Advent Wreath Blessing
November 26, 2016
The Advent Wreath
Does your family have an Advent Wreath?
The Advent wreath is a traditional devotional item found in many Christian homes. The circle of the wreath speaks of an eternal God with no beginning or ending. The evergreen boughs tell us of a God whose love is everlasting, a love that remains constant throughout the changing seasons. The candles which still adorn the wreath are traditionally purple, to remind us of the need to ask God to forgive our sins, with a single pink candle lit on the third or ‘Gaudete’ (Rejoice) Sunday to remind us of the joy that is coming into the world soon. These lights speak to us not of a sun god, but of God’s own Son, whose light dispels the darkness of sin and make all our paths straight and true.
From its pagan beginnings, the Advent wreath has grown to become a wonderful devotion reminding us of the promised coming of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. As the light of our Advent wreath grows, we share in the expectations of Isaiah, John the Baptist, and of Mary for the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a savior. We gather each day in Advent around this special wreath to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus who pierces the darkness of sin with the light of his love.
Wreath kits are available at the main entrance of the church OR contact the parish office.
If you want to make your own, this 'How-to' will help making your own a fun family time;
And once it's made, you can use the following prayer to bless it this weekend;
(before you light your wreath for the first time this advent)
O God, whose word makes all things holy, send forth your blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. May we receive from you abundant graces, throughout this Advent Season. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgy Update from Lori Vatamanuk Liturgy Chair
September 18, 2016
My name is Lori Vatamanuk and I am the Chair of Liturgy here at Christ the King. I have been a member of this parish for 31 years and I have been part of Liturgy - as a minister for 30 years and as a committee member for the past 7 years (4½ as Chair).
Today, I’d like to talk to you about the Mass. But I want you to think about a couple of things while I’m talking to you. Why do you come to Mass? Are you happy while you are here or are you just putting in your envelope and doing the time? Are you changed in some way before you leave?
These are questions that we on the Liturgy Committee think about regularly as we plan and prepare for our liturgies…whether it is for the regular Sunday Mass or special Masses through the liturgical year. Why are we here? To encounter Christ in the Eucharist…to receive the joys of Holiness from God. We hope to enhance our relationship with Jesus. We develop that relationship through prayer and the greatest prayer we have is the Mass…we start with the sign of the cross, we end with the sign of the cross and everything in between is the prayer.
We on Liturgy have a mission that we aim for the conscious and active participation of the congregation throughout the Mass. You are not meant to just show up at the last minute and dash out after receiving Communion. The final blessing is an important reminder that we are to go out to love and serve the Lord.
Within the bulletin, you will now find a published list of the Mass times and they are extended Mass times. We felt that it was important to provide a more accurate estimate of the Mass time. Our 5:00 and 9:00 Masses have been listed as 1 hour 10 minutes and the 11:00 Mass at 1 hour and 20 minutes as this Mass has the largest congregation and Communion takes longer at this Mass. Depending on your own schedule and time restraints, we hope that this information can help you determine which Mass might best work for you so that you are able to arrive in plenty of time and still be able to remain through to the final blessing. Will we always take this exact amount of time? No. We just want to be up front with the idea that Mass is not 60 minutes. It’s sometimes longer, and sometimes shorter. Be prepared for that.
If you happen to have young children between the ages of 4 and 7, you will see in the bulletin we have a wonderful Children’s Liturgy program offered at the 5:00 and 11:00 Masses. Hopefully you are able to attend a Mass that allows your children to participate in the Liturgy of the Word shared at a level specifically for them. If you are willing to perhaps become a leader for this ministry, come speak to me or call the Parish office. We need several new leaders to keep this ministry alive and growing as our parish continues to grow. And, who knows, we may even find ourselves needing to offer this at all the Masses at some point in the future.
All the ministers are listed in the bulletin for the upcoming week. It serves as a reminder to those ministers that they serve the following week, but it also serves a greater purpose. In some cases, we have ??? listed in place of a minister and that means we don’t have a minister to fill that spot. We’ve had these vacancies for a while now but our Mass coordinators have been doing a tremendous job filling them in as people arrive for Mass so you may not even be aware that we actually have a great need for ministers. But, I need to point out the not so obvious need - our hospitality ministers. In some cases, like at the 5:00 Mass, we only have 3 teams who rotate through the schedule. And the same can be said at the 9:00 Mass where we only have 2.5 teams. The 11:00 Mass has a great need for Eucharistic ministers. What I am saying is look at the bulletin. Really look at it. How often are ??? listed? Or, how often do you see the same people being listed over and over again?
We need everyone who is able to consider serving in a ministry at Mass. We have a youth ministry team who serve at the second 11:00 Mass every month but that does not mean that youth cannot serve at any Mass at any time. Altar servers can start in grade 2 usually after they receive their Sacraments and go on through into high school or they can move onto other ministries starting in grade 7. There’s something for everyone.
Lastly, I want to point out that we have the music ministers also listed in the bulletin with the other ministries. Music, in general, has the unique ability to evoke emotion when we hear it and sing it. For example, you married folks out there, what was the song you danced your first dance to at your wedding? How does it make you feel? All those memories come flooding back right? I get that way when I hear the hymn “We Are One Body” out of the Glory & Praise. That song was the main theme song from World Youth Day ’93 in Denver that I attended with a delegation from CTK. Singing it takes me right back to Mile High Stadium with the 100,000+ people all joined in song praising God as if it was yesterday. That’s the power of music.
We project the lyrics for you to easily participate. Obviously, old songs are familiar and are easily sung but new songs can still be learned and can become favorites. We have listed the choirs and a description of the type of music. Not everyone has the same taste in music. Some prefer the more traditional whereas some really like the contemporary. We hope that by knowing what type of music will be at which Mass, you may be able to find yourself able to choose a Mass that you can joyfully participate including singing the hymns. We need to appreciate the level of commitment it takes to be a leader of song at Mass. Music, as part of the arts, is a passion and these people have chosen to share their passion with you every week by using their God-given talents. They practice and prepare so that they can better lead you – the choir - to praise and worship God. We are always looking for more musically talented people to share in this ministry. If you think this ministry is for you, let us know.
We celebrate Mass for four reasons:
1. to praise and thank God
2. to acknowledge our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness
3. to offer our prayers and intentions before God
4. to remain in God’s abundant blessings by sharing in the Eucharist
So when you ask yourself “why am I here?”, that’s why. We are giving you as much information as we can to ensure that you have a positive encounter with Christ each and every time you come through those doors so that when you leave, you are leaving as true disciples – as you are by your baptism - to love and serve God and your neighbors and joyfully share the gospel message with everyone you meet.
July 10 - The Good Samaritan
July 9, 2016
The Parable of the Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols
One of the most influential stories told by Jesus Christ is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus recounted this parable to a man who had asked, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded by asking, “What is written in the law?” The man answered, referring to Deuteronomy:6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart … and Your neighbor as yourself.”
When Jesus promised, “Do this, and you shall live,” the man challengingly replied, “And who is my neighbor?” In answer to this man’s questions, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. (See Luke 10:25–35.)
Deeper Levels of Meaning:
The Savior spoke often in parables because each has a deeper meaning understood only by those who have “ears to hear” (Matthew 13:9). Knowing this principle invites reflection on the symbolic message of the Good Samaritan. This parable’s content is clearly practical and dramatic in its obvious meaning, but Christian tradition also saw the parable as an impressive allegory of the Fall and Redemption of mankind. The roots of this allegorical interpretation reach deep into early Christianity. Most of all the Early Church Fathers saw the Good Samaritan as symbolizing Christ Himself saving the fallen victim, wounded with sin. A few years later, this interpretation came down to him from earlier Christians, who had described the allegory as follows: “The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers of the world. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are sins of the world; the inn which accepts all who wish to enter is the Church. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior’s second coming."
A Type and Shadow of the Plan of Salvation:
The parable of the Good Samaritan testifies of Christ. It teaches of the plan of salvation, the Savior’s atoning love, and our journey toward inheriting eternal life. It can be read as a story not only about a man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, but also about all who come down from the presence of God to live on earth. Early Christians sensed that Jesus spoke of something important here. St. Origen and St. Augustine saw the loss of the traveler’s garment as a symbol for mankind’s loss of immortality and incorruptibility. The attackers apparently wanted the traveler’s clothing; for no mention is made of any wealth or commodities he might be carrying. For some reason, the robbers seem interested in his garment, something brought down from the holy place and something they envy and want to take away.
Oil: An olive oil lotion would have been very soothing. While most of the early Christian writers saw here a symbol of Christ’s words of consolation, as a “holy anointing” for Healing, the healing of the sick.
Wine: The Samaritan also poured wine onto the open wound to cleanse it. Late Christian writers saw this wine as the word of God but the earlier Christian interpretation associated the wine with the blood of Christ, symbolized by the sacrament. This wine, the atoning blood, washes away sin and purifies the soul, allowing God’s Spirit to be with us. In addition to rendering physical help, a truly good Samaritan administers the saving principles and ordinances of the gospel as well. The atoning wine brings healing peace.
Inn: For the early Christians this element readily symbolized the Church.
The host: Accordingly, early commentators saw the host, or innkeeper, as Apostles and their successors. If the inn refers to the Church in general, however, the innkeeper and his staff can represent all Church Ministers and workers who are entrusted by the Lord to nurture and care for any rescued soul who seeks healing.
When I come again: The Christ-figure openly promises to come again, a ready allusion to the Second Coming of Christ.
Repay or reward: Finally, the innkeeper is promised that all his costs will be covered: “I will reward you for whatsoever you expend.” Perhaps more than any other element in the story, this promise—in effect is giving the innkeeper a blank check. When the story is understood allegorically, this promise makes sense, for the Samaritan (Christ) and his innkeeper already know and trust each other before this promise is given.
An Eternal Imperative:
Symbols draw our finite minds to sacred truths that are embedded in the mystery of Christ’s incomparable gospel, and an allegorical understanding of the parable of the Good Samaritan adds eternal perspectives to its moral imperatives. In His parables, Jesus taught the essentials of the Father’s plan of salvation. As a type and shadow of this plan, the good Samaritan places our deeds of neighborly kindness here in mortality within the eternal context of where we have come down from, how we have fallen into our present plight, and how the binding ordinances and healing love of the promised Redeemer and the nurture of His Church can rescue us from our present situation, as we serve and live worthy of reward at His Second Coming. Seeing the parable in this light invites readers to identify with virtually every character in the story. At one level, people can see themselves as the Good Samaritan, acting as physical rescuers and as saviors. Jesus told the Pharisee, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37). By doing as the Samaritan, we join with Him in helping to bring to pass the salvation and eternal life of mankind. Disciples will also want to think of themselves as innkeepers who have been commissioned by Jesus Christ to facilitate the long-term spiritual recovery of injured travelers.
May God make everyone a Good Samaritan A Christ; an Inn Keeper A Disciple.