This is an unusual year in that the fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve. The Chancery of the Archdiocese has reminded every parish to be clear in explaining that one must attend a precept Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent as well as another Mass for one’s Christmas obligation. In other words, you cannot attend one Sunday Mass and count it for Sunday as well as Christmas. There are no “2 fer’s.”
St. Ann and Sacred Heart therefore announce the following schedule of Masses for Christmas: Please note that Sunday Masses on Christmas Eve morning are at the usual times at both St. Ann and Sacred Heart.
Christmas Masses at St. Ann are scheduled for Sunday, Christmas Eve for 5:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and midnight. The midnight Mass at St. Ann will be celebrated by a Glenmary priest. Fr. Schmitz will celebrate on Christmas Day (Monday) at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Christmas Masses at Sacred Heart are scheduled for Sunday, Christmas Eve for 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. and midnight. Carols will begin at 11:10 p.m. Masses on Christmas Day (Monday) are at 8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. (Please note that the 7:00 p.m. time is a departure from the past, but I could not find a priest to have an earlier time, so I must return from St. Ann in time for this Mass.)
I will have the regular confessions at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 19 at Sacred Heart and Saturday Morning, December 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart. Remember however that there is a Funeral scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart. I MUST stop hearing confessions by no later than 10:00 a.m.!!! Please don’t wait until the last minute! I don’t want to turn anyone away, but I will have no choice as we approach the funeral time.
New Year’s Schedule
Recall that January 1, 2018 New Year’s Day falls on a Monday just like Christmas. However, New Year’s Day the Feast of Mary the Mother of God is not the patronal feast for the United States. The patronal feast of the United States is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Therefore the “obligation” to attend Mass on New Year’s Day is excused. In other words, we are obligated as Catholics to attend Mass for Sunday, December 31 either on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, but we are not obligated to attend Mass for New Year’s on Sunday evening or Monday. For this reason, the only anticipatory Mass will be New Year’s Eve (Sunday Evening) at 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann. There is no anticipatory Mass on Sunday evening at Sacred Heart. Monday (New Year’s Day) there will be the regular 7:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart and the regular holiday Mass time of 9:00 a.m. at St. Ann. There will be no other Masses on Monday New Year’s Day.
Confused? Just remember that Monday, January 1, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God is not a Holyday of Obligation this year.
Annual Fr. Tharp Split the Pot
We have been selling chances for the annual “Fr. Tharp Split the Pot for St. Ann.” As in the past, we will sell tickets to the end of the calendar year. As the pot grows larger, interest swells. Encourage your friends and associates to buy early and buy often.
Tickets will be sold after all Sunday Masses in the vestibule.
Reflection on Scripture
“I am not the Anointed One (the Christ)! I am not Elijah!” With these humble words, John the Baptist set the stage for Jesus Christ. In humility he explained his humanity while calling them to look forward to the divinity of Jesus. By reminding the crowds who he was not, he made clear who he was. If we can live the humility of sinners, we can show forth the characteristics of the blessed.
This Christmas, give the gift of mercy. It requires you to practice humility, but it may also infect all you meet with new found charity. It’s the gift that multiplies itself into infinity. Peace of earth, and good will toward humanity starts with each little act of charitable mercy and can grow into a mighty river of compassion. Live charity and spread Christmas cheer.
Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Theme: The Annunciation