The Feast of Infant Jesus is January 14th and relates to the devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague that reaches far beyond the Czech Republic. In fact, the story revolves around a statue that originated in Spain rather than central Europe. The image, itself is a confluence of seeming contradictions: of kingship and innocence, of parochiality and worldwide veneration, and of waxing and waning devotion. These contradictions are also attractions, and devotion to Infant Jesus has touched countless lives with countless blessings.
This time of year brings out the awe and joy (O!) in the music of the Advent and Christmas Seasons – especially in the “O Antiphons“. The exclamation of “O” or “Oh” is an audible release of an emotion, itself unseen.
George Frideric Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742 as a charitable fund-raising event and is a favorite among Christmas-season musical pieces.
The early part of the December calendar is full of meaningful liturgical feast days and memorials as we move into the heart of Advent on the way to Christmas. Of course, the season of Advent is about watching and waiting, but it is also about anticipation of the birth of Jesus
Advent starts a new liturgical cycle in the Church each year; and in the daily and Sunday Mass readings of Advent, we are greeted by the verse of one of the greatest ancient poets in the Book of Isaiah. The Prophet Isaiah’s poetry tells of the coming of a Messiah who will rescue the plighted from sufferings and establish a new kingdom to satisfy all wants.
When you view the outside of a church building, what do you see? The features on the exterior of the church can help to determine the architectural style of the church…which may tell you something (or a lot) about the inside(s).
In many parts of the world, the church buildings have been closed for about one-half of 2020; and are now, thankfully, starting to re-open on a limited basis. These closures have felt like a loss in many ways, yet, we have learned that much of the spiritual beauty of the churches and sacred art can be experienced from afar.
The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th highlights the traditional prayer summarizing the key events in the life of Jesus, and His mother Mary (Mysteries of the Rosary). Although, most don’t think of praying the Rosary as a trendy practice, it can be…really!
The memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels marks October 2 on the Church Calendar. It is a celebration that maybe some now relegate to earlier times – those times when the Mass was recited in Latin and the Prayer to Saint Michael was prayed at the end of Mass.
September 28th is the Feast Day of Saint Wenceslaus the patron of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). He is also the patron of many Catholic Parishes in Europe and the U.S. including several in the midwestern States of Nebraska and Iowa where many Czech immigrants settled in the 1800’s.