Many Ways for the Faithful to Observe Advent and Prepare for Christmas

Parishes, schools, and other faith centers in the Diocese of Allentown are offering a variety of ways for the faithful to gather to observe Advent and prepare for Christmas – including Vespers, concerts, pageants, retreats, reflections, services, and children’s events.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – Advent Vespers, St. Francis de Sales, Robesonia, 3 p.m., music ministry program of secular and nonsecular music of the season, as well as some Christmas caroling, followed by fellowship with an ice cream and cookie social downstairs.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – Advent Vespers, Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, 4 p.m., Evening Prayer with music provided by parish choir, reflect on the beautiful Word of God and preparing our minds and hearts to encounter Jesus in a renewed way at Christmas.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – Advent Vespers, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 10 – Vespers, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Whitehall, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 17 – Advent Vespers, St. Anthony of Padua, Easton, 6 p.m., musical selections sung by the Choir, the Nativity acted out by parish youth, refreshments to follow, no registration necessary.

Sunday, Dec. 17 – Christmas Vespers, Choral Music Program, Berks Catholic High School, Reading, at Sacred Heart, West Reading, 3 p.m.; Vespers tells the story of the Birth of Jesus through music, prayers, and readings from Sacred Scripture in the tradition of Lessons and Carols; music portion features the Saints Honor Choir, directed by Kate Bobb, accompaniment by Beverly McDevitt; admission free.

Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 3 – Partner School Christmas Play, Bethlehem Catholic High School, Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – “O Come All Ye Faithful, It’s Almost Christmas,” Christmas concert, Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown, musical selections 2:30 p.m., Cathedral choirs 3 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 4; Tuesday, Dec. 5; Friday, Dec. 8; Saturday, Dec. 9 – Gaudeamus, Advent concert, Chorale and Schola Cantorum, DeSales University, Center Valley, Connelly Chapel, 7:30 p.m., service of readings and music celebrating the season, tickets required, $10,

Tuesday, Dec. 5 – Christmas Concert, Allentown Central Catholic High School, auditorium, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 10 – Christmas Concert by Constancia, Precious Blood Convent, 1094 Welsh Road, Reading, 3 p.m., 610-777-1624.

Thursday, Dec. 14 – The Christmas Story, a program of Scripture and song, K-8 students of St. Elizabeth Regional School, Whitehall, at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 6:30 p.m., story of Jesus’ birth through song and performance.

Friday, Dec. 15 – Christmas Pageant, Sacred Heart, West Reading, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 15 – Christmas Concert, Bethlehem Catholic High School, 7 p.m., snow date Dec. 16.

Friday, Dec. 15 – “Make Your Heart a New Bethlehem,” Monocacy Manor, 395 Bridle Path Road, Bethlehem, 6:30 p.m., remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with a live re-enactment on the 800th Centenary of Greccio; 800 years ago St. Francis of Assisi invited the people of the town of Greccio “to enact the memory of the Babe born in Bethlehem; from this event came the tradition of the Christmas creche; bring your favorite Nativity figure for a special blessing.

Sunday, Dec. 17 – “A Rose in Winter: Music for Advent Reflection,” St. Anne, Bethlehem, 4 p.m., Princeton Singers, free will offering,, 610-867-5039.

Sunday, Dec. 17 – Multicultural Christmas Concert, Holy Infancy, Bethlehem, 5-7 p.m., Holy Infancy students please dress in Christmas attire.

Sunday, Dec.17 – Christmas Pageant, St. Joseph the Worker, Frackville, and St. Charles Borromeo, Ashland, 6 p.m. at 9 S. Broad Mountain Ave., Frackville.

Sunday, Dec. 17 – Las Posadas, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 10 a.m., commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph before the birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, Dec. 19 – Christmas Band Concert, Berks Catholic High School, Reading, Franco-Post Auditorium, 6 p.m., instrumental music students, free.

Wednesday, Dec. 20 – Christmas Nativity and Song Event, Assumption BVM School, Pottsville, at St. Patrick, Pottsville, 10:15 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Pageant and Concert, St. Ursula, Fountain Hill, CCD Christmas pageant 3:15 p.m., Choir Christmas concert 3:45 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 29 – Christmas Concert, St. Thomas More, Allentown, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Angelorum Choir from Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown.

Wednesdays-Thursdays, Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 – “Forgiven – The Transforming Power of Confession,” Advent catechetical series, Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. or Thursdays 9 a.m., explores the grace and healing offered in Confession and shows how this sacrament of mercy reveals the depth and bounty of God’s love, free, RSVP to rectory at 610-921-2729 ext. 2200.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart,” Advent morning of reflection (English), Our Lady of Mercy, Easton, parish center, 9 a.m.-noon; prayer, music, discussion, reflections by Father Keith Laskowski, refreshments, register 610-252-7381.

Saturday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3 – St. Nicholas Day Shoe Stuffing, Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, children invited to bring an extra shoe to leave in the Chapel before Mass for St. Nicholas to visit during Mass and leave a little treat, questions 610-921-2729 ext. 2200.

Sunday, Dec. 3 – “Bringing Forth Christ: Five Feasts of the Child Jesus,” an Advent afternoon retreat, McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center, 460 St. Bernardine St., Reading (adjacent to Alvernia University), 1-4 p.m., explore the Five Feasts of the Child Jesus by St. Bonaventure and the associated grace, recognize your call as a Christian to bring forth Christ into our hurting world, $30, light refreshments included, presenter Sister Patrice Klausing, O.S.F., contact Sister Shaun Kathleen at 484-334-6807 or

Wednesday, Dec. 6; Tuesday, Dec. 19 – “O Holy Nights,” Advent spiritual conferences, Most Blessed Sacrament, Bally, 7 p.m.; Dec. 6, Father Alexander Brown of St. Anne, Bethlehem; Dec. 19, Father David Friel of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.

Thursday, Dec. 7 – Rectory Tree Lighting and Sacrament Inscription Service at Mass, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 6:30 p.m.

Thursdays, Dec. 7, 14, 21 – “Cor Jesu” (Latin for “Heart of Jesus”), St. Ursula, Fountain Hill, 7-9 p.m., weekly diocesan worship event for young adults, starting in Advent, with Adoration, Benediction, Confession, Mass, followed by fellowship, questions

9 de diciembre – Mañana de Reflexión (Spanish) (Morning of Reflection), Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Easton 9 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 9 – An Advent Day of Recollection, St. Anne, Bethlehem, 1-3:45 p.m., featuring Christine Eberle, Scripture reflections and dramatic presentations from the perspectives of Jesus’ friends Martha and Mary.

Saturday, Dec. 9 – Advent Day of Prayer, Mariawald Renewal Center, Reading, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., by Sister Nancy Iampietro, C.P.S., explore the doors that await us during this time of promise, $40, register at 610-777-0135 or before Dec. 4.

Saturday, Dec. 9 – Holiday Mass of Remembrance, St. Ann, Emmaus, celebrate and remember lives of departed loved ones in midst of busy holiday season, names read beginning 12:45 p.m., Mass 1 p.m., enroll names through “Mass of Remembrance” link at; reception in school cafeteria; information 610-462-4551.

Sunday, Dec. 10 – Advent Afternoon with Jesus, Carmelite Monastery, Coopersburg; 2:30 p.m. Sacred Hymn Presentation by St. Therese Chapel Choir; 3 p.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Father Philip Maas will speak on “Apparitions of Our Gracious Mother Mary,” Benediction, veneration of the relic of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, and refreshments in the lower level of the chapel;

Monday, Dec. 11 – “Franciscan Christmas,” mini-retreat, St. Francis Retreat House, Easton, dinner 6 p.m., presentation 7-9 p.m., $35 in-person, $20 virtual, 610-258-3053 ext. 0,

Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Advent by Candlelight for Ladies, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 14 – “Hope, Grace, and Adulting,” young adult monthly gathering, Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, rectory, 6 p.m., food and drink provided by the Padre, ugly sweater night, space limited so please RSVP to 610-781-0384 or

Saturday, Dec. 16 – “Peace, Joy, Advent,” women’s Advent retreat, St. Mary, Hamburg, parish hall, 9 a.m.-noon, for women of all ages, co-sponsored by Diocese of Allentown’s Bishop’s Commission for Women and the Catholic Women’s Society of Giving, keynote by Father Stephan Isaac; registration (required) by Dec. 1,; questions

Sunday, Dec. 17 – Children’s Advent Celebration, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, 12:30-2 p.m., no-cost ticketed event, register

Thursday, Dec. 21 – “The Longest Night Prayer Service,” Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, 7 p.m.; the Winter Solstice will begin, with the longest night and shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere; this special Prayer Service will allow anyone who is grieving during the Advent and Christmas season to come to God in a prayerful and reflective way to celebrate a quieter Christmas.

Sunday, Nov. 26 – “Swinging in the Holidays,” St. John XXIII, Tamaqua, 3-5 p.m., featuring M&J Big Band, $20, complementary beverages, snacks available to purchase, questions 570-668-5519.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – Holiday Spirit Oldies Dance, St. John the Baptist, Allentown, social hall, 7-10 p.m., doors open 6:30 p.m., $5, BYOB, kitchen open, 610-432-3505.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – Advent Wreath Workshop, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 10 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 2 – Breakfast with Santa, Immaculate Conception Academy, Douglassville, social hall, 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. seating, crafts and activities, pictures with Santa $5, order tickets at school or parish, tickets available at door, adults and children 3 and over $12, children under 2 free, benefit eighth grade class field trip, questions

Thursday, Dec. 7 – Christmas Bazaar Preview Party, Sacred Heart, West Reading, 6-9 p.m., adults-only event with hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, entertainment, silent auction, live auction, fun and fellowship, $10 donation at the door.

Friday, Dec. 15 – Children’s Christmas Party, St. Patrick, Pottsville, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 16 – Special Christmas Open House, Most Blessed Sacrament, Bally, 5-9:30 p.m., in newly renovated “old school” meeting room, with Old Towne Carolers.

Saturday, Dec. 17 – An Afternoon in Santa's Workshop, Allentown Central Catholic High School, 4 p.m., Christmas music, sing-a-long, activities.

Photo: The Advent season begins with the lighting of the Advent wreath as the central symbolic rite of spiritual preparation for Christmas. Purple is the color of penitence and humility. The rose-colored candle represents a hopeful look toward Christ’s coming. (CNS photo/Jon L. Hendricks)


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