Add Thu, Dec 24 - Fri, Dec 25
My Dear Parishioner,
As I was working in my office recently, I could not help but notice the workers putting the Christmas decorations on the street lights along South Main Street. Seeing the decorations reminded me that Christmas will be here before we know it. In spite of everything that has happened this year, we can look forward to celebrating the Birth of Christ at Christmastime.
Like everything else this year, our celebration of Christmas will be a little bit different than usual. The need for social distancing means that we will be able to have no more than 150 people in our Church for any Christmas Mass! This means we will need to reserve spaces for Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. You can do this by calling the Parish Office (908-454-0112) no later than 12:00pm on Sat, Dec 21. It would be wise to call as soon as possible to ensure a space.
Please remember that the dispensation from our obligation to attend Holy Mass remains in effect even for Christmas. The Bishop granted this dispensation due to the coronavirus – because he knows that some of you must stay home for reasons of safety. Anyone who is in a high- risk category – or is not feeling well – should take advantage of this dispensation and watch Mass online or on TV.
Here is the Christmas Schedule of Masses for Saint Philip and Saint James Church.
Christmas Eve, December 24
2:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, 12:00am Solemn Mass at Midnight
Christmas Day, December 25
7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am in English, 1:00pm in Spanish
All of our Masses will have Christmas music, and the Solemn Mass at Midnight will include incense. Those attending Mass must wear a mask while at Church, except when receiving Holy Communion. Please also sanitize your hands when you arrive at Church, and maintain proper social distancing. The Church will be cleaned and sanitized between each Mass, to keep everyone as safe as possible.
I know this is an inconvenience – but remember that Mary and Joseph were very inconvenienced that first Christmas, when there was no room for them at the Inn! Maybe we can offer our inconvenience this Christmas as a sacrifice – as Christ offered Himself for us!
Finally, please know that the Solemn Midnight Mass will be live-streamed for those who prefer to watch online. The Mass will be left on our website (spsj.org) throughout Christmas Day so you may watch at your convenience. I hope this will be helpful to those who are not able to join us in person.
Thanks for taking the time to read this message – and know of my prayers for all of you. Please say a Hail Mary for me each day!