Advent at St. Mark

The Annunciation by Far Angelico
Fra Angelico, The Annunciation, 1432, tempera on wood, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain


We’re so glad you’re here. We pray you will encounter the risen Savior in a new and more personal way this season, and we have prepared a lot of great family activities in December to help make this happen. See the list below. We would love to see you at one (or all!) of them.

Where Are You on Your Journey?

  • Maybe you’ve never though much about God or religion.
  • Maybe you’re coming from another faith tradition.
  • Maybe you’re Catholic, but you’ve been away for a while.
  • Maybe you’re just curious.

Wherever you are on your personal journey, we hope you will accept this invitation to discover the truth, beauty, goodness, and mystery of the Catholic faith. If you wish for someone from St. Mark to contact you, please click the button below. Your information will not be added to any database or email list. We simply want to meet you. 

Advent Events

  • Nov 27: First Sunday of Advent
  • Dec. 2: First-Friday Evening Prayer (6:30 pm). Every first Friday, we offer a day of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament starting at 9:00 am, ending with sung Evening Prayer (Vespers) at 6:30 pm.
  • Dec. 3: Festival of Advent Scripture & Song (5:30 pm). Join us for a selection of beautiful Advent scripture readings and music, featuring our excellent choir. Then join us in the narthex for a big spread of food, drink, and lots of holiday cheer.
  • Dec. 3–4: Bethlehem Handicrafts olive wood gifts from Holy Land. Each year, the lovely folks from Bethlehem Handicrafts visit us for a weekend to offer their beautiful hand-carved olive wood religious articles. Their sales are a major source of income for struggling Christian families in Bethlehem. Stop by their tables in the narthex after each weekend Mass. Learn more at
  • Dec. 8: Mass for the Immaculate Conception (7:00 pm). This is one of the major feast days celebrating Mary, and a holy day of obligation for Catholics. Read more about this important Catholic belief here.
  • Dec. 9: Family Movie Night: “It’s a Wonderful Life” (6:30 pm). It wouldn’t be the holiday season without Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. There’ll be popcorn, drinks, and other treats.
  • Dec. 15: Advent Penance Service (6:30 pm). If you’re Catholic, and especially if you’ve been away from the Church for a while, we are offering this extra opportunity for Confession. There will be several priests available. This is the most important way to make sure we’re ready to receive the Lord.
  • Dec. 18: Caroling & Hot Chocolate (4:00 pm). Join us for a nostalgic afternoon outside singing the old familiar carols, plus plenty of hot chocolate to stay warm.

Christmas Events

  • Dec. 24: Vigil Mass for the Nativity of the Lord (4:00 pm*, 8:00 pm**)
    *Two Masses: in church plus overflow Mass downstairs.
    **Overflow seating with live video downstairs.
  • Dec. 25: Mass for Nativity of the Lord (midnight, 10:00 am)
  • Jan. 1: Mass for Mary, Mother of God (normal Sunday Mass times)
  • Jan. 8: Epiphany Concert (4:00 pm)

What is Advent?

This time of year, we can be so busy with shopping and other activities that before we know it, Christmas has come and gone and we feel like we missed it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could slow down and be ready to experience Christmas? This is what the season of Advent is all about!  

Advent (Latin: adventus) means “to arrive” or “to come to,” but it’s meaning for the Church calendar is richer than that. In ancient times, Adventus was a special event that marked the arrival or return of a victorious king. 

Advent is the period before Christmas when we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome the Lord anew into our lives. While we commemorate the coming of Christ into history as a baby, we are also reminded that He will return at the end of history as the victorious King. Advent brings both of these events together in the present.

Whether you’re Catholic or just curious, we hope you’ll join us to discover what Advent is really all about!