December 04, 2016

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.

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.

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 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

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?

Lessons and Carols
The Youth Choir, Adult Choir and Handbell Choir of St. Philip the Apostle will present the Annual Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 18 at 3:00 PM in the Church. Admission is free, however, a free-will offering is appreciated to help support the efforts of the Music Ministry program. Please join us for an afternoon of readings from scripture and singing of hymns and carols in celebration of this most joyous season.

Advent Opportunities
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Saturday, December 17 – 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Christmas Pageant with refreshments:
Sunday, December 18 after 9:00 AM Mass
Bible Study
Bible Study continues during the Advent Season on Mondays at 11 AM in the Molloy Center. Our final session for this year will be on Monday, December 19th.


Right of Christian Initiation of Adults
Monday, December 5th at 7 PM in the Russo Room. All are welcome and invited to join us as we continue with our Advent reflections. This Monday we will “wrap our gifts in prayer”, so bring a gift that you purchased for someone and we will all pray and wrap together. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200.
The Rite of Acceptance is Sunday, Dec. 11 at 12:00 Mass.


Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: December 4, 18
Grade 2: December 4, 11, 18
Grades 7, 8: December 11
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: December 11

The Giving Tree
Saint Mother Teresa once shared that “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving.”
Consider being a part of providing a merry Christmas to individuals and families in our local community by participating in our annual Giving Tree. It’s simple:

• Purchase the specified gift.
• Wrap the gift in prayer.
• Pray for the recipient of the gift.
• Attach the same gift tag to the wrapped gift.
• Place your wrapped gift with the specified gift tag back under the tree.

All gifts need to be returned by the 12:00 PM Mass on December 18.


The Monday Night Group: December 12th at 6:30 PM in the Left Conference of the Molloy Center – Please note change of date

Christmas Party
All Columbiettes, our Brother Knights and your guest are invited to come to celebrate the birth of Christ on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 6:30 PM in Marian Hall. A light dinner will be served at 7:00 PM followed by a homemade dessert table. Due to popular demand, we will play LCR. (Come prepared.) Admittance to the party is three items of food for local school food pantries: unsweetened cereal, peanut butter, juice boxes, canned meat and fish. Please RSVP by December 11, 2016 to Sharon at 973 742-0926 or

Columbiette Blanket Ministry
The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 9:45 AM in the Molloy Center. All crafters are welcome. Blankets are donated to hospitalized children, chemotherapy patients, needy children, and the homebound of the community. For donations or further information, call Cathie Murtha at 973-471-1265.

Rosary Society
The next meeting of the Rosary Society will be our Christmas Party on Monday, December 12, 2016 in Marian Hall. The meeting will begin with the Rosary at 6:30 PM followed by Mass. Bring your favorite Christmas mug or cup. All are welcome!


Saint Philip Prep is bustling with holiday spirit. The students are preparing for the Christmas show. The Christmas show will be on Tuesday, December 6th. Students in grades Pre-K3 through 3rd grade will perform at 9:30 AM Students in grades 4-8 will perform at 7:00 PM. It is going to be an amazing show as the students have been dedicated to practicing and preparing for weeks!

In other news, the 2nd graders will be making their Reconciliation on December 10th. They have been preparing for this sacrament with their teachers. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to receive this important sacrament and further prepare for receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Students in 5th grade are using writer’s workshop in the classroom. In this program they are going through the steps of the writing process. The students are currently working on their 1st writing pieces. They were able to choose a topic and are currently planning, drafting, and revising their pieces. This program is helping the students to grow as writers. They are writing with more detail and expressing things that are meaningful in their writing.

Boy Scout Wreath Sale

St. Philip Boy Scout Troop 21 is having their Annual Wreath Sale after all masses on Saturday, December 3rd & Sunday, December 4th. They will be selling fresh wreaths as well as grave blankets and grave pillows. Please support the Boy Scouts of Troop 21!

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