In the Church’s liturgical calendar, every major feast has an “octave” of associated celebrations with it – the 8th day after the feast. Christmas, is followed 8 days later by the oldest Solemnity dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. At the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., a council met and declared Jesus to be both fully human and fully divine. One of the implications of this doctrine, is that Mary is not only the Christ bearer (Christotokos), but also the God bearer (Theotokos). She carried the Son of God in her body. In 1968, St. Pope Paul VI, asked the Church to also make this the World Day of Prayer for Peace.
On New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day, join us for the livestream liturgy honoring Mary, The Mother of God, while also praying for World Peace and Unity.
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020
Livestream Mass | 4:30 p.m.
Communion Procession | 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Enter at Washington Blvd. Entrance.
Friday, Jan. 1, 2021
Livestream Mass | 10:00 a.m.
Communion Procession | 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Enter at Washington Blvd. Entrance.
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021
The solemnity of the Epiphany is properly celebrated 2 weeks following Christmas, as the Nativity of the Lord has a “double octave”. The Epiphany is highlighted in the oriental (orthodox) churches as the highlight of the season. The visit of the Magi to honor the Birth of the New King, Jesus – is a theophany. Their visit honors the divinity of this newborn child.
Our schedule for Epiphany will follow our weekend Mass schedule.
We celebrate this week two feasts in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Americas, which are celebrated four days apart. In these two closely related feats, we celebrate Mary and her role as the Mother of Jesus. But why are they so close together, why is the first a Holy Day of Obligation and not the second?
In 1854, Pope Pius IX, declared that Mary was conceived with out sin, thus giving her the title of the Immaculate Conception. Four years later, at Lourdes, Mary appeared to St. Bernadette and presented herself with these words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” How did this dogma develop, and why the date of Dec. 8?
As the history of the liturgy developed and Mary's particular role continued to be revealed, Sep. 8 was assigned in the liturgical calendar as the date of the Birth of Mary; Dec. 8 would precede that by nine months, thus this date came to be celebrated as the date of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Many people believe that this feast day, celebrated in Advent, refers to Jesus' conception. However, from the ancient church, the Fathers of the Church reasoned that, if Mary was the “God bearer” --- the theotokos, the woman who had given birth to Jesus, the Son of God, she could not have been born subject to Original Sin. Thus, developed over the course of almost 2,000 years, the widely held belief of the Church; it was solemnly declared by the Pope Pius IX in 1854, that she was conceived without sin.
Because in the 1850’s, the American hierarchy was considered the mission field, the bishops of the United States were entrusted to the patronal care of Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Mary's dedication to the Americas early on in our history, as she appeared to Juan Diego in 1531, so both celebrations developed in some ways alongside each other.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated on Dec. 12 because it is one of the dates of the 5 appearances of Mary to St. Juan Diego. When Mary appeared to Juan Diego she instructed him to gather roses, which he then presented to the bishop as a gift. When he opened his cloak (tilma), an image of Our Lady was imprinted on it, now the famous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Mary spoke to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, and the details of the image on the tilma are reminiscent of native designs.
Our Lady of Guadalupe represents a strong call to the pilgrim spirit of the Catholic Church in the Americas: Mary appeared to one of the lowliest of the world, and revealed herself as the Mother of God, protector of the poor, voice of the lowly. The feast itself often takes on the characteristics and customs of the local, native people of Aztec and other indigenious Latin American tribes, to which Our Lady choose to extend her hand to directly, and as she continues to intercede for the peoples of the Americas in our modern age.
These two beautiful feasts of Our Lady, Patroness of the Americas, may look a lot different this year: without the traditional processions, singing, dancing, and in-person Masses; however we continue to pray that Mary, Immaculate, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, holds all her people in her heart, this year especially as a prayer of intercession for those all affected by the Coronavirus worldwide.
Tuesday, Dec. 8 | 12:10 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12 | Outdoors on the Hilton School Yard Lawn
Rosary led by Legion of Mary & Blanca Villalobos | 7:00 a.m.
Mañanitas led by Alex Venegas with Mariachi Band | 7:45 a.m.
Mass | 8:00 a.m.
6:00 a.m. Mass - Click Here to Access St. Clement Bulletin
7:00 a.m. Mass - Click Here to Access St. Anne Shrine Bulletin
*Daily Novena - Virgen de Guadalupe (Español) starting Thursday, Dec. 3. at 7:00 a.m.
Every year, our Filipino Community shares their beautiful culture with us, as well as many visitors from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for our Annual Simbang Gabi Mass and Celebration. Simbang Gabi is a 9 day series of Masses, celebrated by Filipinos all over the world. It is a joyful celebration in thanks for the coming of the Christ Child, and a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the early days of Spanish rule in the Philippines, Masses were held in the early mornings, so farmers would avoid the heat while working in the fields. Simbang Gabi is a time for family, friends, and the community to share gifts, create memories, and to preserve the traditions that have been passed down.
This year would have been our 6th Annual Simbang Gabi Mass and Celebration at St. Monica. While we are unable to host our evening this year, Bishop Alex Aclan, our presider last year, the Auxiliary Bishop for the San Fernando Pastoral Region, and only the 2nd Filipino-American to be named a bishop in the United States, has sent us a special message and prayer.
Thank you Bishop Aclan and we all await in the hope for a time when we can celebrate together in 2021!