Father George Okoye,
High Prairie St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church
Preparation for Christmas is very important. That is why the church sets out a four-week period of preparation called Advent.
The purpose is to help all Christians to understand what they celebrate, imitate what they celebrate, and conform their lives to mystery they celebrate.
The church starts the celebration with the blessing of a wreath. The four candles represent the four weeks of preparation.
First week, we light the first candle which signifies the examination of our lives as we start the preparation.
Second week, the second candle calls for forgiveness of others who sinned against us.
Third week, the third candle calls for reconciliation. We ask for forgiveness from others since we have forgiven those who sinned against us as our Saviour taught us.
Then the fourth week, the fourth candle is joy. The joy comes because we are ready to receive the gift from God – Jesus Christ His Son.
The church calls the Sunday of this week Gaudete Sunday – Rejoicing Sunday. Then comes Christmas which is the week to celebrate the “gift” from God. This makes us share this gift to one another. The Christmas gift exchange is response to the gift of the Only Son of God.
Let us prepare ourselves for Christmas in this way. It is very fruitful.
Week 1: Examination of our lives.
Week 2: Forgiveness.
Week 3: Reconciliation.
Week 4: joy.
Christmas is the gift! Happy Christmas!
Next Issue: Pastor Pat Duffin.