December 10, 2017

PARISH ADVENT PROGRAM

WRAP YOUR GIFTS IN PRAYER

Unwrap the gift of God in Prayer.  In the midst of Advent and Christmas busyness, we offer you a way to pray and to discover our God who is with us.  Each season the preparation for gift giving can be a source of stress.  This year can be different.  Our Christmas practice of gift giving is intended to be a visible symbol of love and Christian service in action.  Why not use our gift giving as a form of prayer?  Wrapping your gift in prayer can add a spiritual dimension to an ordinary task.

Wrap Your Gift in Prayer
As you choose your gift, ask for God’s guidance and bring a prayerful awareness to the exchange.  When you actually wrap your gift, whether in wrapping paper or in a gift bag, pray for the recipient.  Ask God to fill them with light, love and the peace of Christmas.  Cards and electronic greetings may also be wrapped in prayer.

Prayer Method Choices
• Imaginevisualize the person for whom you pray.  Picture the Lord blessing them.
• Speak pray out loud, “Lord surround (name) with your light; fill him/her with your peace.”
• Sing – a Christmas carol.
• Gesture dedicate the use of your hand motions in wrapping as your prayer.
• Hear – simply repeat the person’s name knowing that the Lord hears our every word.
• Recite – a pre-written prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Rosary . . .
• Act – reach out to someone in need of the gift of your care.

For difficult relationships pray: Lord bless (name) and transform me to set me free.

Sharing your Prayer with a Gift Tag
After wrapping your gift in prayer attach a gift tag that will be provided for you.

gift

Witnessing to your prayer by means of a Gift Tag is like giving an additional gift because it may lead the receiver to become more aware of God’s presence in her or his own life.

This weekend Gift Prayer Tags will be available at the doors of the churchAttach the Gift Prayer Tag to a gift, group of gifts or gift bag.  You may also wish to duplicate the gift tag sheets on your own computer by visiting our website www.stphilip.org.

Advent Hymn
Emmanuel is a Hebrew word that means: God is With Us.

Our Advent practice of wrapping our gifts in prayer may lead us into a deeper experience of how very near the Lord is to us in every moment.

A new verse has been composed for the Hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and will be sung as part of the processional at the Eucharist during the Advent season.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
Deep within, as gift, your Spirit dwells.
With Advent’s dawning light, draw us near.
Teach us to love as peacemakers here.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
May This Our Gift Of Prayer, Your Glory Tell.

You are invited to use these words and familiar tune as part of your prayer and reflection.

Reflection Questions and Prayerful Activity
Carefully read each line of the Hymn Text.
1. How do these words apply to your life?
2. How is God with you in this Advent moment?
3. What can you do to become a peacemaker, at home,
at work, in the world?

HOLIDAY MASS SCHEDULE
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT:  THERE WILL BE MASS AT 5:30 PM ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23RD AND 8:00 AM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24TH.
NO10 AM OR 12 NOON MASS ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 24TH.
CHRISTMAS: THE CHRISTMAS EVE SCHEDULE WILL THEN BEGIN:
4:00 PM, 6:00 PM AND 10:00 PM (PRECEDED BY CAROLS AT 9:30PM)
CHRISTMAS DAY: 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM AND 12:00 NOON

LESSONS AND CAROLS
lessonPlease join us this weekend, Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 3:00 PM for a service of Lessons and Carols.  Hear readings and beautiful music provided by our Adult and Youth Choirs and Handbells.
Come meditate on the spirit of Christmas with us!

GOOD NEWS FOR PARENTS
Join us this Sunday, December 10th at 9:00 AM in the Russo Room for parents to hear about how we can help you as people both in your lives and in your roles as parents.  Julia Gabriele, Family & Executive Coach, will facilitate along with members of our Pastoral Staff. Future session dates:
January 21, February 11, March 18, April 22, May 6
When was the last time you had a moment to take care of yourself? All are welcome

PRAYER OPPORTUNITY: MEDITATION HOUR

prayer
"O, Come All Ye Faithful!"
Join us for prayer, guided meditation and reflection on Thursday, December 14th at 7:00 PM in Marian Hall.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CHRISTMAS PAGEANT 2017
The Confirmation and Youth Group students will present a Christmas Pageant for our students on Sunday, December 17 in the school auditorium following the 8:00 AM Mass. Parents, please remain with your child/children for the duration of the Mass and Pageant as it will not be a full class session.

Grades One and Two students are invited to dress as angels, shepherds, or stable animals for the Christmas Pageant. If you choose not to come costumed, please wear Christmas colors and remember to bring your cameras!

All are invited!  Refreshments will be served following the pageant.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The next class for grades 1 – 6
December 17th – Christmas Pageant
The next class for grades 2 and 7 – 10 is December 10th
Denise Pannullo for Grades 1 – 8 at 973-779-1439
Victoria Velasco for Confirmation at 973-798-8772

GIVING TREE
Pope Francis challenges us to answer God’s call to be protectors “showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.”
The holidays give us the perfect opportunity to answer the call to help people in our very own community in need of help. After Mass, today, please make a stop at our Giving Tree in the vestibule. Participating is simple!
• Pick up a tag from the tree.
• Purchase the specified gift.
• Wrap the gift in prayer.
• Pray for the recipients of the gift.
• Attach the same gift tag to the wrapped gift.
• Place your wrapped gift with the specified gift tag under the tree.
All gifts need to be returned by the 12:00 PM Mass on December 17.

N ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Our students, teachers, and staff are prayerfully awaiting the celebration of the birth of Christ during this Advent season.  There is an Advent wreath displayed in our auditorium, and the children participate in special Advent prayers and projects in the classrooms. We wish everyone the same joyous anticipation of Christmas Day.

In our school the students have performed for family and friends at the annual Christmas Show.  The students of all grades took to the stage with song and dance to help ring in the Christmas season.  It was a splendid success.

Our Student Council has sponsored a Holiday Fundraiser collecting donations from our school community to package and send to Poland to our Military troops serving there.

Some of our teachers have begun to utilize a new series in literature, “Great Books,” a series focusing on true comprehension enhancing reading and writing skills.  Use of Chrome books is incorporated with the program.  The use of Chrome Books is occurring in many classes in various subject areas. 

YOUTH GROUP

The Christmas party will be Wednesday, December 20th at 6:45 PM.
Beginning in January, the Youth Group meetings will be moved to Sundays at 11 AM: January 7th and 28th.

To read complete bulletin click here