GAUDETE IN DOMINO!!! "REJOICE IN THE LORD!!!" In the age when we knew and sung the prayers of the liturgy by heart, Sundays were identified by the first words of the entrance antiphon from Saint Paul's letter to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord allways, again I say rejoice! The Lord is near" (Philippians 4:4-5). On Wednesday we move into the second half of Advent. The liturgy now turns from focusing on the return of Christ is his glory at the end of time to the approaching commemoration of Christ's first coming in the flesh in the mystery of the Incarnation: his birth in Bethlehem. In addition, the Church begins using the "O Antiphons" (which we traditionally know as the versus of the hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)." Drawing upon ancient biblical names and titles for the promised Messiah, these antiphons muster all of our hope and all of our faith in the promises of God to tend to his holy people. These prayers, which date back to the seventh century, are used as the Magnificat antiphon during Evening Prayer from December 17 to December 23.
I invite you to prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord in a special way through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Tuesday, December 16; 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Thursday, December 18; 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 20; 3:00 - 4:40 pm
Monday, December 22; 5:00 - 7:00 pm
This weekend, we will be participating in the annual collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious. Senior Catholic religious Sisters, Brothers and Order Priests offered their lives in service to others, educating the young, comforting the sick and seeking justice for the oppressed. Today, many are frail, elderly and in need of our assistance. "Each year the need to provide for our elderly religious becomes more pressing and we are ever more grateful for these providential funds," writes a religious sister. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious supports basic necessities such as prescription drugs and nursing care. For more information, please see the bulletin insert. For your convenience, Retirement Fund envelopes have been included in your packet of regular contribution envelopes. If you are new to the community or do not have an envelope, extras are available at the Information Desk in the Gathering Space. Thank you for your generosity.
The 2014 Holiday Worship Schedule is printed in this bulletin for your convenience. Please note there is only one Mass on Christmas Day at 10:00 am. We fill the space with almost 2,000 at 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve so we thought why not on Christmas morning since we're all setup from the night before. We are also adding 5:00 pm Mass on New Year's Eve and adjusting the time on New Year's Day to 9:30 am (at the request of many) so more people can begin the New Year with Mass. Both Christmas and New Years are Holy Days of Obligation.
The sign-up for Liturgical Ministers for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day is posted in the Gathering Space. If you know you will be going to any of these Masses, please sign-up for a liturgical ministry. The 2015 Workbook for Lectors may be picked up from the counter in the sacristy.
Our operating budget here at St. Joe's depends on a healthy Christmas collection. A generous gift to the Christmas Collection or a Special Year End Gift will support our parish ministries and programs and also positively affect your taxes and other financial considerations for 2014. In the spirit of Christmas and gift giving, please consider St. Joseph of the Lakes and our mission to proclaim the Gospel, provide ministries and serve the broader community. I would be happy to visit with you, if you would like to make a Special Christmas and Year End Gift. If you plan to donate stock, please contact our parish administrator, Amy Moore as soon as possible to ensure that you get credit for the gift in the year 2014.