Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’

Lessons and Carols at St. Thomas the Apostle – Friday, December 14, 7:00 PM

December 6th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen


Next Friday, December 14th, at 7:00 PM, there will be a candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, part of the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish. Fr. Frank Lioi will be presiding over the ceremony, which was a tremendous success last year. The organizers of the event have included with the lessons and carols several Gregorian Chants and Renaissance motets which capture and convey the beauty of the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

The Anglican Ordinariate community in Rochester, the Fellowship of St. Alban, will be assisting with the liturgy, along with members from several area parishes. Readers for the service include Classical 91.5 afternoon host Mona Seghatoleslami, Hon. William Polito, Dcn. John Cornelius of St. Alban’s, and Art Harris, State Deputy of the Knights of Columbus for New York.

The Diocesan website has publicized the event, as quoted below:

The Msgr. Burns Knights of Columbus Council are sponsoring Lessons and Carols on Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m. at St. Kateri Tekakwitha at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4536 St. Paul Blvd.  

This beautiful service of Scripture and song dates back to the late 19th century.  Nine Scripture lessons recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each lesson is followed by a carol or other song that reflects on the lesson’s message.
Light refreshments will follow.

Please do your best to attend what is bound to be a beautiful evening of sacred song and Scripture! Eastman musicians will be joining with members of several local choirs to offer such beautiful carols as “Once in Royal David’s City,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” along with Victoria’s “Ave Maria” and Hans Leo Hassler’s “Dixit Maria.”

A Blessed Christmas To All Our Readers

December 24th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

I had been trying to decide what to share with you for Christmas, and in the middle of my decision-making, the following was sent to me by a friend. It is really quite beautiful, and I think you will all enjoy it.

A most sincere “Merry Christmas” to all, from your friends at Cleansing Fire.

“Christmas” by John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all.’

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No caroling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Christmas Mass Photos

December 25th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

We have received some beautiful photos from readers showing Christmas Masses. If you took any photos of the church where you went to Mass, please send them in so we can share them with everyone. Send them to me at

Thus far, we have a nice spread of photos from the 4:30 PM Mass at Our Lady of Victory. Thank you!

Our very own Mike has just supplied us with some beautiful photos from Holy Cross. A warm thanks to him, too!

Holy Cross:

Hallelujah Chorus . . . in Macy’s

November 8th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

You may consider a Godly Christmas season fully-commenced after you finish watching this video, produced by Philadelphia’s Opera Company, which goes into public places and sings (in full numbers) famous pieces of classical music. A nod of the miter to spontaneous outbursts of culture, especially when they proclaim that “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”