At all six Masses on Christmas at St. Andrew we presented to each person a booklet with all the prayers and music for the celebration. The first thing people saw was a welcome message and an explanantion of the preace dove.
(click on image of program to see it enlarged)
By yourself or with family,
grateful or hurting, disappointed or satisfied,
successful or stressed, sick or healed, elated or deflated,
feeling the loss of health, home, loved one and employment,
or with everyone and in good relationship
with everyone whom you love and who loves you,
we come to Mass on this holy day
and approach the altar
with grateful and humble hearts.
Jesus is on the altar at every Mass
as truly as he was in the manger on the first Christmas.
As he was in the wood of feeding trough
and on the wood of the cross,
he is truly present on our altar-table
for our nourishment and our salvation.
At every Mass
we are in Bethlehem on Christmas,
at Calvary on Good Friday
and at the empty tomb in Jerusalem on Easter morning.
May you experience always
the spirit of Christmas which is peace,
the joy of Christmas which is hope,
and the heart of Christmas which is love.
A “peace dove” with lighted candle will remain on the ledge at the tabernacle in our church throughout the Christmas season. Our friends in our partner parish and school in the Beit Jala area of Bethlehem will light a candle for us on Christmas Eve at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They will remember us in Bethlehem, as we will remember them here. The Christians who live in Bethlehem still do not enjoy the peace the angels sang about on the first Christmas. As we sing the opening words of the Gloria – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” – we will pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Bethlehem, throughout the Holy Land and all throughout the Middle East.