17th December 2017 – 3rd Sunday Advent (B)

       Third Sunday of Advent                   We light the third (pink) candle of the Advent Wreath on the third Sunday of Advent. This Sunday is called Gaudete, the Latin for “Rejoice,” after the first word of the Entrance Antiphon for today: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

The Jesse Tree Symbols for the Third Sunday of Advent

The seventh symbol.  The prophet Nehemiah urges the people to change their ways and return to God. A wall on today’s ornament reminds us of the wall rebuilt around Jerusalem. The eighth symbol.   John the Baptist proclaims the coming of a new saviour and renewed life for all through repentance. The scallop shell on the ornament is a traditional symbol of baptism.  The ninth symbol.  The angel Gabriel tells Mary she will be the mother of our saviour, Jesus. The white lily on the ornament symbolizes new life and resurrection – hope for the future.

Infant Jesus Sunday: Families are invited to bring their crib figure of the Infant Jesus to Mass this weekend for blessing.   After the blessing you are asked to take your figure home and gift wrap it and place it under the Christmas tree so that on Christmas morning it is the first gift the family open for Christmas, and it is then placed in your family crib.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after 10.00 am Mass to 11.00 am on Wednesday. Morning Prayer of the Church (Lauds) after 10.00 am Mass on Friday.

Christmas Penitential Services this weekend after 6.00 pm vigil, 10.00 am & 12.00 noon Masses.

Visiting priests will be with us for Confessions as we prepare for Christmas.  None of us is without sin and we are all in need of forgiveness. God offers us a most wonderful gift, the assurance that no matter how we have failed his forgiveness is there for us all.  In the words of Pope Francis: “Mercy is the Lord’s most powerful message”

Confessions: each morning this week after the 10am Mass, also after the 6.00 pm Masses on Saturday and Sunday.

Christmas Masses: Normal weekend Masses at 6.00 pm on Saturday and 10.00 am and 12 noon on Sunday. Christmas Eve Masses at 6.00 pm & 10.00 pm on Sunday evening.  Christmas Day Masses at 9.00 am, 10.00 am &12.00 noon (note the extra Masses at 10.00 pm and 9.00 am).

Christmas gifts with a difference. Trocaire Gifts are available at the back of the Church from members of the Parish Assembly.

Parish Christmas & Triduum Cards are available in the Parish Office after Masses this weekend.  The Triduum of Masses will be offered on 23rd, 24th, and 25th December.

Our Parish Calendars are in the Sacristy. It would be great if the Area Collectors would help to distribute them. Many thanks.

Christmas Coffee Morning: On Tuesday 19th December after the 10.00 am Mass the Parish Assembly invites us to tea or coffee with Christmas mince pies in the Parish Centre. All welcome.

Giving Sunday: The third Sunday of Advent is when Santa will help our local St. Vincent de Paul Society and Santa’s Giving Tree is in place.  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.

The Holy Land Pilgrimage October 10th – 18th Oct.  2018:
If you are interested in traveling with our Parish group give your name to Fr. Kerry 087 2202022,  kerrymoc@eircom or to Jack in the Sacristy.

Altar Decoration for Christmas:  If you would to give a Red Poinsettia plant to decorate the Altar for Christmas, it would be much appreciated.


Most are familiar with the procedure for this Communal Reconciliation Service, all you need to say to the priest when you approach for Confession is:

“I am sorry for all my sins, especially for . . . .”    Then you tell your own sins simply, in the best way you can, asking for God’s Forgiveness. Be prepared to leave all your sins with the Lord and promise him that you will try to do better.

Examination of conscience                                                                          An examination of conscience concerns our daily lives and our maturity as human beings. It is not preparing a grocery list of sins, but looking at the things we do and at the person who does them. It asks how do we relate to God and to our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.

A good way of preparing for confession is to divide my life into a few general areas, and take a look at each.

1.   My relationship with God:

Do I give time to God?

Do I pray each day?

Do I attend Mass regularly?

2.   My home life

Am I hard to live with? Do I make my home happy?

Am I moody and selfish?

Do I cause serious problems at home – unfaithfulness,

drunkenness, taking drugs, violence, long cold silences?

Do I seek help?

Am I faithful to my commitments?

3.   My relationship with others:

Am I tolerant of and unselfish towards others?

Am I kind in word and deed?

Do I pray for my enemies and forgive them?

Do I respect others? Have I used others selfishly? or


4.   My practice of justice:

Do I respect the needs, rights, and property of others?

Am I honest with my business dealings?

Do I pay my debts? Do I cheat, or make false claims?

Do I pay my taxes?  Do I give to those in need?

Act of Contrition                                                                                                                          O my God I thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for not loving others and not loving you. Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again.   Amen.