Mark your calendars!!
Make a plan!!
Here is our Christmas Mass schedule!!
Christmas Eve, December 24
4 p.m. (live-streamed)
Christmas Day, December 25,
All in-person Masses will be held in the Church only, with the requirement of signing up to gain entry. Once that Mass is fully booked, there will be no additional availability. I realize that some might find this frustrating, but I hope you can understand that we are trying to avoid the difficult and awkward scene of turning people away at the door. I encourage you to make plans early and sign up, and to be patient and flexible if your first choice of Mass time is no longer available.
We will have a “pre-recorded” Mass with choir music on Christmas Day that will be broadcasted on Facebook at 11:00 a.m. and will also be available to view on the parish website for parishioners/visitors to watch at any time thereafter.
The link will be available on this Flocknote, as well as on our Facebook and website. The opportunity to sign up to attend Mass will close on Saturday, December 19th at 12 noon.
Dispensation from the Sunday Mass (and Holy Day) obligation by Archbishop Lori continues until further notice.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near. These words from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (4:4-5) are the source of the title of today’s observance, Gaudete (“Rejoice”) Sunday. God’s promise to come to our aid does indeed fill us with joy. I stated last weekend that perhaps it is difficult for many to embrace the “holiday spirit” as our secular society would call it. We speak, rather, about holy JOY. Rejoicing in the Lord isn’t just some passing euphoric feeling of happiness, but deep-rooted confidence in God’s power and desire to save us. It means, as the now iconic hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing” states: “no storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging...” The music of Advent and Christmas stirs our hearts at the proclamation of God’s love, manifest in the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though our singing is reduced right now to a quiet murmur underneath our masks, it still comes from the joy within our hearts that the Lord has come.
As a reminder, we are celebrating the Vatican tradition of blessing Nativity scene figures of the baby Jesus (“Bambinelli” in Italian). The tradition was started by Pope Paul VI in 1969 and ever since, the Bambinelli blessing has been given by the pope during the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on the Third Sunday of Advent. It’s a teachable moment for families to refocus children on the true meaning of the Advent season. I ask every household in our parish, young and old, to unpack your crèche and bring the baby Jesus from your family’s Nativity scene to the Mass you attend (whether it be in person or virtual) to be blessed this weekend!
Yesterday, the Anne Arundel County Executive imposed new restrictions in the county in light of COVID. The new restrictions do not impact our weekend Masses at all. We will continue to remain open and operating at the same capacity we have been since July, which is already under the 1/3 limit imposed today. Our Mass schedule will remain the same, and we will continue to be vigilant with social distancing, sanitizing our hands and wearing masks. I'm grateful for our amazing team of parishioners and staff that have worked tirelessly during these months to keep us safe and open for Mass. Please keep praying during these very difficult days, which have been so exhausting on us all.
SCAM ALERT! If you had received an email from me asking for a favor or to purchase gift cards, please be advised that I did not nor would I ever ask you to do these things. I do not have a “Gmail” email account, so just delete it. When in doubt, email me at Paul.Sparklin@seaseton.org.
We have been asked by a group of teens from Arundel High school to help promote their Christmas drive. The Wildcats Against Children's Cancer Club at Arundel High School is organizing a holiday toy drive for patients at the Hematology/Oncology unit at Children's National Hospital. Items must be brand new and in original packaging, and cannot be gift wrapped. To see recommendations and guidelines for gifts, please visit: https://childrensnational.org/-/media/cnhs-site/files/volunteer-services/dr-bears-closet--wish-list--october-2020.pdf?la=en&hash=E60CCCDE259D7D2D5FA834D38E6DDB7AC7688162 There will be a bin outside the main hall doors to the parish if you wish to donate.
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
I encourage you to sign up for weekend Masses through the parish website or FaceBook page. The link is available after the 9:30 Mass each Sunday UNTIL Wednesday evenings at 10:00pm. We are seeing an increase in walk-ins to Masses as of late. If you come to Mass without signing up, we cannot guarantee you a seat. Don’t forget to wear your mask, use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and keep your social distance as you approach the Main Entrance of the Church!
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.
Have a good week!