Advent has just begun and while we are praying, watching and waiting to celebrate the coming of Christ, we are making and finalizing plans for Christmas. It is a busy time of year at work and at home. Even though the liturgical celebration extends through the Christmas season, Christmas Day is the main event.
It is no secret that our Churches are fuller on Christmas. Sometimes we need overflow spaces at some of the Christmas Masses. I imagine that this creates great “joy in heaven.”
We know that God loves and cares for all of us unconditionally all the time, but on Christmas many more hearts are open to receive that love. Whether it is the music, the beautiful Church and nativity scene, the readings, the homily, the praying with the community and receiving Holy Communion or just being with friends and family in this sacred space, there is a spiritual connection made on Christmas that is not made on other days of the year in many people’s lives.
Let Our Joy Be Known
As we present our Christmas Mass schedule in various ways to our parishioners and to the public via website and social media, let our presentations be warm and inviting to all. Adding the words “All are welcome” is important. Include that message on outside signs if you have them.
It is likely that making our welcome known to the broader public in our area through social media and our websites, will not dramatically increase Mass attendance—most of the people we want to attract are already coming, but it will tell them that we are looking forward to welcoming them and we have Good News to share with them. For a few, however, a word of welcome may be the one thing needed to bring them. These are the ones we most want to reach.
Consider adding some art work to your Mass schedule handouts. Make your welcome stand out. This doesn’t have to be elaborate—just enough to say we really want you to come. The extra effort lets people know once again that this is a welcoming community. You can also create a video for your website and Facebook pages like the one that I created for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Strongsville. Videos get more engagement on Facebook than other types of posts.
Whatever means we use to let people know our Mass schedule on Christmas, let us also communicate our joy in anticipation of their coming.
If you would like me to create a similar video for you, click here for the details. Deadline for ordering is December 12.