The Season of Advent
The season of Advent is a special time when we not only prepare to celebrate Christ's birth, but also to look toward to His second coming in glory. Advent celebrates the beginning and the end. It marks the beginning of the church year, yet gives us a glimpse into the glorious future of God. For it is only after we consider Jesus' second coming in glory that we are prepared to celebrate his first coming, helpless in a manger.
The Advent Wreath
Sometimes the words of the Christmas story become too familiar and predictable. We've heard them all before, and rather than truly listen, our minds are filled with thoughts of the present--not the past. We may feel removed from the real people and events of two thousand years ago.
Each Sunday in Advent, the Advent Wreath will be lighted at the 10AM service by one of our Drama Ministry members, portraying a Biblical character who in some way is part of the Christmas story.
Advent I - Hope, The Shepherd
Advent II - Peace, Joseph
Advent III - Joy, Mary
Advent IV - Love, Elizabeth
Sundays in Advent
Advent 1 - December 2nd
- Rite I
- Rite II
- The Shepherd
St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, visits the children
Advent 2 - December 9th
- Rite I
- Rite II
Advent 3 - December 16th
- Rite I
- Rite II
Children's Christmas Pageant -
"A Christmas to Believe In"
Advent 4 - December 23rd
- Rite I
- Rite II
Advent Wreath - Elizabeth
The Season of Christmas
A twelve-day celebration of an event that happened more than 2000 years ago - the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that blessed event, we have been given meaning and purpose in this life; and the promise of eternal life in the next. That is why we sing, "Joy to the World, the Lord is come...!"
Monday, December 24th
Children's Christmas Worship
Children participate as the story of
the birth of Jesus is told using our parish creche.
Carol singing too.
- Rite II and Carol Singing
Other Seasonal Activities
The Angel Tree
Choose a name from the Angel Tree located in the parish hall. Buy a gift for a child in need. Wrap it, tag it, and bring it to church by Sunday, December 16th. The gifts will be delivered to "Blankets For the Homeless" who will distribute them to children in need before Christmas morning.
Saturday, December 1st
Everyone is invited to join our children and youth to decorate the Christmas tree. We meet in the parish hall at 10AM to decorate, followed by donuts and cocoa/coffee.
"Children's Christmas Pageant"
Sunday, December 16th
Join us for a wonderfully joyful Christmas experience on Sunday, December 16th. St. Peter's Children and Youth Ministry will enhance our Christmas spirit by presenting a wonderful program in the church during the 10AM worship service.
Monday , December 31st
Cookies and Cocoa in the Parish Hall
New Year's Eve Worship - Holy
Eucharist Rite II
The Season of Epiphany
Epiphany means "showing forth", and the Epiphany season begins with the revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles, specifically the magi (wise men) of Matthew's Gospel. Epiphany proclaims Jesus as the Savior of the whole world and the Church as the new people of God, with God's salvation promises now applying to all the peoples of the earth.
Sunday, January 6th - Epiphany Sunday
Holy Eucharist Rite I
Holy Eucharist Rite II
visit today and present their gifts to the Christ child
Children/Youth Christian Education
Religious Symbolism of "The 12 Days of
True Love refers to God
Turtle Doves refers to the Old and
French Hens refers to Faith, Hope
and Charity, the Theological Virtues
Calling Birds refers to the Four
Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
Golden Rings refers to the first
Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which
gives the history of man's fall from grace.
Geese A-laying refers to the six
days of creation
Swans A-swimming refers to the
seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
Maids A-milking refers to the
Ladies Dancing refers to the nine
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Lords A-leaping refers to the ten
Pipers Piping refers to the eleven
Drummers Drumming refers to the
twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
The Gifts of the Magi
Gold: The possession of royalty/Kingship. Symbolic of Jesus as the King of Kings.
Frankincense: Resin of the "arbor thuris" (the incense tree). It was used by the priest in sacrifices. The image is from Isaiah's description of God's Throne room--a smoke-filled room. Symbolic of Jesus as the Great High Priest and of his being sacrificed for our sins.
Myrrh: Resin from leaves of the "cistus rose". The oil is used to make perfumes and some cosmetics. It could be mixed with wine to serve as a pain killer, but was most frequently used as a spice to anoint dead bodies for burial. Symbolic of Jesus' anointing before his death.
The Magi: Probably from Persia, may or may not be kings; may have served in the king's court.
Considered scholars or "wise men", very knowledgeable about the sciences and astrology.
Believed that any abnormal action in the heavens (i.e. the appearance of a bright star) meant the birth of someone significant or some significant event has taken place. This is why they followed with interest the star. Brought their gifts because they assumed it would be a king.
Probably did not arrive at Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. It may have been as long as two years later. They came to the "house" where the "child" was, as opposed to the shepherds who saw a "babe" in a "manger".
Visited King Herod before they found Jesus to inquire about his birth. Herod told them to return to him when they found Jesus so that he, too, could worship him. But the magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, but to leave by another way. Herod's intent was to kill Jesus rather than worship him.
The magi were Gentiles (non-Jews). They are significant because they are a reminder that Jesus was born (and died) for all people. Epiphany means "showing forth" or "revealed".