Join us for Christmas Mass!

Merry Christmas! If you are unable to join us in person for Christmas Mass, please join us online!

We will be live streaming all of our Christmas Masses. Our schedule is Christmas Eve at 4 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm, and 10 pm, and Christmas Day at 9:30 am. You can join the live streams at the buttons below. They will also be saved to our Youtube Channel for later viewing.

The worship aid for all Masses can be found at this link.

We pray that you all stay safe and healthy, and have a very blessed Christmas!

Christmas Decorations

Christmas is almost upon us! The time of Advent and waiting is drawing to a close. As we make our final preparations in our homes and our hearts, we have also begun decorating the church campus for the celebration of Christmas. Trees are up in the Nave and the Gathering Space, and the setting for the manger has been placed. If you have been on campus this week, you may have noticed that this year, the crèche has been moved from in front of the altar to the left front side of the Nave, where we usually feature a large statue of Mary. This was done to be in accordance with Church directives.

The documents of the Church are clear that the manger or crèche should not be located near the altar, or in the area where the liturgy is celebrated. In other words, the manger should not be placed near the altar, pulpit or presidential chair. The manger should also not obstruct other liturgical areas, for example the baptismal font or tabernacle. 

  • According to the General Instruction Of The Roman Missal (#299) “In every church there should ordinarily be a fixed, dedicated altar, which should be freestanding to allow the ministers to walk around it easily and Mass to be celebrated facing the people.” 
  • According to The Book Of Blessings (#1544)
    “If the manger is set up in church, it must not be placed in the presbyterium. A place should be chosen that is suitable for prayer and devotion and is easily accessible by the faithful.” (The presbyterium is “that part of the church where bishops, priests and ministers perform their ministry. Large enough to permit the sacred rites to be readily seen and carried out, it is usually in an elevated part of the church….”) Dictionary of the Liturgy, Catholic Book Publishing 1989 
  • According to Built Of Living Stones (#124-125, 128)
    Plans for seasonal decorations should include other areas besides the sanctuary. Decorations are intended to draw people to the true nature of the mystery being celebrated rather than being ends in themselves. Natural flowers, plants, wreaths and fabric hangings, and other seasonal objects can be arranged to enhance the primary liturgical points of focus. The altar should remain clear and free-standing, not walled in by massive floral displays or the Christmas crib, and pathways in the narthex, nave, and sanctuary should remain clear. 

It should be noted that the Christmas crèche is an object of devotion. Placement of the crèche should foster intimate prayer. Ideally, it should be placed where people, especially families with children, can conveniently draw near. At Our Lady of Perpetual Help, previously people would have to climb the steps to the altar to truly draw near to the crèche and pray. These steps can vastly limit accessibility for some individuals. You can see from the accompanying photo that this year, our crèche is still displayed in a beautiful, prayerful way, in an obvious location in our church. It also provides enough space and accessibility for everyone to draw near. While this is a departure from the decorating style that many of you have come to be familiar with over the years, the crèche was moved this year to adhere to the guidelines and rules put forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

We want to remind you that from 9 am until 1 pm on Thursday, December 24, the church will be open for personal prayer and family photos. The church will be completely decorated for Christmas Eve Mass at this time (with figures and all!), so we encourage you to get photos at this time rather than after Mass. This is also a great time for those who are uncomfortable joining us in person for Mass to come and see the Nave all decorated and spend a moment in prayer in the presence of Our Lord.

We are so excited to celebrate Christmas with all of you, in whatever capacity you are capable of joining us! May God bless you all and your families, and may you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas season!

Much of this text was taken from a document prepared by the Worship Office, Archdiocesan Center, 171 Clifton Avenue, Newark NJ 07104-0500, (973) 497-4345.

Help us at Christmas Mass!

Dear Our Lady Family,

We need your help! We have a great need for volunteers to help with our Christmas liturgies. If you are planning on coming to Christmas Mass in person, we urge you to consider serving in some capacity! We are especially in need of people in the following roles:

Hospitality

Welcome our parishioners and guests! Hospitality volunteers will serve as greeters and ushers, helping people to find an appropriate place to sit. If in the Life Center or school gym, you may help guests set up the appropriate amount of folding chairs for their party. Some volunteers may also help gather the offertory collection.

Requirements:

  • Be friendly and welcoming
  • Be willing to jump in and help with a variety of tasks
  • Arrive at least one hour before Mass begins

Eucharistic Ministers

Help distribute the Holy Body of Christ to the faithful at Communion. If you haven’t been previously trained as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, but are willing to attend a training early next week, just let us know!

Requirements:

  • Have received all of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation)
  • Be a trained Eucharistic Minister OR let us know that you need to be trained. 
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass begins

Live Stream

Run the YouTube Live Stream for our viewers at home! A training video is available, which you can watch from home. And you are welcome to come in and practice using the equipment before Christmas.

Requirements:

  • A general comfortability with computers. You don’t need to know any specific programs, as the ones we use are simple and user friendly. We will teach you what you need to know! 
  • A working knowledge of the Mass (important to know what is coming up to switch camera views, etc.)
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass begins

Sanitization

Stay for just a few minutes after Mass is over to help sanitize the building! We have foggers which make the sanitization process very quick. You will either help spray down the pews/chairs and other surfaces with the fogger, or help put chairs away after they have been sprayed.

Requirements:

  • Stay 15-20 minutes after Mass ends
  • Be able to fold, lift, and stack folding chairs

Youth Altar Servers

We have a need for youth altar servers to join our liturgical team for the first time since the pandemic began! We especially need help at the 4 pm and 6 pm Masses.

Requirements:

  • Have received the sacraments of Baptism and First Reconciliation
  • Been previously trained as an altar server OR be willing to be trained before Christmas
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass begins

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these positions please contact the Church Office at 614.875.3322.

We so appreciate the generosity of our parishioners in sharing their time and talents with us! We can’t wait to see many of you at Christmas, and know that we are praying for you all. We look forward to the day when we can all celebrate together in person again!

Christmas Survey, Part 2

Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in our initial Christmas survey. We had over 600 responses! It’s clear to us that you are all thinking ahead and trying to plan as best you can, even in these crazy times we’re going through. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your plans and concerns with us. 

Having received a rough estimate of numbers for who is planning on attending in person and online, we are now trying to determine the appropriate times for Mass. We are considering modifying the schedule for this year to accommodate an extra Christmas Eve Mass and help people spread out, but we want to make sure that if we do that, the numbers attending at each Mass would be appropriate. We do have concerns about parking capacity and getting everyone in and out in time for each Mass if we do this, so we are still running some numbers on our end to see if adding a Mass would practically work. However, we also would like to get feedback from all of YOU in this consideration as well. So below is a button to part 2 of our Christmas Survey.

We apologize that a couple of these questions were asked in the previous survey, but it would be extremely helpful if you could answer them again so that we have all of the necessary data together. Also, if your plans or numbers have changed since you filled out the first survey, please provide updated information here. 

This survey will close on Wednesday, November 25, so please get your responses in before then.

Again, we thank you for taking the time to share your responses and concerns with us. We value your input!

Christmas Survey

We’re in the midst of planning for Christmas, and we need your help! Below is the link to a very quick survey about your plans for Christmas Mass. Please take 3 minutes and fill it out!

If you see links to the survey in multiple places over the next week or so, (here, email, on social media, in the bulletin, etc.) you only need to fill it out once for you and your family! 

The survey will close on Saturday, November 14, so please get your responses in before then. Thank you for your time and participation!