Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Advent and Christmas Celebrations

We had numerous activities in the season of Advent, in preparation for Christmas. Lighting of the Christmas tree is a traditional event at St. Benedict Church, in Hong Kong. 
The parishioners write their Christmas wish and prayer on beautiful wishing-cards and decorate the Christmas Tree, set in the lobby of the Church. 
 The Nativity Scene by the English Sunday School kids
On the second Sunday of the Advent, the parishioners gather together in the evening to light the Christmas Tree  amidst singing of carols and the children enacting the Nativity scene. 
Fr. Alberto with Jose some of the parishioners of 
St. Benedict Church, Hong Kong
On the third Sunday of the Advent, Fr. Alberto guided the Advent recollection for the English Speaking Community of St. Benedict. 

He based his talk on the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, "The Joy of the Gospel". 

We had a family gathering in Macau, together with Fr. Provincial and our associates to celebrate Christmas, and had an 'Indian lunch' !
...and indeed some 'adventurous fun time' later on!!
Novena Mass
From 16 - 24 December, the Filipinos celebrate what they call "Simbang Gabi" = Celebration overnight. It is a tradition that dates back several centuries, when the first missionaries came to the Philippines. All churches in the country are full at about 4 in the morning, to celebrate the Mass.
In Macau, we continue the tradition and celebrate the 'novena' of Masses in preparation for Christmas at 5 in the morning. A few of our neighbours come to our residence, some of them, straight from work ... others just with very little sleep, but we're here!

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