Happy Thanksgiving to my dear St. James Family,
This weekend we will be celebrating Christ the King Sunday. This festival was established by the Church back in 1925 to give hope in the true king during a time of political turmoil. This is a great Mass at which we will be participating in a special prayer of dedication to Christ the King and the schola will be singing the beautiful Jesu Rex Admirabilis in honor of our king. This feast concludes our liturgical year. Come and join us.
Indulgence Opportunity This Sunday at St. James through This Public Prayer
During the Mass on November 26, you will be invited to dedicate not only yourself, but the entire human race to Jesus Christ the King. Together we will be praying a beautiful prayer that all people would come to accept Christ, our shepherd as the true King, through which tranquility and peace can then come to all nations. This prayer is especially encouraged by the Church. Those who pray it publicly on Christ the King Sunday will have the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence.
Begin Advent by Joining us for a Penitential Procession, December 3, 2023
On the first Sunday in December, at the 10:15 AM Mass we will begin the liturgy with an outdoor prayerful procession around the property. This is a beautiful and somber way to enter into Adventide, this season of penance, preparation, and joyful anticipation leading up to Christmas.
History of these Prayers: During the procession we will be chanting together The Great Litany which is the oldest piece of English liturgy in existence, first published in 1544. However, the roots of this litany go back even further to Pope Pelagius and Gregory the Great in the sixth century who assigned similar litanies to be used at the beginning of Mass on certain days.
Why a Procession? They remind us that we are a pilgrim people, moving prayerfully through life with the goal of arriving in the presence of our Lord, symbolized by entrance into the church. Processions are ancient, going back at least as far as 1,000 BC to King David who processed with the Ark of the Covenant. Also, our Lord processed into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey while the people sang his praises. These are two examples among many of the symbolic reasons for processions.
What Will the Procession Be Like? This first Sunday of Advent procession is always well attended so be sure to arrive early to save your seat. The procession will begin at the building with the altar party leading the way. You can leave any personal belongings that you have in your chair. We will then process outside and around the property and then back into the building. While we walk, I will be chanting the prayers and you will enter into the litany with a simple sung response which is repeated after each short prayer. The procession normally takes ten to fifteen minutes after which we will arrive back inside the building and the Mass will proceed as normal.
Without Preparation, You Won’t Survive the Great Tribulation – The homily I gave on November 12, 2023
Learn about the great tribulation that is to come. Learn why the unprepared will most likely not make it through this time. Learn from our Lord in his Parable of the Ten Virgins, how to be prepared.
Listen to this and my other homilies at StJamesCC.org/Homilies or by searching “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts
Many people mistakenly believe that this solemnity celebrates Jesus’ conception, but what is actually being commemorated is the immaculate conception of Mary. The historic Christian understanding is that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was conceived without the stain of original sin, that is, she was conceived immaculately. Scripture states that Mary was “full of grace,” that is without sin (both Adam, Eve also started in this way). Jesus saved his mother from sin prior to her conception and throughout her life in order to fulfill the commandment to honor one’s parents. He of course honored his father in heaven, but also his earthly mother, who he created, by giving her a special position honor above the rest of the human race under her title, the Immaculate Conception. Mary’s immaculate conception points to the perfection her son because it was he who gave her this honor.
This is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar, so much so that for dozens of countries this is a public holiday and the occasion is celebrated with parades, fireworks, processions, food, and cultural festivities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church has proclaimed this occasion to be a Holy Day of Obligation meaning that all Catholics are obliged out of obedience to go to Mass on this day, unless a person has a serious reason why he cannot go. Otherwise deliberately forgoing this obligation is a grave sin.
Four Opportunities to Encounter Bishop Lopes during His Upcoming Visit
On Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10, we have the special occasion in the life of our community of having Bishop Lopes with us. You will want to be sure to be present for at least one of the following:
What is a Bishop and Why is His Visit to Us So Special?
Bishops are important because we as Catholics, understand them to be the successors of the twelve apostles. The first apostles went around and founded Christian communities and then provided regional oversight to these communities. Our bishop’s today, who oversee dioceses, trace their direct historical lineage back to the original twelve apostles. A bishop is understood to hold the fullness of the priesthood. Not only can he do all that a priest can do, but he also has the power of ordination, meaning that he can confer the sacred orders of bishop, priest, and deacon, upon others. For us, his upcoming visit is important because this is like being visited by one of the twelve apostles (Learn more: Check out the historical data in which these beliefs are grounded).
Also, a visit from our Bishop does not happen often, but when it does, important things take place. According to Canon Law, a bishop is obligated to visit each community in his diocese within a five year period, either personally or through a priest that he delegates (CCL 396.1). These visits are an opportunity to encounter the people of the diocese, to review how faith is being formed in the people, to bring hope and encouragement, and to foster a sense of belonging to the diocesan Church. Because our diocese, the Ordinariate, is spread across North America, these visits, which foster unity with the great Church through our bishop are especially important. It is for these reasons that the visit of a bishop is such a special occasion in the life of a parochial community.
Learn about Bishop Lopes in preparation for his visit.
December 10, 2023 Traffic Warning on Mandarin Road Due to Marathon
If you are planning to attend the Bishop’s presentation at 9:30 AM or the 10:15 AM Mass you will want to give yourself at least twenty extra minutes of commute time. Traffic will be moving slowly and may be stopped from time to time due to the many runners who will be heading down Mandarin Road and Brady Road. Thank you for your patience and courtesy to those completing the Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon.
Check out More Upcoming Events at the Website
Faithfully, your pastor,