The Bulletin | Dec 16

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BLUE CHRISTMAS – A Light in the Darkness. A quiet service for those who are struggling with the holiday season will be held on Tuesday, December 18 2 7:30 pm at St. Barnabas Anglican Church. 1010, 5th Avenue. New Westminster. There will be light refreshments in the hall following the service. For more information contact Queen’s Avenue United Church at 604-522-1606.

PRO-LIFE ROSARY – Wednesday December 19 is cancelled.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE: Today is the last day for donations. No used items.

ADVENT EXCLUSIVE REPORT ON W5 NEWS AT 5: A BIG THANK YOU to: PREP Coordinators: Christie Bruce & Jennifer Vander Zalm. Teachers & Assistants: Catalina Trinidad/Annabella Almonte, Carole Wylie/Michaela Gavino, Eufemia Muralla/Krista Tibay, Wally Licas/Devine Calong, Marisa Brown, Emil Canlas and Rob Kok and Sunila Thomas. A special thanks to Peter Von Riedemann who provided the music .There will celebrate a children’s learning mass on Wednesday, 6:45 pm on December 19. This is a great opportunity to bring your children and find out some answers to “why we do it that way” at the mass.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY: A Christmas tree is set up with envelopes attached. Inside the envelopes there is a label with the name of a person to buy a present for. Make sure that the LABEL is put ON the parcel and NOT LEFT in the envelope. If you can drive or help to distribute hampers, please contact Corrie at 604-520-6140. Your gift must be in not later than December 20. Thank you.

Father Conway is looking for a strong male voice to read the Roman Martyrology at the 6:00 pm Eucharist Christmas Eve. He also needs 3 persons to operate lights and 2 children to carry the Christ Child and manger in the procession. If you can help please contact the office or Father Conway at 604-908-2873.

Monday, December 24, Christmas Eve 9 AM MASS. MASSES AT 6 PM, 9 PM, MIDNIGHT.
Tuesday, December 25, Christmas Day 11 AM.
Monday, December 31, New Year’s Eve 9 AM and 5 PM MASS.
Tuesday, January 1, New Year’s Day MASSES AT 9 AM, 11 AM, 5 PM.

Vatican II: Constitution on the Liturgy: Funerals.

Article 81: “The rite for the burial of the dead should show more clearly the paschal character of Christian death.” The ‘paschal character’ of Christian death refers to the death and the resurrection of the Lord.

Before Vatican II the funeral liturgy focused on God’s judgement. There was a feeling of fear before God who is going to judge every person. The liturgy contained a hymn sequence entitled “Dies irae”, “Day of wrath”.

“The day of the Lord, the righteous king, is near. That will be a day of revenge, a day of clouds and

darkness, a day of marvellous thundering, a day of distress, of mourning and of sadness. We will stop in fear before the tribunal of the Lord, and we will render to him an accounting of all we have done. Then we will see all our evil deeds. The records of our consciences will be opened in front of our eyes. We will weep the bitterest tears.”

The liturgical color was black: black vestments for the priest, 6 black candlesticks around the casket, a black cloth covering the casket. In the early centuries of the Church, the Christian outlook on death was positive, focused on hope in a better life. It stressed the resurrection of Christ that overcame the power of death. The Christian looked forward to being with the Lord, according to St. Paul, Phil. 1:23.

Later on, especially during the Middle Ages, Christian spirituality changed. People regarded life after death with fear and pessimism, especially a fear of God’s judgement and of hell. Some of these changes were due to external events like the plague or the black death in the 15th century where a third of the population of Europe died. Many people regarded this as an act of God’s judgement on the peoples’ sinful lives.

Before Vatican II, Christian burial was denied to anyone who died without baptism, including babies; also all non-Catholics, Masons, people who committed suicide, those who had been excommunicated, public sinners, and those who wanted to be cremated.

Today, we celebrate funerals for Catholics including children who died before being baptized. We may also celebrate funerals for a member of another Church as long as it is not contrary to the wishes of the deceased person or the family.

We stress the positive aspects of life after death. The Order of Christian Funerals states: “The use of white vestments is recommended so that the message of Easter hope celebrated in the funeral rites may be evident , (no. 39). Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just, (no. 5).”