Christmas

Christmas: it’s a Gift!

We believe that Christmas is for everyone. It’s a Gift we want to share with others.

Which is why our Christmas preparations and celebrations are filled with acts of kindness and concern for others.

In the run up to Christmas, we’re collecting gift items for our neighbours at Salvation Army’s Ty Gobaith Hostel so that we can give each resident a gift filled with love.

With approximately 60 residents being supported by a remarkable team, we want to share the gift of Christmas with them.

We’re receiving toiletry items such as shower gel and soaps, shampoo, razorblades, shaving cream, deodorant, brushes and combs, nail-clippers, etc.

Also, socks, gloves, scarves, chocolates and sweets and other seasonal goodies and gifts that you can think of.

ADVENT WAITING

Advent Sunday

The awesome sounds of Advents are accompanied by familiar signs and symbols such as the Advent Wreath.

Join us at 11 am on Sunday 28th November for the first Sunday of Advent when we’ll bless and light the Advent Wreath, and begin to shape our Jesse Tree. It’s all part of our joyful preparations for Christmas!

The Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree takes us deep into the past! Beginning with the Creation of the World, each day our tree will be adorned by symbols of those who have prepared the way for Jesus coming into the world.

We’ learn about patriarchs, prophets, and kings, as well as those figures so well known in the Christmas Nativity Story.


ADVENT JOY

Nicholas and Lucy

There are two saints in Advent which we particularly love, and which lend themselves to some lovely Christmas Traditions.

St Nicholas (December 6th) when the children receive chocolate coins, and St Lucy (December 13th) when we plant the Christmas Wheat. It’s a lovely tradition of waiting and watching for the wheat to grow which is then presented at the Christmas Crib where we see Jesus placed in a feeding trough in Bethlehem (whose name means ‘House of Bread’). We’ll be sharing these traditions on the closest Sundays: December 5th and 12th

Las Posadas

As Mary and Joseph made that difficult journey to Bethlehem so during this time we provide hospitality to an image of the Holy Family.

With its origins in Mexico, each day we’re inviting a household to provide hospitality for a night before passing it on to the next person.

The image can become a beautiful symbol of prayer in the home, and a wonderful way to prepare for the Christmas celebrations.


CHRISTMAS EVE

Vigil Mass

Join us at 5.30pm for the Vigil Mass of Christmas during which we switch on the Christmas Tree lights and bless the Christmas Crib.

This is an ideal celebration for families with children – with time to be home early in readiness for the celebrations at home, although many older people, too, value an earlier celebration.

Midnight Mass

At the deepest, darkest moment of the night, as Midnight strikes, we begin our celebration of the Nativity of the Lord.

There’ll be plenty of Christmas atmosphere as we celebrate the birth of Christ, and the visit of the shepherds at our beautiful Midnight Mass.


CHRISTMAS DAY

Christmas Morning

After a late bedtime, it’s more of a laid back affair today with our late morning Mass at 11am.

With lots of Christmas cheer, well loved carols, and a time for some of the children to share and show some of their Christmas gifts, there’s still time to get home to simmer those sprouts!

Christmas Season

We celebrate Mass each day and, during the Octave (eight days) of Christmas we extend our Christmas Day celebrations – we just don’t want to let them go!

The beautiful feasts of the Holy Family, St John, the Holy Innocents, and others enrich our celebrations throughout these days.


Christmas: it’s a Gift that keeps on giving!

We believe that Christmas is for everyone. It’s a Gift we want to share with others.

Our Christmas Greetings Board is an alternative to buying everyone in the congregation a Christmas Card. Simply share your greetings on the board in church and give a donation. This year. we’re supporting Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group.

And there’s more. Continuing throughout the Christmas Season, any donations made at the Christmas Crib will also support their work.

Before Christmas, we’re also helping to throw a Christmas party for the children of some of the families they work with.

Christmas: it’s a Gift!


Advent and Christmas Ideas!

We have a packed treasure trove of resources for individuals and families, churches and schools designed to help you get the most out of your Christmas preparations.

From daily prayer to reflections, from activities and devotional ideas, we’ve got Advent and Christmas covered!

Our Resources page is constantly growing – why not check it out? In the meantime, here are a few Advent and Christmas tasters for you with love from ST MARYS CF10


A Safe Lodging: A series of reflections over nine days to accompany the Las Posadas devotion, as we contemplate the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem

Saints in Waiting offers reflections on the saints of Advent, those who accompany us in our ,time of waiting and anticipation, and whose lives can inspire us to be and become saints in waiting.


The Jesse Tree is a lovely activity in the run up to Advent. Here are St Mary’s we add a symbol to the tree each day at Mass, and on Christmas Eve the tree is then illuminated and decorated to become our Christmas Tree. These two resources are suitable for church, school and home!


The Advent Wreath is a beautiful sign and symbol which can illuminate the church and home. These daily prayers through Advent are suitable for all ages as we gather each day around the Advent Wreath for a moment of prayer and reflection.


The Advent Antiphons are ancient words which take their place from December 17th. Here for each day and each Antiphon, we offer a short devotion for each of them


Each day at St Mary’s we celebrate Mass. This resources provides a reflection on the readings of the day as well as suggestions for Intercessions. They can be used by churches r by individuals, and each day we post a reflection on a prayer website http://www.daybydaystmaryscf10.com


There is much busyness and rushing around in the run up to Christmas. The Joy of Haste and Waiting offers reflections on The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary as we consider the coming of Jesus into the world, from the angel’s greeting to Mary, to Jesus birth in Bethlehem and onto Jesus childhood years.


‘She feels a weight like water’ is a poetic meditation on the moment Mary receives the angel’s greeting announcing her chosenness to be the Mother of God

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