Churches throughout the world this weekend celebrated the first Sunday of Advent, the liturgical season during which Christians prepare for the commemoration of Christ’s birth on Dec. 25. At Our Lady of Grace Church, West Babylon, following the 10 a.m. Mass Dec. 1, more than 50 families gathered to participate in the parish’s fifth annual Advent wreath-making event. Children, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents used metal rings, greenery and colored candles to assemble the traditional symbol of Advent. Members of the parish children’s choir sang seasonal hymns while participants worked on their craft. Afterwards, parishioners were treated to hot chocolate, cakes, cookies and other sweet snacks. The event was sponsored by Our Lady of Grace’s family life ministry.
Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz.
Deacon Ricardo Garcia uses holy water to bless the Advent wreath before lighting the first candle during the 10 a.m. Mass.
Father Gabriel Miah celebrates the liturgy.
Worshippers recite the Lord's Prayer.
Terence Purtell, director of music, plays the piano as he leads the children's choir.
Members of the choir sing.
A baby smiles as families check in for the wreath-making activity.
Lauren and Billy Edzards help their children Emma, 11, and Max, 5, create an Advent wreath.
Mary Gibbons and her granddaughter Meghan, 5, place a candle into their wreath.
Members of the children's choir sing Advent hymns during the festivities.
Father Joseph Davanzo, pastor, delivers a prayer to bless the wreaths.
Charlotte Boss, 5, poses with her mother Nicole, grandparents Michele and Alan Boss, and great-grandparents JoAnn and Anthony Signorelli.
Andrea Leona and her daughters Gabriella, 3, and Cecilia, 6, proudly display their wreath.
Adriana and her daughter Analisa, 8, check out the sweet treats.
Colleen Pidel takes delight in volunteering at the hot chocolate table.
Members of the parish's family life ministry gather for a photo after the event.
A statue of the Holy Family is seen outside the church.