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Monthly Archives: November 2016

An Irreverent History of Christmas Cards

An Irreverent History of Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards, official items printed with a Christmas message and sent to wish others a "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.", were first printed in England in 1843 making them as old as the opera Don Pasquale, the United Free Church of Scotland, the British colony of Natal, a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and your grandmother's fruit cake.

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Advent Symbols and Celebrations – Part I

Traditions of Advent Part 1

Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope, a preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, meaning "to come to,"; it refers to the coming of Christ. Here are three expressions of piety to help us get ready this season.

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Start the Oplatki Family Christmas Tradition

Start the oplatki tradition in your family

Among Catholic families in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the start of the traditional Wigilia (Christmas Eve Vigil) meal begins with the Oplatki, Oblatky, or Plotkele, a thin Communion-like rectangular wafer made of unleavened bread and stamped with different Christmas symbols. Some families call it the “bread of Love” and it is widely known in English-speaking countries simply as the Christmas wafer. Some eastern German families are also known to use a wafer called Opladen in their Christmas cooking.

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Christ the King Sunday

Why we celebrate Christ the King

Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of the Liturgical year, is a feast day that focuses on the authority of Christ. While the problems our world faces today differ from the particular events that inspired Pope Pius XI to establish this feast in the 1920s, his message and call to honor Christ the King in a society that denies the authority of Our Lord is no less pertinent now than it was then.

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You aren’t getting the most out of Advent.

Advent Reading Essentials

In modern society, the Advent season has come to be treated as no more than the shopping and baking period between Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. While there is of course nothing wrong with either shopping or baking, it is important to take time to remember the meaning and significance of this liturgical season. It is a busy time of year, to be sure, but with a concise, yet insightful Advent meditations book every one can, and should, take a little time each day to pray and reflect on the deep meaning of the Advent season – in regards to both preparing for the anniversary of Christ’s birth and preparing for Christ’s second and final coming.

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A Feast Day for the Mother Church

A Birthday for Saint John Lateran

When most people think about churches in Rome, the first one that immediately jumps to mind is the world-famous Saint Peter’s basilica. The heart of Vatican City, it is the most visible location in the Catholic Church. What most people don’t know, however, is that Saint Peter’s isn’t the “highest-ranking” church in Rome. That honor goes to the Archbasilica of …

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