Advent celebrations planned across the diocese include prayer, song, retreats

An Advent wreath is depicted in a stained-glass window. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Following are Advent observances made known to The Catholic Post in recent days. More will be posted here as they become available.

Vesper prayer services offered at Sacred Heart, Moline

MOLINE — Quiet evenings of prayer and song continue on the Second and Third Sundays of Advent, Dec. 9 and 16, at Sacred Heart Church, 1307 17th Ave. Father Matthew Cole, SMA, parochial vicar, will offer the reflections for the prayer services, which will begin at 4 p.m.

For more information, call Suzie at (309) 762-2362.

Urbana parish plans Festival of Lessons and Carols, Solemn Advent Vespers

URBANA — St. Patrick Church, 708 Main St., will have a Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. It will include languages and hymns of the parish community, including American Sign Language, Congolese, English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Mayan. A free-will offering will be accepted to support the parish music ministries.

St. Patrick Church will also offer sung vespers on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the church. Father Luke Spannagel, pastor, will be the celebrant, and Dr. Franklin Gallo, director of music and liturgy, will be the cantor.

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, pastor of St. Matthew, Champaign, and St. Boniface, Seymour, will be the homilist.

The service is being hosted by the parishes of the Champaign Vicariate. All are welcome.

St. Mark in Peoria hosting Advent day of reflection on Dec. 15

PEORIA — Father Timothy Hepner, diocesan vocation director of recruitment, will be the speaker for an Advent day of reflection on Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Mark Church, 1113 W. Bradley Ave. It will begin with Mass at 8 a.m. A light breakfast will follow.

The day will invite people to consider Advent as a time of holy reverence and joyful longing, and explore ways to let Advent penetrate daily life.

“How do we let God’s plan for the season take over,” organizers asked. “How do we find peace, silence, and the deep longing that only the coming of the Incarnate Word can fulfill?”

Reservations are requested and may be made by calling the rectory at (309) 673-1263.

Pastor’s Nativity village displayed in Bushnell church

BUSHNELL — Father Patrick O’Neal, pastor of St. Bernard Parish, is sharing his Fontanini Nativity Village with the parish and community through the weekend of Jan. 12-13, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Set up in the church, 376 W. Hail St., it can be viewed after Masses.

The village includes more than 300 figurines and 60 structures and depicts the city of Jerusalem, the countryside, and the town of Bethlehem.

The Baptism of the Lord marks the official end of the Christmas season in the Catholic Church.


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