| Make plans for early Advent events
Advent ("ad-venio" in Latin or "to come to"), is the beginning of the Church year; this year, beginning Nov. 30. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ's second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord's birth on Christmas.
Advent devotions remind us of the meaning of the season. Special Advent devotions include the lighting of the Advent wreath; the Advent calendar which helps remind us of the season with daily thoughts and activities; Advent prayers that prepare us spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ. The Advent wreath, with a candle marking each week of the season, is a traditional symbol of the liturgical period. Four lit candles are set in a wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. Some events include:
• An Advent Lecture Series Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 11-Dec. 23 in the Stack Center, Our Lady of Grace Parish, 3433 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley. Rev. Gregory Heidenblut, OSA will continue his annual lecture series during the Season of Advent with a discussion of Mary's role in the history of salvation. This series will focus on the myths and realities associated with Mary. No session Dec. 2. Contact: Our Lady of Grace Parish at 510-537-0806 or Father Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• How to face the holidays with a broken heart — 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Drive, Pleasanton. You used to look forward to the approaching holidays, but now, all you feel is dread. If you are faced with heartache and loss join the Catholic Community of Pleasanton Grief and Loss Support Ministry for this special presentation. Questions: Dave Wellbeloved, 925-519-2310.
• Christ the King Altar Society's Holiday Boutique will be Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Nov. 17, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill. Proceeds go to different needs around the parish. For details, contact Violet DeBorja, 925-934-7832.
• Echolight Studios will host a special advance screening of the film, "Christmas Candle," based on the book by Max Lucado at 3 p.m. Nov. 22 at Hacienda Crossings Stadium 20 and IMAX, 5000 Dublin Blvd., Dublin. Information: Melany Ethridge, 972-267-1111 or email@example.com.
• The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Holiday Boutique will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24 at 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont. There will be fruitcakes, Dominican olive oil, origami and more. Details: msjdominicans.org or facebook.com/DominicanSistersofmsj or 510-933-6334.
• The Catholic Community of Pleasanton presents "Jesus, Hope of the World: An Advent/Christmas Concert," at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 4001 Stoneridge Drive, Pleasanton. Free (freewill offering); www.catholicsofpleasanton.org; or 925-474-2776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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