PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS As we prepare for Christmas, John the Baptist reminds us to: “prepare the way of the Lord.” God is coming to save us, to rescue us from sin, fear, unhappiness and death. And the Baptist tells us: “be content;” an attitude of contentment may not be in tune with our consumerist society, but it does bring happiness and the freedom to enjoy what we have. Jesus tells us that life is more than food and clothes, more than material goods. Christmas is a time of giving, giving presents to those we love, giving gifts to those in need, a time of sharing, giving of our surplus to ensure others have food and clothes, have the basic necessities of life. Religious observance without generous giving is worthless, and of course it is more blessed to give than to receive. We wish each other “Happy Christmas,” and St Paul says to us today that God wants us to be happy. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” As we pray for joy and peace this Christmas, we pray also that the peace of God will renew our attitudes and guard our hearts throughout this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
.Christmas Penitential Services Next weekend 19th & 20th December after 6pm vigil, 10am & 12 noon Masses. A number of priests will be available for Confessions. We have an opportunity of preparing for the birthday of Jesus. We come together in faith as a community to celebrate God’s forgiveness. None of us is without sin. We are all in need of forgiveness. God knows that deep down in our hearts we want to turn back to him. God offers us this most wonderful gift, that is the assurance that no matter how we have failed his forgiveness is there for us all. Pope Francis said recently “Mercy is the Lords most powerful message”
The Jubilee Year of Mercy was proclaimed by Pope Francis on Tuesday last, 8th December the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when He opened the Holy Door in St. Peter’s in Rome. Bishop Buckley opened the Holy Door in our Diocese on Saturday evening 13th December in St. Francis Church, Liberty St. The Jubilee Year of Mercy continues until the Feast of Christ the King – 20th November. 2016.
Christmas Masses: Christmas Eve: 6pm & 10pm. Christmas Day: 9am, 10am 12noon (note extra Mass at 9am)
Deaths. We remember in our prayers Fr. Eddie Keohan, Mary O’Grady, Ina Dwyer & Jim Royal who died recently and we extend our sympathy to their families.
Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament on the Wednesdays of Advent after the 10am Mass until 11am
Parish Christmas & Triduum Cards are available after Masses in the Parish Office. The Triduum of Masses will be offered on the 23/24/25 Dec
Altar Decoration for Christmas: If you would like to give a Red Poinsettia plant to decorate the Altar for Christmas it would be much appreciated.
Traditionally this 3rd Sunday of Advent is “Giving Sunday” – when Santa will help our local St. Vincent de Paul Society. Our Santa’s Giving Tree is in place. This year instead of toys, we request non-perishable foods to help struggling families. Any of the following items – tea, coffee, sugar, Tayto, chocolates, selection boxes, biscuits, soup, may be placed at the Santa Tree in the Church (no toys). The members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will collect them after the Masses.
Our Parish 2016 Calendar is ready. It would be great if the area collectors would help to distribute them. They are in the Sacristy. Many thanks.
Christmas gifts with a difference: You can purchase a Trocaire gift and get a card to send or give to a friend, available at the back of the Church from Parish Assembly members after Mass. This Christmas change someone’s world for the better with a Trócaire Gift
Messiah: At the Church of Ss. Peter & Paul on 19th Dec. A performance of Handle’s Messiah by Cor Cois Abhann with full orchestra and soloists. For information notice at back of Church
Advent: Public Morning Prayer (Lauds) on Tuesdays in Advent in the church after 10.00 am Mass. Evening Prayer (Vespers) in the Parish Centre at 7.30 pm.
Minister of Eucharist & Word can collect their Rota in the Sacristy and their Missal for 2016