Advent fair to begin preparation for Christmas

Published 11:45 am Saturday, November 22, 2008

Natchez — Rev. David O’Connor, pastor at St. Mary Basilica and Assumption parishes, has announced an Advent Fair for this Sunday, in St. Theresa hall beginning at 11:15 a.m. and ending at 1:45 pm. “The purposes of the fair,” he said, “is to provide an opportunity for members of the parish to make advent wreaths for their homes, to teach children about the season of Advent, to provide Advent activities for families, and to launch an Advent spirit by sharing lunch together.”

Ruth McWilliams, program coordinator for St. Mary Basilica, explained that this program is a new development of what has been done in recent years. “This year,” she said, “the program will begin with a lunch for the participants (adults, families, children). The lunch will be prepared and sponsored by the Parish Life commission. An exhibit and sale of olive wood religious objects will be offered by Holy Land Arts Company from St. Louis.”

The Religious Education Commission has arranged a program of learning activities for children, and the Family Life Commission is offering suggestions for Advent activities in the homes and families as well as sponsoring the Advent wreath workshop. The Liturgy Commission has planned activities for the season of Advent for weekend masses. Each child in the children’s Liturgy of the Word will receive a candle each of the weeks of Advent for their Advent wreaths.

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“The season of Advent” said Rev. O’Connor “is a four-week time of spiritual preparation before the celebration of Christmas. During Advent, Christian people are called to think about the true meaning of Christmas, to keep Christ in their preparations for Christmas, and not to become totally absorbed by the commercial aspects of Christmas in our culture,” he said, “It is our hope that Sunday’s program will give church members creative ideas for the weeks before Christmas.”

This Sunday’s program will include an opportunity for each family to make an Advent-wreath. The Styrofoam wreath and greenery supplies will be available, and published materials for a daily prayer for families will also be available.

Special children’s activities are arranged by the CYO, high school youth group. These will include the children following a path to the empty manger, encountering the kings and angels, learning about Advent saints such as St. Lucy and St. Nicholas, and decorating star-shaped cookies. An exhibit on the Mexican customs surrounding the feast of Guadalupe will be part of this program.

Further information can be had by contacting Ruth McWilliams 601-445-5616.