November 30, 2014
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
- Imagine – visualize 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.
Sharing your Prayer with a Gift Tag
After wrapping your gift in prayer attach a gift tag that will be provided for you.
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.
Next weekend Gift Prayer Tags will be available at the doors of the church. Attach 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.
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?
Advent Season Opportunities
• Advent Spiritual Sessions
Sunday, December 7 at 11 AM – Russo Room OR
Tuesday, December 9, at 7:00 PM – Marian Hall
Sunday, December 14 at 11 AM – Russo Room OR
Tuesday, December 16 at 7:00 PM – Russo Room
• Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Sacrament of Reconciliation
Wednesday, December 17
Adoration – 7:00PM
Reconciliation – 7:30PM
Prayer and Service – Giving Tree
The giving tree will be placed near the front entrance of the church holding Gift Tags that specify the needed gift for people served by Catholic Family & Community Services, Martin de Porres Village, St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly and Mt. St. Joseph Children’s Center. Purchase your gift, wrap it, pray for the recipient and attach the Gift Tag.
Some of the Tags are for Food Certificate Gift Cards or other stores with various predetermined amounts. Place cash or check in the envelope and pray for the recipient. Return your gift in the collection basket and we will convert it into a food certificate. Your gift wrapped in prayer will be given in the same envelope, as a witness to your prayer.
Remember to wrap your gift in prayer. All gifts need to be returned by the 12 Noon Mass on December 21st to the Giving Tree location.
To read complete bulletin click here