Each of us grew up with a different way of counting down the days to Christmas. Some families listened to Christmas music by day and watched Christmas movies each night. Other families lit the purple and pink candles of an Advent Wreath week after week until it is almost Christmas. Some of us slowly opened one door at a time on a family advent calendar. Whatever your tradition, the waiting in anticipation of the celebration of Jesus’ birth was one of the great joys of childhood.
In our HNOJ family, we mark the days in waiting for Jesus to come by processing candles and incense in the dark and prayerfully placing them in our large Advent Wreath. We anxiously wait for Jesus to appear in our nativity scene in the corner of our sanctuary. As we sing quietly, wait for Jesus, and witness the lone candle shining in the darkness, we are reminded that no matter how dark things might see, the Light of the World is coming.
We welcome you to experience Advent and Christmas festivities at our parish and school throughout the month of December.
Mass will premiere online on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. Click Mass Online to watch on our website, to get the YouTube link or worship aide. Christmas Eve Mass is aired on our website, YouTube and Facebook.
Important Information About Christmas Mass
Holy Name of Jesus is excited to be offering Christmas Mass at the times shown below with added protocols recommended by the CDC to minimize the risk of Coronavirus transmittal. Please take note of the following procedures. We thank you in advance for your patience and kindness. We look forward to celebrating Christmas with you safely.
- There will be a 15-minute prelude before each Mass.
- There is a maximum occupancy for each Mass; 250 in the church and limited seating in the Good Samaritan Center via Livestream.
- Do not arrive more than one-half hour before Mass.
- Ushers will assist in seating, you will not be able to reserve seats or request a specific seat, no exceptions.
- Those first to arrive will be seated in the church until 250 has been met, and then people will be directed to the Good Samaritan Center through a separate entrance and exit.
- Masks must be worn in the building.
- Walk-ins will only be permitted if space allows.
- Families must register for a specific Mass time by clicking here. If you do not use a computer, you may call the parish office to reserve space for your family.
Christmas Eve - Dec. 24
2:00 pm - String Quartet, Oboe, Women’s Trio
4:00 pm - Sunday Evening Band
6:00 pm – Sunday Evening Band
9:00 pm - String Quartet, Oboe, Cantors
Christmas Day - Dec. 25
9:30 - Contemporary Choir
Mass Online for Christmas is an option as well. If you are sick, not comfortable attending, at risk, please join us for Mass Online this Christmas, premiering at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve.
A note about incense
We will be using incense at the 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday Liturgies during the season of Advent. For those with sensitivities, you may wish to consider joining us at our 5:00 p.m. (Sat.) and 8:30 a.m. Liturgies where we will refrain from using any incense.
Incense will be used at the 9 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. There will be no incense at the 2, 4 or 6 p.m. Christmas Eve Masses, nor the 9:30 a.m. Christmas Day.
Advent Daily Email
Below are Chris Kostelc's top three pics for Advent daily emails:
Dynamic Catholic - Best Lent Ever
Word on Fire - Bishop Barron’s Daily Advent Reflections
Augustine Institute - The Road to Bethlehem
BONUS Check out
USCCB Advent Calendar
Christmas Tree Trivia
Pope Benedict XVI said this in 2008 about Christmas Trees,
"With its loftiness, its green [color] and the lights in its branches, the Christmas tree is a symbol of life that points to the mystery of Christmas Eve. Christ, the Son of God, brings to the dark, cold, unredeemed world in which he was born, a new hope and a new splendor. If a man allows himself to be touched and enlightened by the splendor of the living truth that is Christ, he will experience an interior peace in his heart and will himself become an instrument of peace in a society that has so much nostalgia for reconciliation and redemption.”
USCCB on Christmas Trees:
The use of the Christmas tree is relatively modern. Its origins are found in the
medieval mystery plays that depicted the tree of paradise and the Christmas light
or candle that symbolized Christ, the Light of the world. According to custom, the
Christmas tree is set up just before Christmas and may remain in place until the
Solemnity of Epiphany. The lights of the tree are illuminated after the prayer of
In the home the Christmas tree may be blessed by a parent or another family member, in connection with the evening meal on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time on Christmas Day.
Patron Saint of Christmas Trees - St. Boniface
In one of the earliest stories relating to the Christmas tree, the eighth-century Catholic missionary, Saint Boniface, is said to have cut down an oak tree sacred to the pagan god Thor. An evergreen, fir tree grew in its place, which Boniface
said symbolized the everlasting nature of Jesus Christ.
A longer version of the story with much more detail can be found at (https://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-is-the-origin-of-the-christmas-...)
Christmas Tree Blessing
Use the following blessing to bless your Christmas Tree at home. From the USCCB
When all have gathered, a suitable song may be sung.
The leader makes the sign of the cross, and all reply “Amen.”
The leader may greet those present in the following words:
Let us glorify Christ our light, who brings salvation and peace into our midst, now and forever.
In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing:
My brothers and sisters, amidst signs and wonders Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea: his
birth brings joy to our hearts and enlightenment to our minds. With this tree, decorated and adorned,
may we welcome Christ among us; may its lights guide us to the perfect light.
One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Titus 3:4 (lines 4-7)
or Ezekiel 17:22 (lines 22-24 4; I will plant a tender shoot on the mountain heights of Israel.)
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God.
The intercessions are then said. The leader says:
Let us ask God to send his blessing upon us and upon this
sign of our faith in the Lord.
R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.
That this tree of lights may remind us of the tree of glory on
which Christ accomplished our salvation, let us pray to the
Lord. R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.
That the joy of Christmas may always be in our homes, let
us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.
That the peace of Christ may dwell in our hearts and in the
world, let us pray to the Lord. R/. Lord, give light to our hearts.
After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the
The leader says the prayer with hands joined:
Lord our God,
we praise you for the light of creation:
the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.
We praise you for the light of Israel:
the Law, the prophets, and the wisdom of the Scriptures.
We praise you for Jesus Christ, your Son:
he is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace,
who fills us with the wonder of your love.
let your blessing come upon us
as we illumine this tree.
May the light and cheer it gives
be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.
May all who delight in this tree
come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The lights of the tree are then illuminated. The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself
with the sign of the cross and saying:
May the God of glory fill our hearts with peace and joy, now
The blessing concludes with a verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:
—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers