15th December 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

Gaudete Sunday:
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.

Memorial Acclamation. For the coming year the response to “The Mystery of Faith” will be:
 We proclaim your death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.

Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament: after 10.00 am Mass to 11.00 am on the Wednesdays of Advent.

Morning Prayer on Fridays of Advent:  Morning Prayer of the Church (Lauds) after 10.00 am Mass on each Friday of Advent.

The Parish Assembly: meeting this Monday 16th December in the Parish Centre at 8.00 pm.

Deaths:We pray for Sheila Warner, late of Deerpark, Friars Walk, and Doreen O’Donovan, Friars Road, who died recently.  We extend our sympathy to their families.

Christmas & Triduum Cards in the Parish Office after all Masses. The Triduum of Masses will be offered on 23, 24, 25 December.

Trocaire Christmas Gifts are available at the back of the Church from members of the Parish Assembly during Sundays of Advent.

Walk With Me: An excellent booklet available at the back of the Church (Cost €1.30). A journey of prayer for Advent & Christmastide 2019.

GIVING SUNDAY: gifts may be placed at our Giving Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary.  We request non-perishable foods to help struggling families.  Any of the following items – tea, coffee, sugar, Tayto, chocolates, selection boxes, biscuits, soup, (no toys). Collected by St. Vincent de Paul Society after Masses.

Bambinelli Sunday: this Sunday families may bring their crib figure of the Infant Jesus to Mass for blessing.   After the blessing you are asked to take the figure home and gift wrap it so that on Christmas morning it is the first gift opened and then placed in your family crib.

Christmas Masses:
Christmas Eve: 6.00 pm & 10.00pm.
 Christmas Day: 9.00 am, 10.00 am and 12.00 noon (note the extra Mass at 9.00 am).
St. Stephen’s Day: 10.00 am.

Altar Decoration for Christmas. Red Poinsettia plants would be much appreciated.

John Paul II awards for young people were launched by Bishop in conjunction with the Pastoral Development Office and we will introduce them in our parish in January. These faith achievement awards for young people between 16 and 18 are non-competitive, inclusive, flexible and voluntary and help young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development through helping in school, parish and community activities.

If you are interested in participating as a young person or if you would like to know more about what the award involves please contact one of the priests or a member of the Parish Assembly.

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”

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 ?
Am I kind in word and deed?
Do I pray for my enemies and forgive
Do I respect others? Have I used others
selfishly? or irresponsibly?

     4.  My practice of justice  Do I respect the needs, rights, and
property of others?
Am I honest in 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.

Confessions: each morning this week after the 10.00 am Mass.

Frankfield Gospel Choir:
Sunday 15 Dec. at Frankfield Church, at 5.00 pm for Share a Dream Foundation.  Voluntary collection on exit.
Monday, 16 Dec. Rory Gallagher Theatre CIT in aid of Cork Stand Together (student homeless charity).  Tickets €10 from events.cit.ie <http://events.cit.ie> .