17 December: The Third Sunday of Advent

Image:  Jacapo del Casentino, ca 1330

Image: Jacapo del Casentino, ca 1330

Collect of the Day   O Lord Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight; who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.   R/ Amen. 

Lesson  Isaiah 61.1-2a, 10-11 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favour. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Epistle   1 Thessalonians 5.16-24   Brethren: Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Gospel   John 1.6-8, 19-28  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then?  Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No." They said to him then, "Who are you?  Let us have an answer for those who sent us.  What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."  Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.  They asked him, "Then why are you baptising, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptise with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.


BAMBINELLI SUNDAY: This Sunday! Each year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (“Gaudete Sunday”), children in Rome gather with their families in St. Peter’s Square for “Bene-dizione del Bambinelli,” bringing with them the Christ Child figurine from their family’s home crèche. At the noon Angelus, the Pope blesses the children, their families, and the figurines they have brought. Today we will unite our hearts to the Holy Father’s and the children and families gathered with him and bless our own “Bambinelli.” The figurines will be collected at the Offertory and presented by the children of the parish after the Post-communion Prayer. 


  • Advent IV, Sunday 12/24: Corpus Christi & St. Mary’s will combine for one Mass at 9AM.
  • Christmas Eve: 3.30pM Children’s Pageant; 4PM, Mass (St. Mary’s); 6PM, Mass (St. Mary’s); 10PM, Mass with choir (Corpus Christi)
  • Nota bene: Both the Sunday of Advent IV (12/24) and Christmas are obligatory for Catholics
  • Sunday 12/31: Solemnity of the Holy Family, 11AM
  • Monday, 1/1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God: 9.30AM