ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
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From Pastor Jonathan Meyer
On any given weekend, with all four Masses, there are over eight readers and greeters, sixteen ushers, twelve EMHC, over forty servers, and musicians/cantors that can range in number from eight to over thirty. That is approximately 120 people each weekend. All this is offered to the glory of God, and all this is done to the best of our ability. The motto of our approach to Liturgy is: if we can do it, we should do it. We choose all the options the Church offers at our parish, and strive to execute them to the highest degree. Thus we chant the entire Mass, we sing all the hymns, we use incense, bells, we have very well trained servers and celebrate Mass both facing the people and also facing the Lord/East. Furthermore, we dress appropriately, stay for the entire Mass and have a deep sense of reverence and respect during the entire Mass. This has become our parish culture.
For many people our weekend Mass experience might be their only contact with us, but there is so much more to All Saints Parish when it comes to Worship! We have seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. We offer Confession for two hours every week and for twelve hours ever First Friday. That is a total of twenty hours per month; and people come in large numbers and confess well. We baptize around thirty babies each year, which includes not only the sacrament celebrated well, but also a house blessing and in-home baptismal prep. For First Communion, we have the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program, which exposes our youngsters to Montessori-based learning. Our sacrament of Confirmation program was developed by Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic Institute. We also prepare couples and celebrate Weddings that are not only reverent and worthy celebrations, but also serve as great tools of evangelization. Weddings guests comment again and again how reverent and powerful our wedding celebrations seem to be. When individuals are sick, we anoint them in their homes, in hospitals, and also communally every first Monday of the month during Holy Mass; not to mention during the entire weekend closest to Februrary 11th, the feast of our Lady of Lourdes. Lastly, at the time of death we execute the burial rites of the Catholic Church with honor and respect.
Outside of the celebration of the sacraments we have other forms and ways to pray, worship and offer devotion. The largest of these would be our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. 24 hours a day we have parishioners praying in the presence of our Lord: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We also host two Corpus Christi Processions each year and have the Advent Adoration Challenge that incorporates over 300 people spending time in adoration during the busiest time of the year. Devotion to our Lady is also very prominent. We pray the rosary as a parish before each Mass during May and October and every Monday night at the St. Paul Campus. We have two Rosary Processions in October each year and we have four May crownings in the spring. Our parish also has the unique tradition of offering the opportunity to remain in prayer on Good Friday with the Prayers With the Dead Savior devotion. Lastly, our parish prays monthly novenas offered through the bulletin that foster prayer in the home and unite us as a community.
As you can see from the above, we do a lot of praying. This is very important because if we are not praying and worshiping well, we are not fulfilling our purpose. Christians are asked by God to worship Him. As faithful followers of the Lord, prayer and worship is not just a requirement, it is a joy, a blessing and it fills us with life, mission and purpose. As we delve deeper and deeper into our purpose as a parish, may we all worship the Most Holy Trinity with deeper and deeper reverence.