I Will Honour Christmas In My Heart

I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

Christmas is my favorite Holiday and my favorite time of year!

I go all out decorating our small townhouse for all Holidays but especially Christmas!

Every room in our home has a different Christmas Theme and Color Scheme!!

I prove that you do not have to live in a large home to have several Trees!

This blog is dedicated to All Things Christmas!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

CHRISTMAS IN OUR CHURCH

First ,I would like to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

On Christmas Day, I was astounded at how beautiful I thought our Church looked decorated for Christmas.

Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me. So when we went to mass this morning, I took my camera so I could share it with all of you.

Welcome to St. Maria Goretti Church which was dedicated in 1977. So it is a fairly new parish.

As you enter the church, you are greeted by this huge live tree surrounded by red poinsettias around the base and decorated with white lights.
This tree sits in the center of the vestibule before entering the Church itself.

When you walk through the doors of the Church, this is your first view.

There is a skylight directly above the cross in the ceiling.

As you approach, you can see the beautiful marble on the altar floor.

The Sculpture on the top left behind the cross signifies Bethlehem and the Birth of Jesus.

The Sculpture to the right signifies the Holy Spirit and the bottom one signifies the Ressurection with Jesus rising from the dead and leaving the tomb.


Usually the back of the altar is flanked with several live Christmas trees lit with white lights.

This year, they decided to use these metal frames in the shape of a tree that are pot holders for the Poinsettia plants which are donated by members of the parish. These frames were used when the church was first built but I have never seen them used since we have been parishioners for the past 15 years.

I thought that the trees created out of poinsettias are striking!

Unfortunately, they did not have the little trees with lights lit when I took these pictures.

With the sunlight coming down through the skylight and the sidelight to the right of the altar, I switched to Candlelight Mode on my camera.

The red really pops, don't you think?

The manger scene is placed directly in front of the Altar.

During all masses on Christmas Eve ( we have 3), our priest carries the Christ Child into church and places him in his crib. However, at the 4:30 pm, Mass which is the Children's Mass, an actual real baby was placed in the crib during the Christmas Pageant presented by children of the Parish.

To the right side of the Altar are the 3 Wise Men.

The feast of the Wise Men or Epiphany is next Sunday on Jan. 8th.

It is customary for many in my area to leave their Christmas Decorations up until then.




With the sun shining on this poinsettia tree from the side light to the right, the poinsettias looked like red velvet.

On your way out of the church into the vestibule, you see the beautiful large live tree again.

I did not take any pictures outside of the church but you can see in this picture, looking beyond the tree, looking out the glass windows, 2 trees in huge urns on each side of the Entrance Doors.

This is a picture of what the outside of our church looks like .

The Banquet Hall is connected to the Church on the left hand side.

This is the story of St. Maria Goretti, the patron Saint of young women and victims of Rape.

b: 1890 d: 1902 Patroness of youth, young women, purity, and victims of rape

There really isn't much to tell about St. Maria Goretti because she died when she was 12 years old.

Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farm-worker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children.

In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather died than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife.

As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death didn't end her forgiveness, however.

Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released after 27 years he went directly to Maria's mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. "If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness," she said.

When Maria was declared a saint in 1950, Alexander was there in the St. Peter's crowd to celebrate her canonization. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950 for her purity as model for youth.

She is called a martyr because she fought against Alexander's attempts at sexual assault. However, the most important aspect of her story is her forgiveness of her attacker -- her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death. Her feast day is July 6. St. Maria Goretti is the patroness of youth and for the victims of rape.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my Church decorated at Christmas. I thought it looked particularly beautiful and I hope you did too.

I am linking up to these parties:

Masterpiece Monday

Amaze Me Monday

Metamorphosis Monday

Wow Us Wednesday

Rednesday

Open House Party Thursday

Home Sweet Home Friday

Show and Tell Friday

Potpourri Friday

Pink Saturday

Seasonal Sunday

Itz Festival Time!

Please take some time to visit these terrific hosts and all those joining in on the fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and every day that you take the time to visit with me!

Hugs,
Debbie

10 comments:

  1. Wow! First of all your church decorations are perfection. Secondly the architecture is outstanding.
    I appreciate the story of the young saint.
    Have a blessed 2012.

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  2. What a beautiful story of the saint. The church decorations are just outstanding. Our Catholic church is fairly modern and only had a manger and a single tree this year.

    Have a healthy & happy 2012!

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  3. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful church and reading about the story about Maria. We had one of those poinsettia trees in our church. It was so beautiful and I wished I had taken a picture.

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  4. Wow! They did a beautiful job of decorating. I love the poinsettia "trees", the huge evergreens and the beautiful creche. Our sanctuary was decorated with poinsettias too and was just gorgeous. Well, I've put up all my decorations except the Nativities... they are waiting for the wise men to show on the Epiphany. Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness, the decorations at your church are just stunning!
    Happy REDnesday,
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful church and liked the history behind it.

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  7. beautiful church in honor of Saint Maria Goretti :) I like the red pops too. Hope to see you in my Pink Saturday entries one and two. Happy New Year!

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  8. What a sweet post, Debbie! Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday!

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  9. While the church looks very pretty, I would point out that according to Roman Catholic Church instruction/teaching, the nativity scene is NOT to be set up in the "presbyterium," fancy Church talk for the sanctuary. The focal point of every sanctuary, at every season of the year, is the altar, a symbol of Christ. (That's why the priest kisses it at the beginning and end of Mass.)
    It is not to be used as a backdrop for the manger scene, nor is it ever to be over-powered or eclipsed by anything, including decorations of any sort.
    The church building certainly seems large and spacious enough that there must be another area where it could be erected, so that it doesn't compete with the action that takes place at the altar when Mass is being celebrated. Ideally, it should be placed somewhere to which parishioners can "travel" to make a visit. Pretty, yes... but not correct.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeff,
      Since this post is from 4 years ago, a new priest that has been assigned to our parish made the change. Unfortunately, he moved the manger scene to an empty area on the side which is normally used for extra seating especially for all Christmas masses. This then decreased the amount of seating available for Christmas masses causing parishioners to have to stand in the huge vestibule and to be turned away from Christmas masses because there was no more room in the church, leading to a very unhappy congregation!
      This is now one of the reasons why many parishioners have left our parish and why many are hoping that the Bishop will remove this priest from our parish.
      Deb

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I always love to hear your thoughts!

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