News from San Antonio Church – December 11, 2022

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Weekly Bulletin December 11, 2022

by Terrie Evans

On this 3rd Sunday of Advent, we celebrate Gaudete (GOW-DAY-TAY) or Rejoice Sunday in the Liturgical Calendar of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and other mainline Protestant Churches.  This Sunday in the halfway point of the Advent Season is a call for us to rejoice in hope for the anticipation of Christmas as we light the pink or rose candle referred to as the Shepherds Candle.  The Altar cloth and vestments are also permitted to be changed to rose or pink on this joyous Sunday of Advent.   The readings for this 3rd Sunday will emphasize the joy and anticipation as we get closer to the Lord’s coming and relate to John the Baptist.   Pope Francis once said in his homily that Gaudete Sunday should be known as a “Sunday of Joy, and that instead of fretting about all they still haven’t done to prepare for Christmas, we should think of all the good things life has given us.”   

            On Gaudete Sunday we not only celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Advent but at Mass on this morning, we will bless all the Baby Jesus’s we brough in from our home Mangers.  This practice has grown over the years not only taking place in Rome but in many Catholic Churches throughout the world, for the Christmas Blessing on Bambinelli Sunday to bless the Baby (Bambino) Jesus for Christmas.   Pope John Paul instituted the tradition of Bambinelli Sunday during his Papacy to remind families about the joyous event of Baby Jesus’s arrival in the Manger.  St. John Paul would ask those present to assemble before the manger scene with their family as he blessed the figurines of the bambino Jesus.  Pope Benedict XVI as well as Pope Francis have continued this tradition for this annual unique and beloved ceremony.  As we await the birth of Jesus, during the Christmas Season simple Nativity scenes will be loving displayed   not only in churches but also in our homes.  On this Sunday, the Holy Father, Pope Francis will then bless the Baby Jesus from family Nativity scenes. 

The origin of these family Mangers   date back to the first humble Creche (French for Manger) made by St. Francis of Assisi for Christ on Christmas Eve in 1223.  For almost 800 years, small and large Nativity scenes have evolved in our homes, towns, and cities to represent the significant figures that will be displayed during this Liturgical Season of Advent, Christmas and then into the Epiphany.  The historical likeness of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Ox, the Donkey, and the Shepherds with their Sheep will be shown.  They will be set in and around the Manger waiting for Jesus to be placed in his place of honor on Christmas Eve.   In Rome at St. Peter’s Square, children and their families will gather with their figures of the Christ Child from their home nativity scenes.  At the noontime Angelus Prayer, Pope Francis will bless the children and their figurines The blessing will take place this morning around 6:00AM Cincinnati time which is 12:00PM in Rome.    

San Antonio Church will celebrate our Christmas Day Mass on Sunday, December 25, 2022, at 9:00 AM.  We will also have our regular Sunday 9:00 AM Mass on Sunday, January 1, 2023, New Year’s Day.  Please inform your families and friends about the correct Mass schedule as the card sent from Holy Family was in error.  On Christmas Day we pray for a full church to close out the momentous anniversary year 1922-2022 and a good crowd for our New Year’s Day Mass to welcome 2023.

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