Prince of Peace will host a parish festival this year to celebrate the start of Advent on Saturday, 2 December from 9a-5p in the Parish Activity Center. In addition to a number of wonderful artisans selling hand-made goods perfect for Christmas gifts, there will be music, food, church tours, Advent items (candles, wreaths, calendars, and meditation books) and the official unveiling of Prince of Peace’s Great Nativity in the Parish for 2023. Children will have a free scavenger hunt and craft activity around the Market, and parish ministries will be present to share more about the good work they do in the community. Come join us as we prepare to celebrate Advent and await the feast of the Prince of Peace’s birth! Proceeds from vendor fees will go toward helping those in need this Holiday Season. For more information, or to enquire about vendor availability, click the link or contact Michael at 864.331.3902. Featured events:
- Saint Nicholas reading and kid’s photo op at 11a-12.15p & again from 3p-4p
- Kid’s crafts and activities throughout the day (festive gifts and Jesse tree scavenger hunt)
- Gift of a Christ Child figurine for your nativity (limited number – arrive early; will be blessed on 1st Sunday of Advent Mass)
- Chocolate Candy Decorating Class with Chef Maria Rauch at 10a & 2p. The fee (payable to Maria Rauch) is $10 fee per person. The class is open to children and adults. Children 10 and younger must have an adult with them and their cost is $20. Email to save your seat!
- 9a Market Opens with local artisans and vendors, festive live music, and the unveiling of The Great Nativity
- 10a Chocolate Candy Decorating Class
- 11a Saint Nicholas Reading & Photos
- 12.30p Organ Tour & Demonstration (in Church)
- 12.30p Special Book Reading & Gift of Baby Jesus (near stage in PAC)
- 1p Church Tour (in Church)
- 1.45p Sacred Music Demonstration (in Church)
- 2p Chocolate Candy Decorating Class
- 3p Saint Nicholas Reading & Photos
- 4p Join the Choir and Sing Carols
The Christmas season is a time for holiday cheer, friends and family. As Catholic Christians, we have a unique way of celebrating Jesus, Who is the reason for our season.
- Confession before Christmas is encouraged in Catholicism to purify the soul and embrace the spiritual renewal symbolized by Jesus’ birth. “Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.” -St. Isidore of Seville
- Attend Rorate Mass, a traditional Catholic Advent service celebrated before dawn, focusing on the anticipation of Christ’s birth, often lit only by candlelight. See the schedule here.
- End your Sunday with Compline. Compline is the final prayer service in the Liturgy of the Hours, traditionally observed before bedtime to seek peace and protection through psalms, prayers, and reflections. See the schedule here.
- Spend time before our Lord present in the Eucharist in the Christ the King Adoration Chapel. Learn more.
- Pray the St Andrew’s Christmas Novena 15 times a day from 30 November until Christmas.
- Visit the Advent Market on Saturday, 2 December where The Great Nativity will be unveiled and will remain open for visitors through the Christmas season. Learn more.
- Bring your Christ child figurine for a Blessing of the Bambinelli at all Sunday Mass times on 3 December. This tradition was first instituted by St. John Paul II! Each year, the children of Rome are encouraged to bring the baby Jesus (Bambinelli) from each of their Nativity sets to St. Peter’s Square. Following the Sunday Angelus address, the Pope blesses the figurines. This Advent tradition is a way for children to connect their Nativity scene at home to the celebration of Christmas at their church.
- Put up a Nativity Scene. In Advent, the three wisemen should be stationed far away from the central figures of Mary and Joseph. And the Baby Jesus too should not be displayed yet. As Advent unfolds, day by day have someone – ideally a small child – in your family move the wisemen closer to the Holy Family. On Christmas Eve, put the Baby Jesus in the manger and say the traditional family prayer to bless the Nativity scene. Keep advancing the wisemen until 6 January, the Feast of the Epiphany, when they finally arrive to adore the newborn King. Children should know the difference between Christmas and the Epiphany and understand the 12 Days of Christmas are those between the two feasts – not the 12 days leading up to Christmas.
- The Jesse Tree is a traditional Advent practice in Catholicism. It involves displaying a tree or a branch decorated with symbols or ornaments representing biblical stories and figures from Jesus’ genealogy. Each day leading up to Christmas, a new ornament or symbol is added, recounting the lineage of Jesus through Jesse, the father of King David. It serves as a visual and devotional way to reflect on the anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus while connecting to the broader narrative of salvation history. Learn more and get the graphics. Or, here’s a coloring book for young children.
- Read Fr Smith’s recommended Advent Reading, which he explains caveats about in his pastoral letter here.
- Check out these family-friendly ideas on how to celebrate Advent in your home from our Catholic Identity Committee of the parish school.
- Celebrate the saints with feast days during Advent, especially St Nicholas on 6 December (here’s how), St Lucy on 13 December (here’s how) and St Martin (here’s how).
- Fasting helps prepare us to celebrate the one Holy Day of Obligation during Advent: The Immaculate Conception on Friday, 8 December. For those not already fasting throughout Advent, 7 December is an ideal day to fast (on years when it does not fall on a Sunday). Mass times are 7a, 8.30a, 12p (Latin) and 7p.
- Ember Days are set aside to pray and offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God’s blessings. If you are in good health, fast on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday immediately following the Feast of St. Lucy on 13 December.
- The Blessing of Expectant Mothers is on Gaudete Sunday, 17 December, at 10a and 12n Mass.
- Pray the O Antiphons as part of Vespers on 17-23 December. Each of the titles of the O Antiphons addresses Jesus with a special title given to the Messiah and refers to a prophecy from the Prophet Isaiah. Listen to the O Antiphons chanted here. Or, print this prayer companion for home.
- Bless your Christmas tree! Here are the prayers to be said on Christmas Eve, which is when your tree should be put up. Use candy canes in your decor – read about the meaning of the sweet treat here.
- Get ready for back-to-back Fourth Sunday of Advent & Christmas Masses this year! The Fourth Sunday of Advent is Sunday, 24 December. Christmas follows the next day. Both are days of obligation. Therefore, we have two obligations to fulfill – we must go to two distinct Masses. For the purposes of fulfilling one’s obligation, the hymns, readings, prayers, or vestment color of the Mass have no bearing. The obligation is to attend any Mass within the timeframe allowed.
- To fulfill one’s Sunday or Holy Day obligation, one may do so by attending any Mass between 4p the evening before and 11:59pm of the day itself. That means, for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, you can go to any Mass between 4p on Saturday, 23 December and 11:59p on Sunday, 24 December.
- 4th Sunday of Advent Mass: Anticipated Mass on Saturday at 5p (English); Sunday at 8a (Low Mass, English), 10a (Sung Mass, English), and 12n (Latin)
- For Christmas, you can go to any Mass between 4p on Sunday, 24 December 24 and 11:59pm on Monday, 25 December.
- Sunday, 24 December: 4p Family Mass (English) with Children’s Choir, 6p Vigil Mass (English) with Youth Choir; Midnight (Latin) with St Cecilia Choir (music begins at 11.30p)
- Monday, 25 December: 10a Mass (English)
Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the LORD, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the LORD will raise him up, and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. James 5. 14-15
This sacrament instituted by Christ for the salvation of man has been historically known as Extreme Unction, although the contemporary liturgical books refer to it as the Anointing of the Sick. When a loved one is sick, family and friends often call for a Catholic priest to give comfort and prayer. The principal means by which the Church is present to the sick is through this powerful sacrament administered by her priests.
Like all the sacraments, to benefit from it one must have faith in God and His Mercy. It is not magic. But it often results in physical healing and always results in spiritual healing when received with faith. Only the baptized can receive the sacrament, and generally it is only offered to those in communion with the Catholic Church. It is offered to those who are gravely physically ill, of an advanced age, or preparing for surgery or some kind of risky event. It is not received validly under any other condition. It is not the sacrament for old folks or for those who feel “down.”
When a person is in danger of death, family and friends often call the priest to administer what is popularly referred to as Last Rites or Last Sacraments. Last Rites is not an antiquated term referring to the Anointing of the Sick, but refers to several things. If there is doubt as to whether the sick person is baptized, the priest administers a conditional baptism. Then, the priest encourages the sick person to make a good confession. Often this is not possible, and so the priest will ask for a sign of repentance like kissing a crucifix or blinking. If even this is not possible, the priest will administer absolution and often what is referred to as the Apostolic Pardon, a special grace from God and His Church to absolve sinners. The priest gives the person the Anointing of the Sick, and if he has not received it, the sacrament of Confirmation if there is time to complete the sacraments of initiation. Often if the person is in an irregular marriage and is capable of contracting a sacramental marriage with his partner, the priest will encourage that sacrament as well. Finally, the priest administers what is referred to as Viaticum, “food for the journey” by giving him Holy Communion. These actions together are what are called the Last Rites.
Sometimes it is not feasible to perform all of them for some reason or another, but the priest will always attempt the prayerful and fruitful completion of all of them.
When the person is at the moment of death, if a priest is present, he will say the Prayers of Commendation and commend the soul to God and His angels and saints. Deacons and laypeople are encouraged to say these prayers even when a priest is absent. Encouraging the sick person if conscious to make acts of faith, hope and love and to repeat the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary is a laudable practice. These prayers are not part of the Last Rites. Sometimes it happens that a priest has not been able to get to the body by the time of apparent death. He will then give absolution and anointing on the condition that they be alive, as we have no certainty when the soul leaves the body.
Every Catholic home should have a prayer book with the Prayers of Commendation as well as the following items: a crucifix, blessed candles, holy water, and either cotton balls or a Q-tip which can be buried or burned after the anointing. Catholic tradition holds that the priest bless the sickroom with holy water if it is available; Catholics should always meet the priest at the door with blessed candles and accompany him to the sick room if he is carrying the Blessed Sacrament; the cotton balls or Q-Tip are there to facilitate the ease of the anointing and to avoid contaminating the sacred oil itself. In historically Protestant countries and where the faith has been weakened, these customs are impossible, impractical, or imprudent to observe by priest and faithful, and even though no mention is made of them in the modern liturgical books, they are still praiseworthy customs to integrate into our lives.
Catholics should always contact the pastor of their parish if they or a loved one is sick, but they should never wait until it is dangerously close to death. The business and the scarcity of priests make it very difficult for them to respond with alacrity sometimes, even with the best of intentions. Catholics who are aware of fallen away Catholics should approach their pastor so that he might come to offer the sacraments, even if the person in question seems unwilling to receive them. Non-Catholic Christians who spontaneously request the sacraments in danger of death may be given them if it is clear that they have Catholic faith in the sacrament and it is not in any way against their will to receive them.
In case of medical emergency for parishioners of Prince of Peace or others living in Taylors, please call
- the parish office at 864.268.4352 during office hours or,
- outside of office hours call 866.456.2956.