Father Fred Link, O.F.M.

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is the name of the program of Advent music and reflection which will be presented this Sunday evening, Dec. 4, at 7 PM in church.  As those of you who have attended these concerts in the past will attest, the presentation will be professional, beautiful and moving.  And it’s always timed perfectly so that our uncomfortable pews don’t become burdensome.   I very much respect director Marty Cunningham’s decision to focus on the spirit of this liturgical season of Advent rather than doing Christmas music.  We’re already exposed to a lot of that in the electronic media.  And our choir will perform beautiful Christmas music for us in the 30 minutes prior to our “midnight” Mass on Dec. 24, and throughout the Christmas season.  I hope we can fill the church this Sunday night!

By now you’ve had the opportunity to pick up some of the reflective material for Advent on the table in the commons and also to have taken an ornament from the SVDP’s Giving Tree.  If you have not yet done so, don’t miss the opportunity.  Note especially the beautiful refrigerator magnets with the schedule of all of our Advent-Christmas events—thanks to David and Kathy Harcourt for producing those. 

This coming Thursday, Dec. 8, is the Solemnity of the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feastday of the United States of America, Patron and Queen of the Seraphic (Franciscan) Order”—to use the title as it appears in the official Franciscan calendar and guide for the liturgy.  Because this is a holy day of obligation, we have a schedule of Masses which will make it possible for most to celebrate:  7 am, 8 am (with school community), 12:10 pm, and 7 pm.  I know that the Roger Bacon High School community will be gathering at St. Clement at 10 am that morning.  When they’re here, though, the church is bursting at the seams!  May Mary continue to watch over all the peoples of our country, and to bring us ever closer to her son Jesus. 

Have you met Jeremy and Amy Hemingway?  They are members of our parish Pastoral Council, two of my appointees as representatives of the young adults of St. Clement.  In fact, Amy and Jeremy head up the Young Adult Committee of the parish.  Well, they are the proud new parents of their first child Lucy, who will be baptized during 10:30 AM Mass next Sunday, Dec. 11.  As you know—because I’ve written about this in the past—we invite any parishioner to celebrate the Baptism of their child within the context of Mass and with the whole parish family. The rubrics in the ritual state: “If possible, baptism should take place on Sunday . . . It should be conferred in a communal celebration in the presence of the faithful . . . who are all to take an active part in the rite.”  We invite all parents to consider this option, though most choose to do it after Mass with family and friends, which is perfectly fine.  If many requested celebrating the sacrament during Mass, we would limit the number of times that we would do this.  The baptism takes place after a “short homily” (also stated in the rubrics!) so that Mass is not extended. 

 

This is an awesome season of grace!  Again, I hope you can come to the Advent Concert this Sunday night.  In any case, let’s each keep the prayer “O, Come. O, Come, Emmanuel” in our hearts.  And let’s do so with the confidence that indeed He will !

 

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