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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Novena I and II

Christmas Novena I
Say 15 times a day from St. Andrew's Day (30 November) until Christmas

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. (Mention your intentions here) Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

During the nine days before Christmas, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a wonderful custom called "Las Posadas," a nightly procession that brings to life Joseph and Mary's search for an inn. On each night, a house in the parish is chosen as the destination house, and the people of the parish gather to process to it. One young person is chosen to act as Mary (who sometimes rides a real donkey), and another to act as St. Joseph (sometimes a third is chosen to act as an angel, and others as shepherds); they are often all dressed in beautiful costumes.

Behind the "holy family," the people of the parish walk, carrying candles and blowing whistles, until they reach that night's chosen home. There, the group knocks and sings a song that begs repeatedly and pitifully for shelter. They are refused in song over and over again, until the "innkeepers" relent and finally open the door (or, in other places, they knock on the doors of houses whose "innkeepers" refuse them, and then process to another house and another, etc., until they reach the house chosen for the night's festivities). Once allowed entry each night, all go inside and pray (usually the Christmas Novena or the Rosary), and a party follows, with wonderful tamales, churros, and other Mexican foods, and a pinata filled with hard candy, tangerines, and peanuts.

On the last night (Christmas Eve), two children chosen to play Christ's godparents are added to the procession, which is more elaborate and colorful than the first nights. The godparents carry His likeness to the last destination, where a "nacimiento" (nativity scene) has been set up, and lay Him in the manger. Fireworks, food, piƱatas, and Mass all follow.

(Note: Italians have a similar but much less elaborate, 1-day "posadas" custom -- called "Tupa Tupa" -- on St. Joseph's Day, 19 March).

Christmas Novena II

This Novena,has the advantage of matching up very well with the O Antiphons that start on December 17, and with the custom of Las Posadas above.

December 16:
O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.
Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 17:
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 18:
O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 19:
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 20: 
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 21:
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 22: 
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 23:
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 24:
O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Novena to the Immaculate Conception

The Novena to the Immaculate Conception begins on November 29 and ends on December 7, The Vigil of the Feast of the Immuculate Conception.

Say once a day.

Immaculate Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin! Remember, thou wert miraculously preserved from even the shadow of sin, because thou wert destined to become not only the Mother of God, but also the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man; penetrated therefore, with the most lively confidence in thy never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore thee to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena, and to obtain for us the graces and the favors we request. Thou knowest, O Mary, how often our hearts are the sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us, then, than angelic purity which was thy favorite virtue, that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought, word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we many recover by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin, and at length attain safety to that blessed abode of the saints, where nothing defiled can enter.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
V. Thou are all fair, O Mary.
R. Thou art all fair, O Mary.
V. And the original stain is not in thee.
R. And the original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem.
R. Thou art the joy of Israel
V. Thou art the honor of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin, most prudent.
R. Mother, most tender.
V. Pray for us.
R. Intercede for us with Jesus our Lord.
V. In thy conception, Holy Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father Whose Son thou didst bring forth.
V. O Lady! aid my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.

Let us pray

Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and mistress of the world, who forsakest no one, and despisest no one, look upon me, O Lady! with an eye of pity, and entreat for me of thy beloved Son the forgiveness of all my sins; that, as I now celebrate, with devout affection, thy holy and immaculate conception, so, hereafter I may receive the prize of eternal blessedness, by the grace of Him whom thou, in virginity, didst bring forth, Jesus Christ Our Lord: Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, in perfect Trinity, God, world without end. Amen. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

Advent Week 1

The Candle of Hope or The Patriarchs

Light the first candle.

Scripture (John 1:1-5; Psalm 49:2-5, 71:2-8, 8-15): Father: In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Out of Sion the loveliness of his beauty. God shall come manifestly: our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him. He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people. Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices.

Give to the king thy judgment, O God: and to the king's son thy justice: To judge thy people with justice, and thy poor with judgment. Let the mountains receive peace for the people: and the hills justice. He shall judge the poor of the people, and he shall save the children of the poor: and he shall humble the oppressor. And he shall continue with the sun, and before the moon, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the fleece; and as showers falling gently upon the earth. In his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon be taken sway. And all kings of the earth shall adore him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the poor from the mighty: and the needy that had no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy: and he shall save the souls of the poor. He shall redeem their souls from usuries and iniquity: and their names shall be honourable in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Arabia, for him they shall always adore: they shall bless him all the day.

Father: Stir up Thy power, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come: that from the threatening dangers of our sins we may deserve to be rescued by Thy protection, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.

R. Amen.

Father: Alleluia, alleluia. Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam, et salutare tuum da nobis. Amen. (Alleluia, alleluia. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy; and grant us Thy salvation. Alleluia.) 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

This is my first Thanksgiving in Texas and with my mom in 17 years!  It will just be the three of us, mom, Kate and myself, but I'm still sticking with our traditional Thanksgiving menu with the only addition being mom's cornbread dressing.  I am not a fan of dressing, but we will see!  I'm very excited to be able to share this special holiday here in my childhood home and with my mom again. And with that, here is our menu.

Our Menu for Thanksgiving 2016

Roasted Turkey Breast
Sweet Potato Casserole (no marshmallows here!)
Green Bean Bundles
Corn Casserole
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Green and Black Olives
Green Onions
Sweet Tea / Wine