Queen of Heaven Catholic Church

1800 Steese Road • Uniontown, Ohio 44685 • 330-896-2345

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Pastoral Letter

December 10, 2017 - 2nd Sunday of Advent

A Note from Deacon Steve

Some of us being creatures of habit, can at times fall into routine and thus miss the beauty and splendor of the li,ttle things of life around us. A case in point, at least for me, are some of the prayers that are proclaimed at Mass. For instance, how frequently the Collect, or Opening Prayer just slips by me as just one of many parts of the Liturgy and I; thus miss its great importance.

The Collect serves as the conclusion and climax of the Introductory R'ites of the Mass. Tnis prayer is a prayer of the gathered community whose members are now aware that they are in God's presence. After an invitation by the priest presider, the assembly silently expresses its personal needs and desires which are then "collected" or "gathered up" by the celebrant and presented to the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. All of those gathered make this prayer their own by acclaiming "Amen."

The Collect prayers are typically short but ever so profound and, if we follow them through a liturgical season, they can help to bring us deeper into the meaning of that season. As we find ourselves almost midway through this great season of anticipating Christ's coming, let's reflect for a moment on the Opening Prayers of our Advent Sunday Liturgies:

 • First Sunday in Advent: Grant Your faithful, we pray. almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at His coming, so that, gathered at His right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.

• Second Sunday in Advent: Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in hast to meet Your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to His company.

• Third Sunday in Advent: 0 God, who sees how Your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity. enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

• Fourth Sunday in Advent: Pour forth, we beseech You, 0 Lord, Your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Your Son was made known by the message ofan Angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.

In union with these prayers of this holy season, let's make 'known to our Father God the needs and desires of our hearts. May God, in the forthcoming Christ Child, be your heart and your life!

Deacon Steve