I wanted to take the kids to the vigil Mass on Saturday, but the weather didn't cooperate. My husband loves attending the vigil year round, I'm more of a Sunday morning girl. But in this part of the winter? It becomes my preference as well. I love seeing the Advent candles lit against the dark winter calm that permeates the stained glass. It's just serene and beautiful. But I digress (big surprise :-0). It was snowing and snowing on Saturday, and so we stayed in. Instead, I made another go at uncovering a salvageable nativity scene. Here we have Attempt #2:
|No rogue Joseph in sight...
Much improved, no? I think my mother-in-law gave us this set. It's kid friendly and sturdy and the pieces are very cute. You can see the 3 Wise Men being eager beavers over on the far right.
|Close up of the normal looking Holy Family, with angel to watch over them...
And the funny thing is, whereas Anne hardly looked at the much loved Fisher Price set (Henry was obsessed with it for years), she can't stay away from this particular set. She packs the figures up into her little shopping cart and takes them into the living room where she takes them out carefully and sets them up in new and inventive ways. The lamb visits with one of the 3 Kings and baby Jesus cavorts with the donkey. It's all quite precious. So, we have a winner.
Sunday morning dawned a lot of accumulated snow, but beautiful, clear conditions. Mike cleared the driveway for us, and away we went to Mass:
|Doing my best to imitate the rose candle.
Off we went! The roads were in pretty good condition, but parking at the church was a bit of a challenge. With the significant shoveling/snow blowing that needed to be done to clear driveways and walks, huge piles of snow took up room along the curb and in the parking lot. I went through the parking lot without success, and had to loop around to the side street again. As I turned down it, I found that I had to stop to wait for a car that was letting a woman off near the doors, clearly having the same problem I was. A moment of irritation passed through me before I realized what I was doing - I was *rushing* during a season of expectant joy. Advent is about *patience*. Not to mention that I need to be charitable ALL of the time! It was a very good lesson.
I grabbed a street spot near the parish center and hustled the kids inside. The insanity that is Getting The Children Out The Door In Dead Of Winter Gear meant that we left the house later than usual, and the parking situation meant that we were then late for Mass. This is unusual for us, but I found that I didn't mind. We did the best we could. The church was full and the Giving Tree was packed with gifts (Henry brought ours up while I got Anne settled in a pew). It was a wonderful feeling to be together on the Third Sunday of Advent, contemplating the joy that awaits us with the birth of our Savior.
The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, which in fact means "joy." The candle is differentiated from the others on the Advent wreath because of its color - rose, rather than purple. It's almost Christmas, but we still have over a week to go, and we need to just remain joyful and hopeful about what is to come. What a wonderful thing our traditions are, to remind us with this beautiful physicality of the spiritual gifts that are at our fingertips.
So now you know about my Third Sunday of Advent! Would you like to share yours? Linkup below! I'll have another of these weekly posts up next Monday for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Loving! Perhaps this can become a Catholic Librarian annual tradition. :-0