Category Archives: Advent

Advent 2020 ushers in Christmas spirit

Christmas spirit has arrived

By Emma Palova

This wintery December morning was the first time I appreciated its beauty sitting in the sunroom and watching the Advent candle flicker in the expectation of the sun rays to stream in.

The Advent season started on Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. Although I usually observed the four candles of Advent being lit at the church, I never really paid much attention to it due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, I missed some of the Advent Sundays, because I probably went shopping for more things. Thus, I was surprised when I found out that one of the Advent candles is rose coloured for Gaudette Sunday on the third week of Advent.

However, this time due to the COVID-19 restrictions and increasing cases, we don’t go to church physically but watch the mass broadcast from the St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids. I found myself paying more attention to the spiritual preparation for Christmas than ever before.

I meditated in the morning before I started the day to streamline my thoughts and actions. This time I could just sit and watch the daylight come in after a very light night due to the full moon.

I have already gathered what I could as far as gifts and food; I have my poinsettia, pistachios, Manchego and Winternacht chocolate figurines from Aldi’s. Black Friday wasn’t as packed with deal hunters as usual. And there was no apres shopping dining due to the restaurants being closed until Dec. 7. So we stood outside in the November cold, drank cold beer and had a burrito from the Voodoo food truck in front of the New Union Brewery in Lowell. I have yet to buy the Christmas Eve fish from the Fishmonger of the Great Lakes tomorrow in Ada and meet with a very good friend.

Czech Christmas mass by Jakub Ryba

The mailman has been good to me. I have received most of the gifts on time that I could even delight myself over a set of beaded ornaments still with a tag “Made in Czechoslovakia” and a treasure trove of children’s mysteries from the Dubois Files by Ludington author Joan H. Young. Rarely, had I ever been able to examine what I had bought always in the rush to usher in the holiday spirit, and then pack it all up in the festive wrapping paper, that tears up so easily.

Somehow , the COVID-19 isolation reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is really about. When I received an email from Tres Bohemes with a link to Jakub Ryba’s Christmas mass yesterday, I knew that I finally had to pause and stop pretending that everything is back to normal.

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday alone with a delicious take-out from the Candlestone Resort- at least there was no mess in the kitchen. I had a well-attended book signing of “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts on Saturday with my friends and invitees showing up in different time slots-what more can I ask for. My next book signing will be on Dec. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at LowellArts. Stop by for a last minute gift. I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the gallery.

My parents, Ella & Vaclav Konecny with my brother Vas came to wish us happy holidays and a farewell, as they are leaving for Venice, Florida on Saturday. We had a good chat abiding by the CDC rules wearing masks and social distancing. All holiday fights were preempted by the restrictions.

We were on the phone with our two kids: Emma and Jake to converse about the holidays. And no, I have not decorated yet or put up a Christmas tree or baked traditional Czech Christmas cookies. But we watched both “Christmas Vacation” and “Christmas Chronicles” together with Ludek on our red couch, and that’s all that matters.

And sadly, there will be no Santa parade except for the Drive-Thru one at the Kent County Fairgrounds this Saturday, and no old-fashioned Christmas at Fallasburg. But there will be other promising new things.

So, stay tuned how it all goes.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Second Sunday of Advent

We are people of hope!

Time to hope and to enjoy the gifts we have

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Dear Father Mark,

Your homily about the  St. Patrick’s parish couple who found out last Monday they were chosen to be parents for a baby girl, after years of trying to adopt a child, brought tears to my eyes.
Like you, I cried. I will always cry whenever this story of adoption enters my mind.
I cried tears of joy for the couple whom I have known for a long time.

I cried tears of belief that there is hope no matter what, as long as we believe. Even the tiniest grain of belief matters.
I cried tears of gratitude for my own children and for all parents who seek adoption.
Thank you for the beautiful story on this second Sunday of Advent, which means hope.
May the story of the  parish couple inspire others never to lose hope.

Hope is love in disguise.

Emma

About the featured photo: The wreath in the middle with four candles, of two which are lit, signify the second Sunday of Advent. It expresses our hope.

 

frmarkpeacock

Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 11:1-10

Romans 15:4-9

Matthew 3:1-12 

A couple here at the parish, have been trying to adopt a child for four to five years. So many times they would get right to the end and not get chosen. This was very disheartening as you can image. Recently the couple told me they were not going to renew their contract because it was just too difficult. The wife began visiting a very holy woman of the parish who kept telling her, “I am going to pray for a miracle that you get a baby.” Well, that very holy woman died on Thanksgiving Day and we celebrated her funeral mass here on Monday. After the funeral and after the luncheon I went to the rectory when all of a sudden I heard screaming coming from outside the front door of the rectory. This woman, who has been trying…

View original post 407 more words