MASS SCHEDULE FOR CHRISTMAS (December 24, 2012)
24, Monday – Christmas Eve – 5:30 p.m.
25, Tuesday – Christmas Day – 10:30 a.m.
26, Wednesday – Feast of St. Stephen – 12:15 p.m.
27, Thursday – Feast of St. John – 12:15 p.m.
28, Friday – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 12:15 p.m.
+ The Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. will be preceded at 5:00 p.m. with Christmas carols and hymns. The procession for this service is long because we include the children and the building of the crèche. We will have a more than full choir for this service.
+ The Christmas Day service at 10:30 a.m. has become a tradition for some of our families; it is quieter and shorter than the Christmas Eve service. We will have hymns but no choir.
+ Feast of St. Stephen – Today’s saint gives us a sober and timely reminder of the trials of the Christian life. Stephen is the first deacon to proclaim Christ, and also the first to be martyred for that testimony. He was one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles in the early days of the Church, and is most likely of Hellenistic Jewish descent. Filled with the Holy Spirit and learned in the Scriptures and Jewish history, he gave an apology for the Faith in the midst of a crowd of Jews, contained in the 7th chapter of Acts of the Apostles. Moses and the prophets all pointed to the coming of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of Israel and of mankind: “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
+ The Feast of St. John – Saint John was one of the twelve apostles and, according to tradition, the author of the fourth Gospel, the three epistles which bear his name. He is regarded as the “beloved disciple” in the Gospel accounts, and was a member of the “inner three” disciples, the other two being Peter and James. John is also the only one of the disciples who stood at the cross of Christ during the Crucifixion.
+The Feast of the Holy Innocents – This feast day commemorates all those infants two years of age and under who were murdered by the soldiers of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:16-18). Having been told by the Magi that the King of the Jews had been born, Herod sought to kill Him. God, however, revealed to Joseph in a dream that he should take the Child into Egypt to protect Him, thereby fulfilling the Old Testament prophesy: “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” (St. Matt. 2:15 & Hosea 11:1). The Feast of the Holy Innocents speaks to our time, with its wanton disregard for the sacredness of life. All life comes from God and is sacred – from the unborn to the aged and crippled.