Light of Christ...Follow His Star
Celebrating our Fatih this Advent
By Ivette Estrada, Director, Spanish Language Ministry, & Sue Hofmeister, Director, Community Life
The following celebrations held at Prince of Peace during Advent are very special in their own way. Each event is open to all parishioners and guests. We invite you to join us this month and prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord Jesus on Christmas.
Breakfast with Jesus (Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, after 9 a.m. Mass; no Awakenings Faith Formation Program)
Children and families are invited to gather together in the Prince of Peace Community Center to listen to stories about the nativity. The children will enjoy a craft project and sing various songs as we continue to prepare for the feast of Christ. For more information, contact Mary Camarata, Faith Formation, (281) 469-2686 (x227) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation) (Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010)
We honor Mary, our Mother, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin on Dec. 8 each year. The day’s celebration is significant, as Catholic Church doctrine states, because the "the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.” The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Vigil and Mass Schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, Dec. 7
7 p.m. Vigil Mass, Main Church
7 p.m. Vigil Mass, Mary Chapel (Spanish)
12 a.m. – 12 a.m. 24-Hour Adoration, Mary Chapel
6:30 a.m. Mass, Main Church (*)
9 a.m. Mass, Main Church
12:10 p.m. Mass, Main Church (*)
6 p.m. Mass, Main Church (Spanish)
7:30 p.m. Mass, Main Church
POP’s “Day of Prayer for Our Nation” 24-hour Adoration (Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010)
On Dec. 8, Prince of Peace also is celebrating the second annual “Day of Prayer for our Nation”, where we are all asked to pray for our country. Twenty-four hour Adoration will be held in the Mary Chapel on Dec. 8, midnight to midnight. Contact the Worship Ministry for more information, (281) 469-2686 or email@example.com.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 11 & 12, 2010)
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration is in honor of the Virgin Mary who is known as the “Patroness of the Americas.” Her prayers and protection span to all the people in the “Americas”, from South America to Ca nada. She announces the coming of her son, Jesus, as both our brother and Savior. POP's Celebration starts with a Mass in the Main Church on Dec. 11, at 12 p.m. followed by a rosary at 11 p.m. and ending with the singing of a serenade for Our Lady at midnight. The celebration is followed by a reception of “pan dulce” (sweet bread) and “champurrado” (a hot chocolate drink) in POP's Community Center. On Dec. 12, we’ll celebrate a bilingual Mass with a procession of children with flowers for Our Lady, as well as traditional dances by the “Matachines”. A reception follows the Mass. The schedule is as follows:
Mass, Main Church (Spanish)
11 p.m. Rosary, Main Church (Spanish)
12 a.m. Midnight – Mañanitas, Mary Chapel (Spanish)
Annual Tree Lighting (Dec. 14, 2010, 7 p.m.)
This annual family-friendly celebration begins in the Prince of Peace Main Church with a Christmas program by the Children’s Choir and Blessed Beginnings preschoolers. Afterward, we stand together around the living evergreen tree near the courtyard (between the Main Church and Community Center) for the tree blessing and lighting ceremony. A reception follows in the Community Center with refreshments; please bring a tray of cookies to share. Copies of a tree blessing for your family’s Christmas tree also will be available. Contact Sue Hofmeister, (281) 469-2686 (x246) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Las Posadas (Dec. 16 – 23, 2010; 7 p.m. on Dec. 16)
In Mexico, Christmas is a very important holiday season with strong traditions. The “Posada”, meaning “Inn”, is only one of the most colorful traditions and begins on Dec. 16. The celebration commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter. The Posada has evolved into a religious and social celebration, paying a festive homage to the journey. We’ll gather outside and begin our journey with prayers and songs along the way. When we arrive, we’ll divide into two groups with one group indoors and the other outside. In song, those of us outside will beg for shelter and are turned away until the fifth house when we are welcomed indoors. The festivities then begin with the breaking of the piñata. This celebration continues for nine days, ending on Christmas Eve. At Prince of Peace, we will celebrate the first Posada the evening of Dec. 16, followed by a celebration with a piñata and refreshments. For more information, contact Ivette Estrada, Spanish Language Ministry, (281) 469-2686 (x258) or email@example.com.
Simbang Gabi (Dec. 19, 2010, 7 p.m.)
Since 1565, the Christmas season has been the longest and most loved celebration among the Filipinos starting with the novena of Masses, called Simbang Gabi, on Dec. 16 until midnight, Dec. 24. Usually celebrated during the early dawn, the Mass expresses our deep appreciation of our Mother Mary for saying “yes” to fulfill her role in the mystery of the Incarnation. In the long history of our faith, Simbang Gabi has brought about conversion and evangelization. It expresses our hopes, longings and uniqueness as a faith-filled community, and enables us to focus on the Christ Child instead of the consumerism and the busyness of the holiday season. After the Mass, a reception and fellowship will follow in the Community Center. Delicious traditional foods prepared by our Filipino community will be served. Contact Sue Hofmeister, (281) 469-2686 (x246) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36