Feast of St, Thomas, Apostle

Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle & Martyr
December 21, 2012 
COAT DRIVE SUCCESS!
by Parishoner Becky Heerema 
Coats for the Holidays
St George’s parishoners come through with 39 coates for
Eisenberg Elementary School

The coat drive has been a huge success and a blessing to many families right in our neighborhood! Tuesday afternoon, we delivered 39 coats for girls and boys from St. George’s and 39 coats for boys from Word of Life Academy to Eisenberg Elementary School. The principal, school counselor, and office manager were very thankful and anxious to start passing them out to students.

They had requested enough coats to cover their most needy students’ siblings as well, to include a foster family with two new students starting school that very day, and a family of seven children who will all have warm coats by the time this message reaches your home! The coats still keep coming, so we will be able to meet the same need at Molasky Middle School before they close for the holiday.

Our St. George’s congregation is truly blessed abundantly, not only with material things, but with hearts to share. Some of the children in our parish family opted to purchase coats for the schools instead of buying presents for each other this Christmas! This will no doubt come back to them in the joy of giving.

We are closing the coat campaign as we have met our goal! Thanks be to God!  We look ahead for other opportunities to help in the New Year. Thank you to all who participated and to all who supported the effort in prayer!

Sincerely in Christ, Becky Heerema

SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT UPDATE
By parishoner Kim Jones 
Pageant Rehearsal

Practice went very well last Sunday, and the Pageant will be great!

SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

Next Sunday, December 23, after 10:30 Mass    

Our annual Christmas Pageant has been ‘annual’ since my mom, Martha Tracey, started it back in about 1998.  I took over about 12 years ago.  Each year the characters are played by different children and they all get a chance to play different parts each year.  Jolie Heerema is Gabriel this year, but we call her ‘Gabriella’, and Hailey Oliver is Mary.

 Brandon, Joe, and James will be narrators and there are many, many more kids involved.  The costumes were hand made by Martha – they are basic and sweet.  This year, we have been blessed once again to have some teens come out of Pageant retirement and play the part of the camels…very tall camels.  We will enjoy some music from the choir featuring short exerpts from O Come All Ye Faithful, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and many more.

This is one of our biggest Sunday School lessons of the year.  The children have the opportunity to act out the Story of Our Lord and Savior’s birth.  They have worked hard all through Advent to prepare this for the congregation and they have made me very proud.

THE FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS
Next Sunday, December 23, 5:00 pm, followed by Reception 
St. George's Choir
Judith Greer and the St. George’s Anglican Choir

Every year, the music is exceptional and memorable; however, this year will be very special.  St. George’s choir has some beautiful traditional music for us this year, led by Music Director Thom Greathouse.

 

We’re expecting a great crowd, so come early!

 

Thanks to all those who have worked so hard to prepare for this year’s event and to those who are contributing to the reception.

CHRISTMAS EVE MASS
Christmas Eve Mass
Welcome Christ into your Christmas at the Christmas Eve Choral Mass, Monday, December 24, at 11:00 pm.  
CHRISTMAS MORNING MASS
Christmas Day
Welcome Christ into your life this Christmas Day.  The peace and inspiration of this service will feed your spirit all week long.
ADVENT PRAYER

Advent Wreath

Let not our souls be busy inns that have no room for thee and thine, but quiet homes of prayer and praise, where thou mayest find fit company, where the needful cares of life are wisely ordered and put away, and wide, sweet spaces kept for thee, where holy thoughts pass up and down, and fervent longings watch and wait thy coming.

 

Fourth Week of Advent

Advent is a Penitential Season, like Lent; therefore, altar flowers 
are not used during the Advent season except on the third (Rose).   

 

Liturgy for Lighting the Candles    

A member of the family lights one or more candles of the Advent wreath, depending on the Sunday in Advent

.


Leader:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.
Leader:
Rejoice – The Lord is at hand.
All:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Leader: Reads Scripture passage for the day (see list below) and concludes with “Here endeth the lesson.”

All: Thanks be to God.

Leader: Rejoice – The Lord is at hand.
All:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Leader: Reads Scripture passage for the day (see list) and concludes with “Here endeth the lesson.”

All: Thanks be to God

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

On the first Sunday in Advent the leader asks God’s blessing on the wreath with the following words:     O Lord, by Whose Word all things are sanctified; pour forth Thy blessings upon this wreath of green, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, and may receive Thy abundant grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leader: Let us pray
All: Visit, O Lord, this habitation and this family; drive far from it all snares of the enemy, let Thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace, and let Thy blessing be ever upon us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

Leader: The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy

Ghost, bless us and keep us. Amen.

 

The Collect

 

Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

 

O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succor us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. Amen. 

Visit, O Lord, this habitation and this family; drive far from it all snares of the enemy, let Thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace, and let Thy blessing be ever upon us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast off the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Leader: The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless us and keep us. Amen. 


At the end of the meal all of the candles are extinguished.

Suggested Scripture Readings for Advent Week 4, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Sunday:  John 5:37-47  
Monday (Christmas Eve):  Luke 1:26-38  
Tuesday:  (Christmas Day) Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday Luke 1:39-56 
Thursday: Luke 1:57-80  
Friday:  Matthew 2:16-23   
FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN
THE PROTOMARTYR
Friday, December 21
St.James

Evening Prayer: 5:45 pm
Mass: 6:00 pm

The Feast of St. Stephen falls on the second day of Christmas. The first Christian martyr, he was stoned outside Jerusalem, and died praying for his executioners. 

 

One of the seven deacons who helped the apostles, he was “filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit,” and was “full of fortitude.” 

 

The Church draws a comparison between the disciple and his Master, emphasizing the imitation of Christ even unto the complete gift of self.

FEAST OF THE
HOLY INNOCENTS
Friday, December 28 
Holy Innocents
 

Evening Prayer 5:45 pm 

Mass: 6:00 pm

 

December 28 is the feast of the Holy Innocents. This festival commemorates King Herod’s slaughter of all the boy-children in Judea in order to ensure that promised Messiah would not pose a threat to his throne.  

 

No parent can look at his own child this day and fail to know the anguish of these parents. It is the Innocents’ parents one remembers when standing over the bed of a fevered child keeping a night’s vigil, or when reflecting on the loss of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

 

 We are called as well to pray for all the unborn children around the world, that their lives would be preserved.

 

At one time this feast day was known in England as Childermas Day, and was a day of mourning when the churches ran a muffled peal of bells. 

FEAST OF THE CIRCUMCISION
OF OUR LORD
Tuesday, January 1
Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord

 

Evening Prayer: 5:45 pm

Mass: 6:00 pm  

 

The 1st day of January is the eighth day of the Nativity of Our Lord (i.e., from December 25 to January 1, inclusive, are 8 days).

This day is the Feast of the Circumcision. It is a Holy Day of Obligation on which we must attend Mass. On this day, we recall Our Lord’s submitting to the Mosaic Law by getting circumcised on the 8th day of His human life in obedience to the Law (Genesis 17:10-12). 

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