This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. It is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation. This is especially so during this time when the Ohio Bishops have lifted all obligatory requirements to attend Mass. I will have an anticipatory Mass at Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. I will have 7:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart on Thursday and 9:00 a.m. at St. Ann on Thursday. The 7:00 p.m. at SHJ on Wednesday and the 9:00 a.m. at St. Ann on Thursday will be livestreamed and then recorded for later viewing on our Youtube Channel.
Season of Advent
Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent. It is for the Catholic Church “liturgical” New Year’s Day. The vestments worn by the priest will be purple or violet. There are three cycles of readings for Sunday Masses; cycle A, cycle B, and cycle C. During year “A” (2020) we usually read from the Gospel of Matthew. As we move to year B (2021), we are more likely to read each Sunday from Mark. Obviously, cycle C is Luke.
The first half of the season (until December 17) focuses our attention on the Second Coming of Christ. That is why we call it Advent. From the 17th to the 24th we focus on preparing to celebrate the Birth of the Lord.
Plan for Celebrating a COVID Christmas
Remember that the Bishops of Ohio have extended the suspension of duty to attend Sunday Mass or Holyday Mass until at least 2021. Therefore, no one is obligated to attend Mass this year on Christmas.
Since it appears that this Christmas, we will still have COVID inspired reduced capacity seating and standing room in both St. Ann and Sacred Heart churches, we are planning to live stream the A/V feed from the Christmas Eve Masses in Church through our youtube page. For the 3:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart, we plan to also set up Fellowship Hall so as to use the projector and smart TV for overflow attendants in Fellowship Hall. When and if this is also full, the remainder of the overflow crowd both at Sacred Heart and later at 5:00 p.m. at St. Ann (because the church is full) will be directed to stay in their cars in the parking lot and watch the live stream on their personal cell phone or pad. After the main crowd leaves, then those in their cars will form a line to receive communion in the Narthex or Vestibule. I had asked for permission to also distribute Communion at other times at both churches outside of Mass, but I have been told that it is not permitted. Using every permissible means, I hope to accommodate the needs of as many as possible for Christmas. I will give more specificity in the weeks to come. I just wanted everyone to know we are “thinking ahead” so as to be prepared.
The Masses on Christmas Day will be at the same times as the regular Sunday Masses at both parishes.
Communion on the Tongue
Please remember as I stated in recent articles, until the threat of COVID is over; if you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you must come to me (Fr. Tharp) ONLY and you must be sure you are at the end of my line. Please do not present yourselves to Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers for communion on the tongue! If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at St. Ann, then you must come to St. Ann that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue. I am not willing to ask Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers to take a risk with which they are uncomfortable. Be assured, I will follow all the protocols necessary to administer on the tongue safely.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
It appears we are now able to live stream a Mass from Sacred Heart and a Mass from St. Ann EVERY SATURDAY!!! Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You-tube site by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Thanksgiving Can Goods
Can goods will be collected at the Thanksgiving Masses at Sacred Heart and St. Ann. This is not required, but is just an old tradition we did not want to see die.
This year we will not have request cards and collect donated gifts as such, but we will be asking for donations of gift cards (which do not need to be sanitized as gifts would.) See additional information elsewhere in this bulletin.
Reflection on Scripture: Feast of Christ the King
The third and final parable of the three contained in the twenty fifth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel is the parable of the “Judgment of the Nations.” It is the foundational scripture for the teaching of the Catholic Church known as the “Social Gospel.” This teaching reveals that the criteria for our judgment will be based on how we treated one another. It follows logically upon the teaching of Jesus that we are to first love God and then our neighbor as ourselves. It goes so far as to say that any charity or kindness to another is as if we were doing it directly for Jesus. If we see others in the world as “alter Christi” (other Christs), then every charitable act to another shows affection and loyalty for Jesus.
We have never had royalty here in the United States, but in the countries like England where there is still a royal family, a king or queen helps give the people an “identity.” God has made us brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ by our baptism. We are real family in the Blood of Christ. When celebrating the Feast of Christ the King, we are also acknowledging that we are all part of the royal family of Jesus Christ.
Next Week: First Sunday of Advent
Is 63:16b-17, 19b, 64:2-7
1 Cor 1:3-9
Theme: Be prepared for the Second Coming