The 8:30 AM Mass will be celebrated in the St. John basement while the main church upstairs is still covered following the painting. Volunteers are invited to help take down the plastic sheets and clean the church before the Saturday, 4:00 PM Mass. Please pitch in!
This period in the Church’s year begins Tuesday after the Monday feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It’s called “ordinary” because the weeks are numbered in order – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. The priest’s vestments are green. Usually, at this same time, our church’s Christmas decorations come down and we all have returned to a regular home, work, and school schedule. Ordinary Time, however, is not at all plain and simple. On the contrary, week after week, we see all facets of Christ’s life, a change from celebrating and delving into one aspect, His birth, as we did at Christmas. What could be ordinary about exploring the full sweep of Christ’s works and teachings? The green of Ordinary Time, like the green of nature, also encourages us to grow and mature in our faith, and as the color of hope, to anticipate the gifts of God’s kingdom. We use readings for Year II for daily Masses and hear the Gospel of St. Mark. In a few weeks, Ordinary Time gives way to Lent. We return to Ordinary time after Pentecost.
This class will have its first session Sunday, January 7 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at the Lively Center. Classes run through April every Sunday except Family Mass Sundays. Mariann Sjolander will be our teacher. To register, please call the parish office, 748-8129, or email Deacon Tom Lovett at email@example.com.
Religious Education students will perform a Nativity pageant Sunday, January 7 at 11:30 AM at St. John just before the beginning of the 11:30 AM Mass. Students will rehearse during their usual Religious Ed. classes that start at 9:30 AM. This Mass will count as the monthly Family Mass.
This feast day marks the end of this year’s Christmas season. Some celebrations go on until the Feast of the Presentation February 2, but we now return to Ordinary or numbered time until Lent begins in the middle of February. Today we hear the Gospel relate John the Baptist’s baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, the remarkable appearance of the Holy Spirit, and the voice of God the Father. It is Christ’s third revealing of His divinity and identity as Redeemer, following last week’s Solemnity of Epiphany and the Nativity.
Sunday, December 24 - 4:00 PM - St. John; 7:00 PM - Queen of Peace; Midnight - St. Elizabeth. Monday, December 25, Christmas Day - 10:00 AM - St. John. One must attend two Masses next weekend to meet the Sunday and the Christmas Mass obligations.
Our Advent wreath is complete today, with all four candles lit, just as the light of Christ is near to breaking in on us later this week when Christmas Day dawns. This week, Nature seems to observe this momentous change with the Winter Solstice, when daylight hours will begin to grow. As John the Baptist observed, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our final preparations begin and excitement builds as we await the Savior’s birth. This year, we must attend a Saturday, December 23 late afternoon Sunday Vigil Mass, or Sunday, December 24 morning Mass to meet our Sunday obligation, before Christmas Masses begin Sunday late afternoon.
Today we lay aside purple and penitence to rejoice on Gaudete or Joy Sunday. We are nearing the end of our journey to the Savior’s birth. The priest may wear rose-colored vestments and we light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. More light, more anticipating joy. We continue to prepare, cleaning our souls, our hearts, our homes, making ready for the holy babe who is on his way to Bethlehem.
Young Adults, ages 18 - 39, are invited to a potluck supper and evening service at the Mary Theotokos Retreat Center in West Burke, Sunday, December 17 starting at 5:00 PM. Please text Kate at 802-535-0322 for information. The program begins with supper and continues with Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration with Confessions. Father Curtis Miller will lead the service.
Confessions will be heard at these times in addition to the regular schedule: Sunday, December 17, 2 - 3 PM, Queen of Peace; Wednesday, December 20, 6 - 7 PM, St. John; and Friday, December 22, 6 - 7 PM, St. Elizabeth.
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. ... Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
Queen of Peace will be the host location for Corpus Christi's Advent Retreat day, Saturday, December 9, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. The schedule includes talks, small group discussions, Eucharistic Adoration, and time for prayer and worship. We'll also serve a free lunch. To register, fill out a brochure, drop it in the collection basket at weekend Masses, or bring it to the parish office. Deacon Tom Lovett is taking signups by telephone or email: 802-751-8187; firstname.lastname@example.org. Speakers will include Father Harlow, Father Curtis Miller, Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Barton Irasburg, and Orleans, and Deacon Dave Baker.
Please buy a gift for a Kingdom Community Services neighbor. Take a tag at St. John's this weekend, and bring the unwrapped gift to a pickup sites by Tuesday., December 5. Mayos Furniture and Flooring is accepting these donations. Please call or text Julie Gist with questions: 802-535-6594.