Christmas Vigil
Catholic Church
Here is the full story of the Holy Spirit's inspiration.

There was beautiful fir tree that adorned the backyard of our parish deacon and his wife-Lou and Joan Reynoso. Well, in
June 2006, St. Louis experienced a powerful thunderstorm that destroyed many area trees. But, this tree was spared,
even though one side of its branches were completely stripped.  The St. Rita parish family thought it was still usable for
the Christmas Vigil, but it was in danger of dying. Well, it lived for Christmas!

We cut it down on Christmas Eve day, erected it on the altar, decorated it, and it was perfect.  The tree has another
meaning. You see, our deacon suffered an aortic aneurysm a few weeks prior to Christmas, which didn't allow him to
celebrate with us in person. Well, this tree stands on the Altar for him as we pray for his continued recovery and
spiritual nourishment.
Parishioners were instructed to bring boxes, large and small, filled with written prayers inside for departed loved ones
and forgiveness of their sins. They were all beautifully wrapped with Love. These "prayer gifts" symbolize Jesus'
Teaching about another gift in His Church-the Communion of Saints.

A soaring white dove at the top of the tree streams five sets of red and white ribbons. They represent the five wounds
our Lord endured while on the cross along with the blood and water that poured out them. The ribbons flow around
thirty-three white ornaments that are embroidered with the gifts of the Spirit-Hope, Joy, Peace and Love. The
poinsettias also reflect the blood and water.  Focus on the life size crucifix suspended above the Altar. It rises from a
giant gift box wrapped in gold.

The Crucifix is the image of a gift from our Heavenly Father, His only begotten Son, Jesus, born to die for us, so that we
may live with him forever.

And then, a small miracle! When some of the lights were dimmed for the photos, we believe that God sent us an image of
a Guardian Christmas Angel. The angel image is located on the ceiling of the Sanctuary to the left of crucifix.

Thank you, God...Merry Christmas indeed!JMJ!