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Celebrating Advent makes Christmas special, says St. Cecilia pastor

December 10, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

Every Advent and Christmas season the stained-glass windows and golden carved wood of St. Cecilia Church in San Francisco bring the seasons to life – a purple and mauve banner hangs from high above the pews, and wreaths are set on the walls, while a Jesse Tree near the St. Joseph altar in the front gives parishioners the opportunity to pray and buy gifts for the recipients.

“The most important thing is we really celebrate Advent, which makes Christmas therefore a joyful season,” said St. Cecilia pastor Msgr. Michael D. Harriman. “We have wreaths with violet ribbons, the Jesse Tree also is in violet. The color dominates – for the three reasons of Advent: the original coming, the second coming and for his coming into our hearts every Advent.”

“When the church suddenly switches from all that purple to all the gold and red and the white of Christmas, it is such a striking contrast that it really moves people,” Msgr. Harriman said.

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