Thursday, December 14, 2006

4th Sunday Advent/Christmas Eve transition help

Q: This year’s Christmas schedule is crazy with the Fourth Sunday of Advent falling on the same day as Christmas Eve! How can our parish use our time most effectively to help keep everyone sane?

A: Most communities have a Sunday night mass, and most communities schedule a Christmas vigil Mass early in the evening. This year’s situation would make it wise for your community to cancel the usual evening Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Instead offer the opportunity for the community to gather that afternoon to help decorate the church. The choir could even rehearse during the decorating to help add to the Christmas mood and anticipation. In addition, use the same eucharistic prayer acclamations during both Advent and Christmas, adding more instrumentation and harmonies for Christmastime. Use more Christmas carols and less “choir pieces” to help ease the burden of additional rehearsals and to increase assembly participation.

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