LITURGY NEWSLETTER. Diocese of Venice in Florida ADVENT-CHRISTMAS SEASON

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1 Diocese of Venice in Florida LITURGY NEWSLETTER ADVENT-CHRISTMAS SEASON Portions of this Newsletter may be useful to include in parish bulletins. ADVENT: EXPECTANT DELIGHT FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD The Season of Advent is an invitation to pause in silence to recognize the signs of the coming of the presence of the Lord. Advent has a two-fold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnity of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ s Second Coming. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight (Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, 39). Advent (from the Latin ad + venio meaning to come to ) begins the Liturgical Year of the Catholic Church and consists of the four Sundays before Christmas. The Advent Season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to the Anniversary of the Birth of Our Lord on Christmas and also the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time. The time of Advent that we begin again returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful! - Pope Francis NOTABLE DAYS OF THE ADVENT / CHRISTMAS SEASONS November 26, 2016: With Evening Prayer I for the First Sunday of Advent, the new Liturgical year begins. It is also the beginning of the Year of Grace Office of Communications 1000 Pinebrook Road Venice, FL November 27, 2016: December 4, 2016: December 8, 2016: December 11, 2016: First Sunday of Advent Second Sunday of Advent (Thursday) Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Holy Day of Obligation) Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) - 1 -

2 December 12, 2016: December 16-23, 2016: December 18, 2016: December 25, 2016: December 26, 2016: December 28, 2016: December 30, 2016: January 1, 2017: January 8, 2017: January 9, 2017: (Monday) Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe The O Antiphons sung/prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours Fourth Sunday of Advent (Sunday) Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord (Holy Day of Obligation) (Monday) Feast of Saint Stephen, the First Martyr (Wednesday) Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Friday) Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Sunday) Octave of Christmas - Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (Sunday) Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated (Monday) Feast of the Baptism of the Lord* *After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Ordinary Time begins on Tuesday, January 10, THE ADVENT SEASON With Evening Prayer I of the First Sunday of Advent, the new Liturgical Year of the Church begins. This same day/time begins the Year of Grace Advent weekdays have their own proper Mass texts. The texts of the Liturgy of the Hours draw from the Seasonal Propers. The Lectionary cycle beginning this Advent are as follows: Sunday Cycle Year A Weekday Cycle Cycle I Prior to December 17, 2016, Advent Preface I is used. On Memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, however, the corresponding Preface in the Roman Missal may be used in place of the weekday or seasonal Preface. Advent ends after Midafternoon Prayer (None) on Christmas Eve

3 EXPRESSIONS OF THE ADVENT SEASON Gloria A reminder that the Gloria in NOT sung or recited on any of the Sundays during Advent (General Instructions on the Roman Missal (GIRM) 53). Official Colors in Advent The official color for the Season of Advent is violet or purple (GIRM 346d). In order to distinguish between this season and the specifically penitential season of Lent, the color violet is used during Advent. Please remember that blue vestments are not authorized for use. On the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), rose color vestments may be worn (GIRM 346f). The Use of Instruments During Advent The use of the organ or other musical instruments should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of Advent, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord (GIRM 313). Decorations During Advent During Advent, the Church calls for moderation to be observed in the decoration of the altar and of the church. Floral decorations of the altar should also be marked by a moderation suited to the character of Advent, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord (GIRM 305). Floral decorations should be arranged around the altar rather than on the altar. Restraint in decorating is advised until after the Fourth Sunday of Advent. These same principles also apply for celebrations of weddings during the Advent Season. Advent Reconciliation Services In addition to the regular time during the week when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered at a parish for individuals, the scheduling of a time for a celebration of the Rite for Reconciliation of Several Penitents (with Individual Confession and Absolution) is recommended especially during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent. Where this is celebrated, the Rite of Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution is to be done (Chapter II of the Rite of Penance). Since the conditions required for the allowance of general absolution do not exist in the Diocese of Venice, the Rite of Reconciliation of Several Penitents with General Confession and Absolution is not to be done. Blessing Prayer of the Advent Wreath The Advent Wreath is a popular symbol in churches for the Season of Advent. It may be placed in the narthex (gathering area) or near the ambo. Each Sunday of Advent, an additional candle of the wreath is lit with the rose colored candle lit on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday). The Book of Blessings, beginning at #1509, says that during the homily the celebrant could explain the meaning of the Advent Wreath. The blessing can be found at #1518. At the end of the Prayers of the Faithful, the blessing is said. One of the intentions that could be included is: That this wreath may constantly remind us to prepare for the coming of Christ. We pray to the Lord. Other suggested intentions can be found at #1518. Advent Wreath Blessing #1519 With hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing: Lord God, your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior, who enlighten our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin. Pour forth your blessings upon us as we light the candles of this wreath; may their light reflect the splendor of Christ, who is Lord, for ever and ever. Amen. [Then, the first candle is lit.] - 3 -

4 SPECIAL MARIAN FEAST DAYS IN ADVENT 2016 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Thursday, December, 8, 2016 The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Thursday, December 8, 2016, is a holy day of obligation in the Universal Church and in all the dioceses of the United States since it is the patronal feast day of the United States. As a Solemnity and a holy day of obligation, all the faithful are required to attend Mass on this day. Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Monday, December 12, 2016 Prayers in Spanish for the enthronement of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe can be found online, for example, at Processions in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe are appropriate on this Feast, as well as many other local customs, including the reenactment, outside of the Liturgy, of the story of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. These customs may likewise enhance the celebration of this Feast as well as the celebration of the last weeks of the Advent Season. THE CHRISTMAS SEASON The light of Jesus is a mild light, it is a quiet light, it is a light of peace, it s like the light on Christmas night, without pretense. - Pope Francis After the annual celebration of the Paschal Mystery, the Church has no more ancient custom than celebrating the memorial of the Nativity of the Lord and His first manifestations, and this takes place in Christmas Time. (cf. Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, 32). The Christmas Season runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 9, The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord has its own Octave which includes, most notably: December 26, 2016, (Monday) Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr December 28, 2016, (Wednesday) Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs December 30, 2016, (Friday) Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph January 1, 2017, (Sunday) Octave of Christmas - Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God (and commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus) Official Colors in Christmas The normal liturgical color for Christmas is white. However, the color gold may be worn since this is a solemn occasion. Genuflection during the Nicene Creed At all Masses celebrating the Nativity of the Lord, all genuflect during the Creed at the words, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. Christmas Tree Blessing - The Christmas Tree Blessing is taken from the Book of Blessings, #

5 Christmas Proclamation The Christmas Proclamation, known as The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ, is now found in the Roman Missal. This may be chanted or recited, most appropriately, on December 24 th during the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. It may also be chanted or recited before the beginning of Christmas Mass during the Night or after the Greeting and Introduction. It may not replace any part of the Mass. It can be chanted, sung, or read by a deacon, cantor, or reader. The text and musical notation is found in Appendix I of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. Placement of the Manger If the manger is set up in the Church, it must not obstruct the area around the altar. A place should be chosen that is suitable for prayer and devotion and is easily accessible (cf. Book of Blessings, #1544). A blessing for a Christmas manger or Nativity Scene is found in Chapter 48 of the Book of Blessings. The Blessing of Homes The Christmas Season, especially the Solemnity of the Epiphany, is a traditional time when homes may be blessed. The Blessing of Homes can be found in the Book of Blessings # Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Friday, December 30, 2016 At Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the priest may wish to make use of the Blessing of a Family found in the Book of Blessings # Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God (Octave of the Nativity of the Lord) Sunday, January 1, 2017 Sunday, January 1, 2017 is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. (It is also the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord and the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.) Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Sunday, January 8, 2017 The Epiphany Proclamation is found in Appendix I of the Roman Missal and can be chanted or recited by a deacon, cantor, or reader from the ambo following the proclamation of the Gospel. A reminder that in the Roman Missal, there is now a Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord to be used for Saturday evening Masses on the eve of the Solemnity of the Epiphany. After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Ordinary Time begins on Tuesday, January 10, MAY YOU HAVE A BLESSED ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS SEASON! - 5 -

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