News

The Basilica of Saint Mary along with its sister parish Ascension Catholic Church will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
 
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe brings the Basilica’s vibrant multi-cultural community together to celebrate with music, dance, and liturgy. 
 
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Schedule: 
 
Sunday, December 11, 2022
3:30pm: Traditional Aztec dancers on the Basilica plaza with procession into the Church
5:00pm: Bilingual Mass with music by La Familia Torres-Peña
6:00pm: Fiesta in the Basilica’s lower level, Teresa of Calcutta Hall
 
December 12th marks the feast day of the Virgin Mary, or Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas who appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico City in 1531.
 
 
Crèche Collection mexico web banner

Mornings at the Manger

This Advent, spend Mornings at the Manger as Dr. Johan van Parys, Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, tells us about various nativities in his personal collection from around the world.

 

December 7
Charming nativity scene from Guatemala. Jose Canil Ramos carved each figurine by hand from pinewood which he weathers and dries during the summer months. The characters’ florid orange robes and purple cloaks are painted by hand, including their smiling faces. Featuring nine pieces, this nativity scene preserves a tradition that was brought to Guatemala in 1649. Jose Canil Ramos was born on May 25, 1981, in Chichicastenango. He learned his craft from his father who used to carve masks and saints to sell at the Chichi market. Jose now shares a workshop with his mother.

 

nativity scene from Guatemala

 

 

 

 

December 6
Playful Brazilian presépio, or nativity, which has 19 painted clay pieces.
Two pieces are of note are the cactus and the rooster. The rooster refers to the legend that a rooster was present in the stable where Jesus was born. Immediately after Jesus’ birth the rooster started to crow, thus announcing the divine birth to the world. The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is known as the “Mass of the Rooster” in Brasil and other countries, such as Spain and Bolivia. One cannot but make an additional connection with the rooster that crowed three times as Peter denied Jesus. The cactus is a great example of inculturation. As each culture started to depict the nativity they added elements borrowed from their own experience.
 
 
playful Brazilian presépio nativity
 
 
 
December 5
Colorful nativity from Nicaragua, which is carved from cedar wood and then painted with unique floral motives. Of note is that the Christ child, rather than lying in a manger, the child is placed on a pineapple. The symbolic meaning of a pineapple is welcome, generosity and hospitality.
 
colorful nativity from Nicaragua
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Support our St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Ministries 

“Mary” is a student in our Basilica mentoring program with Minneapolis College. Persevering against great odds, she is committed to her education while working fulltime to meet the needs of her family. She faced a crisis when her funds went to repair the car she needs daily to shuttle between childcare, work, and classes at Minneapolis College. The Basilica’s SVdP Ministry was able to provide one-time rent assistance to keep “Mary” and her family securely housed.

Preventing homelessness is a first and important step to ending homelessness. When you are one-crisis away from homelessness, there is constant stress. The Basilica’s SVdP can support our neighbors, ensuring they are not alone.

Your donation can help families like “Mary’s”—working hard to move out of poverty. 100% of your donation goes directly to support people in need.

 

You can make your gift online at mary.org/svdpgive or by check with SVdP in the memo line.

 

 

SvdP 2022

 

 

 

 

Advent 2022: A Season of Longing and Listening

The Second Week of Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord!

 

The English word Advent comes from the Latin Adventus Domini, meaning the Coming of the Lord. Most of us understand this to mean Jesus’ presence with us at Christmas as we commemorate and celebrate his birth. The full meaning of Adventus Domini, however embraces Jesus’ birth some 2000 years ago; his presence with us today as well as his return at the end of time. Advent thus becomes a time of preparation not only for the celebration of Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago. It also is a time when we become more aware of Jesus’ presence in our lives today. And it is a time of  preparation for his Second Coming at the end of time.

As Christians we believe that Christ’s return in Glory will complete the Messianic Times. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied some 2700 years ago that this will be a time when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks;” when “the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;” when “there shall be no more ruin on all my holy Mountain;” when “the steppe and the parched land…will bloom with abundant flowers.”

During Advent we are invited to dream of Isaiah’s perfect world without diseases, disasters, and death; a world where all God’s children and all of creation exist together in perfect harmony. The Season of Advent also moves us to act and invites us to help in bringing about that harmonious world.

So, let’s sing Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus with full voice and let’s act in ways that will hasten the arrival of that perfect and peaceful world.

 

What to do in the Domestic Church:

 

Advent Wreath

On the second Sunday of Advent, we light the second candle on the Advent wreath.

As I mentioned last week, the origin of the Advent wreath is unclear. There is evidence of a pre-Christian custom of decorating a wheel with candles, while prayers were offered for the wheel of the earth to turn so that light and warmth would reappear. Christians then adopted this ritual and began to use it in domestic settings during the Middle Ages.

The wheel itself, a circle with neither beginning nor end, signifies eternal life. The evergreens, too, represent eternal life, with holly implying immortality, cedar expressing strength and healing, laurel touting victory over suffer­ing, and pinecones or nuts lauding life and resurrection. The four candles that were added to the wreath over time represent the four weeks of Advent.

 

A Blessing for the Lighting of the Second Candle

After someone in the family has lit the first and second candle on the Advent Wreath the prayer begins with the sign of the cross and continues as follows:

 

Leader:           Today we begin the second Week of Advent.

We open our hearts to God’s love

as we prepare to welcome Christ.

The candles of this wreath remind us that

Jesus Christ came to conquer the darkness of sin

and to lead us into his glorious light.

Let us pray that we may always be ready to welcome him.

 

Leader:           You came as herald of the good tidings of God’s salvation:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.

 

Leader:           You come to bring forth in us

                        a rich harvest of justice and peace:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.

 

Priest:             You will come to bring to completion

                        the good work you have begun in us:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.

 

Leader:           Let us pray:

Ever-living God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ,

whose advent we await.

As we light the second candle of this wreath,

kindle within us the fire of your spirit,

that we may be light shining in darkness.

Enlighten us with your grace,

that we may welcome others as you have welcomed us.

We ask this through the same Christ our Lord

whose coming is certain and whose day draws near.

All:                  Amen.

 

The leader ends with the sign of the cross.

 

A Quick Glance at the Readings for the Second Sunday of Lent

 

From the First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-3

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.

 

From the Second Reading: Romans 15: 5-6

May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

From the Gospel: Matthew 3:1-3

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

 

The Advent Calendar

Last Sunday, having read my first Advent Aid, someone mentioned that behind the door for each day in their calendar they hide one of the figurines of their nativity. Each day they place one more figurine in their nativity scene ending on the 25th of December with the Christ child. Other calendars have a Bible verse hidden behind the little door or maybe a suggestion for a good deed.

Advent Calendars allow children and adults alike to keep up with the progression of Advent and countdown to Christmas as they open one little door each day.

 

This Week at The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

Sunday Eucharist

You will notice that the rituals are somewhat different and that the tone of the liturgy is one of deep longing for Christ’s presence in our midst. We celebrate Sunday Eucharist on Saturday at 5:00pm and on Sunday at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, and 5:00pm.

We will continue to livestream the 9:30am Sunday Eucharist.

 

Sunday Vespers:

On Sundays we gather in the choir stalls at 3:00pm to celebrate Vespers. This form of prayer is perfect for the season as it begins with a silent procession in the dark, followed by a lighting of individual candles. We sing beautiful psalms, listen to Sacred Scripture, and pray for the needs of the world.  We end Vespers with a prayer to the Blessed Mother who is so central to the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Sunday Vespers is Livestreamed.

 

Weekday Eucharist

We celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel, Monday through Friday at 7:00am and at Noon. The noon Mass is livestreamed.

 

Morning Prayer:

On Tuesday and Wednesday we gather in the Basilica Choir Stalls at 9:15am for the celebration of Morning Prayer. This is a simple but beautiful way to begin your day.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A priest is available in the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday between 9:00-10:00am. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 13 at 5:30pm we will celebrate Taizé Prayer with the option to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 

Exhibits

As we advance in the Advent Season more and more of the creches or Nativity Scenes from our Basilica collection will be on exhibit in The Basilica and in the Undercroft.

Also, every day of Advent and Christmas we have a Facebook post that highlights one of the nativities in my personal collection.

 

Concerts

This Saturday, December 3 at 2:00pm, Minnesota Sinfonia will bring their annual Family Holiday Concert to The Basilica. This concert is free and open to the public.

Look for more information on our website.

 

And please remember to be pace yourself!

Advent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian heroism. Rather, Advent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient.

 

Christmas altar

A Gift of Christmas Flowers

Honor your loved ones this Christmas through beautiful altar flowers, evergreen trees, and greenery. Names of those honored through flower gifts given by December 14 will be listed in the Christmas leaflets. Please use the envelopes in the pews or donate online at www.mary.org/give with the Gift Designation of Christmas Flowers.

 

Christmas flowers

 

 

 

 

Advent 2022: A Season of Longing and Listening

The First Week of Advent: Let us Walk in the Light of the Lord!

 

Last Sunday, the liturgical year ended with the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King. During his homily given in the Cathedral of Asti, Italy, Pope Francis challenged the image of Jesus this solemnity evokes. Too often, he said we depict and imagine Christ as a worldly king, and “what comes to mind is a powerful man seated on a throne with magnificent insignia, a scepter in his hand and precious rings on his fingers, speaking in solemn tones to his subjects.” Yet, the truth about Jesus is that he was exactly the opposite. He was not born in a palace but rather in a stable or a cave. He was not born in Rome but rather in one of the poorest outskirts of the Roman Empire. He did not seek the company of princes but rather surrounded himself with sinners and the sick, widows and those wanting, fishermen and carpenters. And he surely never sat on an earthly throne or wore a crown made of gold. His throne was the cross on which he died. His crown was not made of gold but of thorns.

During Advent we meditate on this great mystery of God choosing to come to us not as a king but a baby born in a stable to a humble family so he might show us the true path to salvation. And that path did not involve thrones and crowns and scepters but rather a stable, a manger and a cross.

Advent is a time of deep listening to our most inner being; to one another, and above all to the voice of God. Advent is also a time of intense longing that world God imagined for us, free pf war and violence, suffering and pain. Listening and longing both require time and space, admittedly a challenge especially during Advent. Please allow yourself that much needed time and space to prepare for the Coming of our Lord.

 

What to do in the Domestic Church:

 

Advent Wreath

Today, many churches and homes are decorated with and advent wreath. The origin of the Advent wreath is unclear. There is evidence of a pre-Christian custom of decorating a wheel with candles, while prayers were offered for the wheel of the earth to turn so that light and warmth would reappear. Christians then adopted this ritual and began to use it in domestic settings during the Middle Ages.

The wheel itself, a circle with neither beginning nor end, signifies eternal life. The evergreens, too, represent eternal life, with holly implying immortality, cedar expressing strength and healing, laurel touting victory over suffer­ing, and pinecones or nuts lauding life and resurrection. The four candles that were added to the wreath over time represent the four weeks of Advent.

Since the use of the Advent wreath originated in the homes of Christians, we invite you to continue this custom. Advent wreaths can be easily constructed. The candle for each week is lit and blessed in the evening of the Saturdays or Sundays of Advent.

 

A Blessing for the Lighting of the First Candle

After someone in the family has lit the first candle on the Advent Wreath the prayer begins with the sign of the cross and continues.

Leader: Brothers and sisters,

               today we begin the season of Advent.

               Let us open our hearts to God’s love

               as we prepare to welcome Christ.

               The candles of this wreath remind us that

               Jesus Christ came to conquer the darkness of sin

               and lead us into his glorious light.

               Let us pray that we may always be ready to welcome him.

 

Leader: You came to turn the hearts of all to love of God and neighbor:

                 Lord, come and save us.

All:         Lord, come and save us.

 

Leader: You come to enrich us with gifts of grace and knowledge:

                 Lord, come and save us.

All:         Lord, come and save us.

 

Leader: You will come on a day we cannot know

                bringing redemption to all your faithful:

                 Lord, come and save us.

All:         Lord, come and save us.

 

Leader: Let us pray:

               Ever-living God,

               we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ,

               whose advent we await.

               As we light the first candle of this wreath,

               rouse us from sleep that we may be ready to greet him

               when he comes with all the angels and saints.

               Enlighten us with your grace,

               and prepare our hearts to welcome him with joy.

               We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.

All:         Amen.

The leader ends with the sign of the cross.

 

A Quick Glance at the Readings for the First Sunday of Lent

From the First Reading: Isaiah 2:4

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

 

From the Second Reading: Romans 13: 12

The night is advanced, the day is at hand.

Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light

 

From the Gospel: Matthew 24: 42

Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

 

The Advent Calendar

            Printed Advent calendars originated in Germany at the Beginning of the 20th C. It is believed that US soldiers who returned from Europe after the war brought them back for their children.

Advent Calendars allow children to keep up with the progression of Advent and countdown to Christmas as they open one little door each day. The better calendars have a Bible verse hidden behind the little door or maybe a suggestion for a good deed.

 

At The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

Sunday Eucharist

You will notice that the rituals are somewhat different and that the tone of the liturgy is one of deep longing for Christ’s presence in our midst. We celebrate Sunday Eucharist on Saturday at 5:00pm and on Sunday at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, and 5:00pm.

 

Weekday Eucharist

We celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel, Monday through Friday at 7:00am and at Noon.

 

Morning Prayer:

On Tuesday and Wednesday we gather in the Basilica Choir Stalls for the celebration of Morning Prayer. This is a simple but beautiful way to begin your day.

 

Sunday Vespers:

On Sundays we gather in the choir stalls at 3:00pm to celebrate Vespers. This form of prayer is perfect for the season as it begins with a silent procession in the dark, followed by a lighting of individual candles. We sing beautiful psalms, listen to Sacred Scripture, and pray for the needs of the world.  We end Vespers with a prayer to the Blessed Mother who is so central to the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A priest is available in the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday between 9:00-10:00am

 

Exhibits

As we advance in the Advent Season more and more of the creches or Nativity Scenes from our Basilica collection will be on exhibit in The Basilica and in the Undercroft.

 

Concerts in The Basilica

Several concerts have been scheduled for the second and third week of Advent. Look for more information on our website.

 

And please remember to be pace yourself

Advent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian heroism. Rather, Advent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient.

 

 

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