December 2012

Dear Parishioners:

Haul out the holly…put up the tree before my spirits fall again. Fill up the stocking…I may be rushing things but deck the hall again….now. I hope I got the words of this song right but it often seems like we indeed rush into Christmas. All the preparations; all the parties; the writing of cards, all the shopping and gift wrapping, seem to rush Christmas on us faster than we can imagine. After all, there are only 24 more days of shopping left. But the Church sometimes goes against the culture and asks us, to pause and prepare for the Lord’s coming, not in a rush, but with patience and joyful anticipation.

Advent is not just a count down until we celebrate our Lord’s Incarnation. It is a time in which we are asked to look at a very important part of our lives. Are we prepared for everlasting life, our Lord’s second coming? After all the traditional themes of Advent are Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgment. These don’t really sound like a preparation for Christmas, do they? They are there to remind us our purpose is to prepare our hearts, mind, and soul for the coming of our Lord. They’re there to remind us that each and every day we should prepare a place for our Lord to enter in.

In anticipation of helping those less fortunate than ourselves, the Advent Project has already begun. I hope everyone that has the ability to donate food and/or funds will be generous as we strive to help those less fortunate than ourselves. During this season when we anticipate the celebration of the coming of our Lord, we are asked to be grateful and generous to those in need. We receive the names of these families from Arlington Ministries that select a certain number of families based upon their need. The schedule to bring in food and collecting donations have been in the Sunday Bulletins. I hope you will join us in preparing, sorting and distributing these needed necessities.

Advent Lessons and Carols will begin at 5:30 pm Sunday, December 2nd. Our choir has been preparing; our bell ringers have been preparing; our lectors have been preparing; and the harpists have also been preparing. We come together to prepare our hearts and minds to receive our Lord both now and at his Second Coming. We hear in word and in song the mighty acts of salvation that God has done for each one of us personally. I hope you will invite your friends and family to this meaningful and beautiful evening service. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. I hope everyone will join us for this special evening and invite your friends and neighbors.

On December 15th the staff would like to invite everyone to a Holiday Open House at the Kresowaty’s from 2 pm until 6 pm. In anticipation of my 29th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood I hope you will join us for this festive occasion to greet each other as our parish family.

I do want to remind everyone that there are four Sundays in Advent. December 23rd is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and there will be Sunday School for all ages at 9:15. You don’t want to miss the complete message of Advent by being absent from the Great Mysteries. Coming on December 23rd , however, is not fulfilling your Christmas obligation. Christmas begins with the Eucharists on Christmas Eve.

We each have an opportunity to share our faith and worship experience with our family and friends at Christmas. Take advantage of it. Although the schedule is also in this newsletter, we have: 5:30 pm Christmas Eve with Handbells, Children’s Choir and pageant. We have 8:00 pm Christmas Eve which will be a sung Eucharist with our fantastic Chamber Choir and Strings. We have 10:30 Christmas Eucharist, Rite I sung with incense. And of course we have a said Christmas Day Eucharist with Harp at 10 am. As I said, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the Incarnation of our Lord along with family and friends and all the company of heaven.

During the octave of Christmas we will have the Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr on Wednesday, December 26th at 9:30 am in the Chapel as well as St. John, Apostle and Evangelist at the 6:30 am Eucharist in the Chapel on Thursday. On the First Sunday after Christmas Day we will have our regular schedule, however there will be no Sunday School on that day. Sunday School will resume on January 6th at 9:15 am. January 6th is also the Feast of Epiphany, the Manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will be having a special celebration that is being planned by Monica so watch for details in the bulletin as the day approaches.

During this holiday season there is usually greater demand for help. If you are able, I ask that you consider a donation to the discretionary fund. We all are aware that things have become more expensive: rents, electricity, gas etc. Please consider making a donation to help those in need by giving to the discretionary fund as the time approaches.

My family and I want to wish everyone a most Blessed Christmas. May the Christ Child find your heart, mind and soul ready to have a place for him. May God bless each and every one of you in the New Year.

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2012/12/01/december-2012/

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