Seasonal Information - Advent and Christmas 2020
Christmas Mass Schedule 2020
(subject to change depending on current guidelines)
3:00pm at St. Maria Goretti Church
3:00pm at Our Lady of the Assumption Church
4:30pm at St. Maria Goretti Church
4:30pm at Our Lady of the Assumption Church
9:30am at St. Maria Goretti Church
11:00am at Our Lady of the Assumption Church
Pre-registration required: Sign up by 12pm on December 15 for the Mass you plan to attend. You may do so by filling out our website's Contact Us form, emailing our Administrative Assistant Janine Sano, or calling our business office at 781-598-4313. Please be sure to note your name, the Mass you plan to attend, the number of people who will be attending with you, and your phone number.
Please see our website's Mass Options page for more information on guidelines. Note: If a Mass is at full capacity, exceptions cannot be made for admittance. No one will be allowed to stand in the back or sit in the choir loft.
A virtual Mass will be available on our website starting December 24 at 3pm.
The one and only collection taken at our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses benefit the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust which cares for the health and well-being of our 536 active and senior priests in good standing. By supporting this collection, you are helping to ensure that our active priests receive the care they need to continue their important work and our senior priests can live in community with access to quality care. This collection is a primary source of funding for the Trust and your generosity is greatly appreciated. To donate directly online, go to: https://41399.thankyou4caring.org/chrt/2020-christmas-collection
Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season that begins four Sundays before Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds both to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas, and to Christ’s second coming at the end of time.
Advent devotions, such as the Advent wreath and calendar, remind us to focus on the meaning of the season and builds anticipation to the Nativity of Jesus.
Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles -- usually three purple and one rose-colored -- are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. The purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance, preparatory sacrifices, and good works that should be undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass. Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and Christmas is near. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.
Here is a booklet of prayers that you and your family can follow as you light each candle of your Advent wreath: Prayers for Lighting the Advent Wreath
Spreading Advent Hope and Christmas Cheer
At a time when many people are isolated, quarantined, homebound, and apart from family and friends, we will be spreading some ADVENT HOPE and CHRISTMAS CHEER this year!
What wonders a simple phone call, a Christmas card, or a token gift can do to lift someone’s spirits and let them know someone cares.
If you would like to help spread some Christmas cheer to our neighbors, contact Kate McGrath, Pastoral Associate, via email or at 781-598-4313, ext. 224.
Our Giving Tree tradition continues... though with a little twist. On the weekend of December 5/6, we'll be collecting store gift cards from Target, Walmart, Market Basket, and Stop & Shop to help Catholic Charities. Gift cards may be dropped off on Saturday, December 5th after the 4pm Mass at OLA, or on Sunday, December 6th after the 9:30am Mass at SMG and the 11am Mass at OLA. For the drive-through visit with Santa, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a094faca822a3fd0-christmas
On the third Sunday of Advent, we celebrate Bambinelli Sunday at both Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Maria Goretti churches, a custom began by St. John Paul II. He had encouraged families in Rome to gather in St. Peter’s Square and bring with them the baby Jesus from their Nativity set. The Holy Father then blessed the statues of infant Jesus, and they were taken home, gift-wrapped, and became the first present to be opened on Christmas. This tradition reminds the whole family that the gift of the birth of Christ is the core of Christmas.
With COVID-19 and the restrictions currently in place, we have had to forego so many of our traditions -- in our homes, our churches, and our communities. But it's also an opportunity to start new ones or adjust the ones we had in personal and meaningful ways. If you cannot attend one of our Bambinelli Sunday celebrations in our churches, we offer this prayer, used by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, that you may pray over the baby Jesus statue in your home nativity set with your family:
God our Father, You loved us so much you sent us your only Son, Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, to save us and lead us back to you. We pray that, with your blessing, these images of Jesus might be a sign of your presence and love in our homes. Good Father, give your blessing to all who gather with us this Christmas, our family and friends. Open our hearts, that we might receive Jesus in joy, do always what he asks of us, and see him in those who need our love. We ask this in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son, who came to give peace to the world. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen
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Children's Book about the Nativity
Our parish is blessed to have our very own registered therapy dog in attendance at many of our children's read-aloud sessions, walking group strolls, and other dog-friendly events. Orla is a nine-year-old Golden Retriever whose human happens to be Kate McGrath, our Pastoral Associate and Faith Formation Coordinator for OLA Grades K-8. Because Orla wants to share her many adventures with others, Kate has written down some of her stories in short, read-aloud books that are great introductions to the richness of our Catholic faith and what they mean to our daily lives. Make this one an Advent tradition for your family: Adventures with Orla: The Christmas Nativity.