There’s a big difference to my Christmas next week compared to those recent years. It will be the first time we’ll be celebrating it as a family; me, my wife Cel and our son Mik. It also means the first time that we’ll be doing rounds to my kumares and kumpares for my son’s aguinaldo. Either we’ll really do that or not, I won’t say so ninongs and ninangs can’t hide. Just kidding.
I was tagged by Fiel-Kun, a fellow blogger on his chain post about Christmas wish lists. Before I was tagged, I had drafted already the body of this blog post. So rather than having a duplicate, this will serve as a reply to him. But I won’t be able to follow the format so apologies for that.
Gifts are great. I would love to have some new stuff that I can use for the next year. And the thought of people remembering you and putting up some effort to buy one for you adds up to that great feeling of receiving gifts. The most difficult part of giving presents is to think of which gift to buy for each person. So for those who are thinking of giving me a gift this Christmas, I will make it easy for you. Here’s the list of “gifts” I want to receive from my family, relatives, friends, blog readers and to everyone who have me on their to-give list this Christmas:
1. Go to confession before Christmas
If you’re a catholic then you should know the drill. If not then here are some tips. Go to your local church. Go to their office and ask for the schedule of confessions. Sometimes there are billboards where you can just look at. Then arrive at the confession schedule of your church. Prepare for the list of your deeds you need to ask forgiveness for. It doesn’t need to be a written list as it could be a mental one. And make sure you know your basic prayers. And if you have all this, fall in line at the confession box and wait for your turn. Then the priest will guide you on the process and after you’re absolved of your sins thru the authority passed on by our Lord to our priests, listen to the penance they will ask of you. Then do it right away.
For the non-catholics, the sacrament of confession is only allowed to you on special cases. I respect your decision if you can’t grant my wish. I know you have a different belief on this. But you can read thru this link so you’ll get a better understanding on why we do this. It’s also a good read for fellow catholics who do not fully understand the sacrament of penance.
|Photo courtesy of 100% Katolikong Pinoy|
2. Go to mass
It’s always a good time to go to a mass. But it would be the best time if done after a good confession. Your soul is clean and open to all of the overflowing graces we receive from the mass. Thank God for that opportunity you are given to ask for repentance. Pray for blessings and guidance for your family, friends and yourself.
3. Receive communion by tongue
It’s sad to see majority of Catholics lining up on the communion stations receiving the Eucharist by hand. What’s worse is there are some ministers who seem to encourage it. One instance is when I attended a mass (not in our Cathedral) and lined up for the communion. It was my turn and I was in front of the minister and waiting to be given the Eucharist. There were two lines. He continuously gave communion to the other line while I was there standing for quite some time already. I saw that on the other line, all of them where holding up their palms signaling that they would receive communion by hand. I continued waiting until I gave up as there were lots of people behind me. I received it by hand. I felt bad. I wanted to ask about it after the mass but I forgot about it when I approached a friend singing with the choir after the mass. But every time I remember that incident, I really felt bad as I don’t always receive communion unless I have gone to confession or feel that my conscience is clean. Though of course, none of us are fully worthy to receive the Body of Christ.
|Photo from catholictradition.org|
So what’s wrong in receiving communion in the hand? In the history of the Catholic Church, the celebrating priest’s hands are the only ones allowed to touch the Eucharist and to put it in the mouths of the faithful. But due to circumstances, the Church allowed Eucharistic ministers to do it by giving them special authority during communion. What we receive is not just simple bread but it’s the Body of our Lord we are accepting. And our hands, being tainted with sins, do not deserve to touch it. Though there were instances when it’s encouraged by some parishes to receive communion by the hand like when there’s a sickness outbreak on certain places. But it’s not always the case and it’s neither the standard nor the proper way.
And the possibility of dropping the host and other abuses to the Eucharist are more possible when received by hand. I remember thrice that I saw the holy Eucharist dropped during communion. I called on the attention of the guy who dropped Him and just ignored it. The correct way is he should pick Him up and eat Him. And also called the attention of the lay ministers twice when it happened and they did not notice it. There’s a proper way to handle it if it happens and we must also be aware of it.
The next time you’ll be receiving communion, hope you can grant my simple request which is to receive communion by tongue. If possible, do it kneeling as well. Let’s have more respect and reverence to the holy sacrament.
4. Include me and my family in your prayers
We are intercessors for one another. As one big family, we are all brothers and sisters. I hope that you include me and my family in your daily prayers. Please pray for our safety and guidance. Ask God to provide me strength; physical, spiritual, emotional and mental to fight all kinds of temptations and hardships that will come in my way and to stay faithful to our Lord God.
I always include you in my daily prayers. I may not be able to say all your names but I include all of you in general even those whom I don’t know personally.
|True reason for the season (photo by: iamcelebratinglife.com)|
5. Please leave a comment on this post if you’ve done your “gift” for me
Or even when you’re not done with all of them. Or even none of them. But I hope that you consider my wish as these are the things that I would really love to receive this Christmas. A gift that will benefit every one of us and is dedicated to the One who’s the real reason for the season, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you, thank you, ambabait ninyo, thank you!