This bulletin today does ‘double duty.’ It is published for the Fourth Sunday of Advent and for the Solemnity of the Nativity: Christmas. This Fourth Sunday of Advent (Cycle B), we hear the story of “The Annunciation” in the Gospel of St. Luke. In her simple response to the angel Gabriel we hear the Blessed Mother’s acceptance of the will of God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word…” She was ready and she was prepared to do the will of God in the face of all the obvious difficulties. The question is: are we prepared to do the same? Always and every day we are called to examine our choices and priorities—most especially in times full of activity and stress (like a pandemic)⎯or in the Advent preparation for the Christmas holy-days.
The Psalm for today gives us a refrain for an appropriate attitude for our daily lives no matter what time of year: “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” Holding this refrain in our hearts and minds may help to remind us of the promise of God. In the verse I sing of God’s faithfulness and love for us, and of our salvation. The refrain may help remind us to be ready, to be prepared for the birth Christ, to give thanks in spirit and soul—for all God’s blessings in spite of this pandemic.
It is difficult accepting the necessary limitations placed upon us by Covid and the science of sound and aerosolized particles. I very much miss our St. Aidan music ensembles knowing that this time of year we would be preparing for and performing music together for our Advent Pageant and all the Feasts of Christmas. But I have faith that we will be back to it next year—safe and sound, full of sound—singing of the goodness of the Lord. In the meantime, sing of the goodness of the Lord in your hearts and minds, for God is good.
May you and yours rejoice and sing the song of Christ now in these holy-days, at Christmas and forever.
Just a Note: I am looking forward to sharing with you a Christmas recording project from the St. Aidan Adult Choir. You will get to hear it at any of the Christmas masses as a part of the liturgy; and later, on our website. We wanted to share our gifts with our Community—despite not being able to sing in-person. I’d like to thank those choir members who participated (recording your own voice can be very intimidating). I’d also like to extend a very special thanks to Mr. Jim Ciccarelli and to my son, Mr. Elliott Encarnacion, for all the details and work that went into producing this music video for our Christmas celebrations. In spite of not being able to sing together—we are singing together!
More Notes: Here are two lovely recordings for Advent/Christmas about the Christmas Rose… Enjoy!
A Spotless Rose: https://youtu.be/KPOah3NJ5-0
Lo, How a Rose: https://youtu.be/ci7LDs7txBk
Another Little More: I wanted to share some lyrics that describes Advent to Christmas. This is an excerpt from “Advent Begins in the Darkness of Night” by David Bjorlin: Advent Begins in the Darkness of Night
Advent begins in the darkness of night, waiting and watching for signs of light,
walking in faith that a path will appear, daring to follow in spite of our fear.
Advent goes on till the promised dawn breaks, tyrants are toppled, and God’s dream awakes.
Hope is perfected and faith is made sight.
Love is our center and Christ is our light.