Saint Mary of the Assumption
132 South High Street
Lancaster, Ohio 43130
Parish Office: 740.653.0997
Faith Office: 740.653.5054
Parish Office Hours
Mon – Fri: 8.00 am – 4.30 pm
Saint Mary Cemetery
Map to St. Mary Cemetery
Saint Mary School
Sunday Mass Schedule:
Saturday: 5:30 pm
Sunday: 8:45 am and 11:15 am
Daily Mass Schedule:
Monday & Wednesday: 7:00 am
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00 am
Holy Day Schedule:
Masses: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, and 7:00 pm
*Please consult the Parish Bulletin
Saturday: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Or by Appointment (Call 740.653.0997)
In her liturgical year the Church helps the Christian faithful to encounter each year anew, her Lord, Jesus Christ. Since God has become Man in Jesus Christ, He has entered time and our world, and thus the liturgical seasons and commemorations are not memories of distant events of our Salvation History, but are encounters with the living God. As with the visible world and nature, there are seasons and cycles to the year. The same is true with our liturgical year. There are times for fasting and feasting; times for sorrow and joy; and times for more intense conversion and penance. But in all of this, the Church encounters her Lord and His saving Gospel. Throughout these times and seasons, Catholics re-live the life of Christ: the Annunciation to the Bl. Virgin Mary, Jesus’ Incarnation, His Birth, being raised in the holy family, His Baptism and retreat into the dessert, and His Paschal Mystery: His Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, celebrating well the rituals and traditions of the Church in her liturgical year, helps us to live intimately with Jesus Christ.
As we prepare to journey through the season of Advent, the prayer and worship of the Church helps us to remember our need and longing for the Messiah. Although our world is all about immediate gratification; the timeless memory of the Church tells us to be in touch with our longings. It is good to long. By recalling the ancient prophecies and the expectancy of the Messiah, we are aided in renewing our need for Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and welcoming Him more into our lives, especially those fibers of our being that are in need of conversion and healing. Mother Church also encourages us to look for the many ways in which the Lord comes to us now: sacramentally in Holy Communion, in the person of the Priest, in holy Scripture, and in the person of our neighbour. We are also reminded that the Lord will return again at the end of time as Judge, or at our death in particular judgement, and so we heed the call of John the Baptizer to “make straight His paths.”
With this in mind, let us look to where we need the Lord more in our lives – to turn away from sin and to turn toward the Lord and His mercy and healing. Our deanery parishes will offer advent penance services to help us go about this christian work:
- Tuesday, 5 December – St. John the Evangelist – Logan, 7.00 pm
- Sunday, 10 December – St. Bernadette – Lancaster, 3.00 pm
- Tuesday, 12 December – St. Mark the Evangelist – Lancaster, 7.00 pm
- Thursday, 14 December – St. Mary of the Assumption, 7.00 pm
- Sunday, 17 December – St. Mary – Bremen, 3.00 pm
- Tuesday, 19 December – St. Joseph – Sugar Grove, 7.00 pm
As Mother Church helps us to prepare not only for the commemoration of the Nativity this Advent, but more importantly, for when we meet the Lord face to face, let us avail ourselves of this special opportunity to seek God’s mercy and grace in this sacrament. Let us welcome the Divine Physician into our lives to heal and transform us, so that we may be ready and open to receive Christ the Lord in the many ways He comes to us this Advent and this New Liturgical Year.
Join us Sunday, December 3, the First Sunday of Advent in the Spirit Center immediately following the 11:15 a.m. Mass for a light lunch and Advent Crafts for your children. Enjoy a bowl of homemade soup while the kids have fun with crafts focused on the true meaning of the season.
All are welcome! No registration or fee required. If you have any questions please call Dan Boyden at 614-554-2612.
Parishioners are invited to bring in their family advent wreaths on the First Sunday of Advent (Sat 2 Dec. or Sun 3 Dec.) and place them around the parish advent wreath before Mass for Father Eilerman to bless during the three Masses. We suggest attaching your family name to the wreath to help you identify it after Mass.
History of the Advent Wreath by Rev. Fr. William Saunders
The Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. However, the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.
By the Middle Ages, the Christians adapted this tradition and used Advent wreathes as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. After all, Christ is “the Light that came into the world” to dispel the darkness of sin and to radiate the truth and love of God (cf. John 3:19-21). By 1600, both Catholics and Lutherans had more formal practices surrounding the Advent wreath.
The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning which can be adapted to our faith: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection.
The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.
The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Another tradition is to replace the three purple and one rose candles with four white candles, which will be lit throughout Christmas season.
In family practice, the Advent wreath is most appropriately lit at dinner time after the blessing of the food. A traditional prayer service using the Advent wreath proceeds as follows: On the First Sunday of Advent, the father of the family blesses the wreath, praying: O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” He then continues for each of the days of the first week of Advent, O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The youngest child then lights one purple candle.
During the second week of Advent, the father prays: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The oldest child then lights the purple candle from the first week plus one more purple candle.
During the third week of Advent, the father prays: O Lord, we beg Thee, incline Thy ear to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The mother then lights the two previously lit purple candles plus the rose candle.
Finally, the father prays during the fourth week of Advent, O Lord, stir up Thy power, we pray Thee, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of Thy grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins impede. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.” The father then lights all of the candles of the wreath.
Since Advent is a time to stir-up our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide us a way to augment this special preparation for Christmas. Moreover, this good tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
By now hopefully you have received my letter on stewardship, had an opportunity to read, reflect, and pray on its contents and the information contained in the pamphlet enclosed. My thanks to Phil and Cecelia Mullin who gave witness to their commitment of tithing their time, talent, and treasure to our Parish. Their words gave us all much to reflect on.
Now it is your turn to make a commitment to our parish by prayerfully deciding what percentage of your income you will tithe to the mission of the church in this coming year. If you have not already done so, please complete your pledge card that was included with my letter. I also ask you to consider how you will give of your time and talent in 2018, by beginning or recommitting yourself to one of the ministries and organizations of St. Mary parish. Pledge cards may be returned by way of the collection basket, dropped off at the parish office during office hours, or mailed to St. Mary Church, 132 S. High St., Lancaster, OH 43130.
My heartfelt appreciation goes to all who have so generously committed themselves to tithing their time, talent, and treasure. Your sacrifice will not go without reward.
“The just man’s sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten.
In generous spirit pay homage to the Lord, be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.”
I remain yours in Christ,
Rev. Craig R. Eilerman Pastor
Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November
Masses are offered at 7am, 9am, and 7pm
Commemoration of the Faithful Department – 2 November
Masses are offered at 9am and 7pm
Who Am I to Judge? Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love – Dr. Edward Sri