Our annual Toy Mass – now a staple of the town’s liturgical celebrations for close on twenty years – was celebrated December 15th, the vigil of the Third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy. This Mass is prepared, practiced for and celebrated with the parish community – the very young, the young and the young at heart – by all twenty five members of the Youth Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
They enter in procession to the strains of Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, prepare an empty manger for the coming of Jesus, prepare the altar for the Mass about to be celebrated, light the Advent Candle of Joy, proclaim the readings, pray a seasonal Prayer of the Faithful, accept the gifts of toys from the children – and some babies! – in the congregation, carry, all twenty five of them, the gifts of bread and wine to the altar, move among the congregation offering the hand shake of peace, and distribute communion.
When Mass has ended they provide a short dramatic entertainment for the congregation, especially for the children.
Thanks to all involved in the preparation of this great event.