The Season of Advent

The Season of Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas; it is a season to learn to watch and wait for the coming of the Lord. We take this time each year to recall that the people of Israel waited for the coming of the Messiah for nearly 4,000 years. We recall that we wait for Christ to come at the end of time. And we remember that Christ also comes to us in the events of our lives. Sometimes, though, we are so very busy, that we miss our surprise encounters with Christ. May we use this season wisely and learn that this is a time to prepare our hearts for Christ. May it be a time of listening and prayer, a time to renew hope within our lives.

Giving Tree

In the Church lobby we will have a tree filled with paper ornaments. Please take one of the ornaments and buy an appropriate gift for the child indicated. Here is an opportunity for your children to buy toys for children in need and at the same time teach them the real meaning of Christmas giving. These gifts are given to St. Michael’s Parish, Providence. The Giving Tree also provides an opportunity to create “survival kits.” Plastic bags are available that give instructions as to the items that need to be included for these kits. These survival kits will be donated to the AIDS Ministry of the Diocese.

Ceremony of Lessons and Carols

On the First Sunday of Advent, we celebrate Lessons and Carols at 5:00 p.m. This beautiful tradition in the church is an opportunity to begin the Season of Advent by listening to the Word of God and reflecting on the meaning of Christ’s coming through very beautiful musical responses. This is one of the most beautiful experiences of prayer that is offered to our parish.

Blessing of Infants

On the Second Sunday of Advent, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass, we celebrate our annual blessing of infants baptized during the past year. After the homily, parents are invited to bring their child forward in order to receive this blessing and dedication to Mary and to be given the medal of the Immaculate Conception.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

On December 8th, we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception,  a holy day of obligation.

Blessing of Expectant Couples

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass we celebrate the Blessing of Expectant Couples. After the homily, couples expecting a child will be invited to come forward in order to seek God’s blessing for a safe pregnancy and delivery. We do this on the Fourth Sunday of Advent because it is on this Sunday that the Church recalls the pregnancy of Mary, who is the model for us for our celebration of the great feast of Christmas.

Flower Donation

At Christmas and Easter, we invite parishioners to assist the parish by a donation that helps defray the cost of  flowers. An envelope for this purpose is included in the budget envelopes. The envelope also affords the giver an opportunity to make the donation in memory of an individual. There is a place on the envelope to write the name of that person. The names written on the envelopes will be published some time after the New Year.

Christmas Sharing Envelope

On the 3rd Sunday of Advent we have a special collection entitled “Christmas Sharing.” The envelope for this purpose is included in the budget envelopes. The money collected is used to assist families that are in need. As Charles Dickens so aptly pointed out, the needs of the poor and those who have less are more sharply felt during this Christmas Season. We encourage you to be generous in your contributions to the needs of the poor.  Everything that we have comes from God and at this time of the year when we celebrate the Birth of Christ, God calls us to a deeper care and attention to those in need.

Decorating for Christmas

Every year parishioners are invited to assist in decorating the Church for Christmas. The date and time for this is announced in the Parish Bulletin.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church    237 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston, RI 02920    Phone: 401.942.1854    Fax: 401.942.2897
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