The Advent Wreath - Hope, Peace, Joy, Love
The Advent wreath is the traditional centerpiece of the Christmas season. It symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day.
On the First Sunday of Advent, a purple (or blue) candle is lit to celebrate Hope, the inspiring and uplifting hope that Christ among us represents. On the Second Sunday of Advent, another purple (or blue) candle is lit to celebrate Peace, both the Prince of Peace himself and the promise of peace on Earth. On the Third Sunday of Advent, a pink candle is lit to celebrate Joy, the joy the shepherds received at hearing the news of Christ's birth, or the joy that God brings into our lives. As the coming of Christ draws near, the final purple (or blue) candle is lit on the Fourth Sunday of Advent to celebrate Love, both God's boundless love for us and our love for one another. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, "Christ" candle which can be lit at Christmas to celebrate the purity of Jesus and the joy felt on this day.
The bright light from the candles is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who in Christian faith is seen as the Light of the World. The circular shape of the wreath represents God's eternity and unity.
The Bishop's Annual Appeal "CONTINUE THE MISSION"
FOR THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal has provided a perfect means of channeling parishioner support to essential ministries that provide care to those in need and support for our mission of evangelization in the greater capital region. The many needs that we confront daily challenge our resources and make it difficult for me, for us, to continue our mission to offer real support to the poor and continue to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.
I NEED YOUR INVOLVEMENT this year as never before, but, please know I am praying for you. Join me in prayer and with this powerful support help sustain our efforts to Continue the Mission. To the degree you are able, I encourage you to give generously to support the BAA.
FINDING LASTING PURPOSE IN OUR FAITH, and trusting fully in the sacrificial love of Christ, we will move forward together. “The One who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENTS
The Blessed Sacrament may be received by Catholics who have undergone First Holy Communion as part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist during Mass. Catholics believe that the soul of the person receiving the Eucharist must be in a "state of grace" (i.e., not be in a state of mortal sin) at the time of reception; to receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is to commit sacrilege.
The Blessed Sacrament can also be exposed (displayed) on an altar in a monstrance. Rites involving the exposure of the Blessed Sacrament include Benediction
and eucharistic adoration. According to Catholic theology, the host, after the Rite of Consecration, is no longer bread, but Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, who is transubstantiated in it. Catholics believe that Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God prefigured in the Old Testament Passover. Unless the flesh of that Passover sacrificial lamb was consumed, the members of the household would not be saved from death. As the Passover was the Old Covenant, so the Eucharist became the New Covenant. (Matt 26:26-28), (Mark 14:22-24), (Luke 22: 19-20), and (John 6:48-58)