. Please consider making these four weeks of Advent more about Jesus than anything else.