SSVM in Iceland – Christmas is at hand

SSVM Iceland Retreat and Christmas

For the last two weeks in Stykkishólmur we´ve been preparing the children in various ways for the joy of Christmas. With our oratory, we held the traditional Icelandic „Christmas Crafts“ called „Jólafundur“ and we spoke to the children in the chapel about how we can make Baby Jesus´s crib softer and more comfortable with our good works – each good work is like a piece of straw to fill His crib.

SSVM Iceland Christmas

We invited the children who participate in our catechism classes in the little towns on our peninsula to come to Stykkishólmur and participate in our children´s retreat for Advent. The parish priest came from Reykjavík, so this was their opportunity to go to confession before Christmas. To prepare the children to receive the sacrament, we prepared a talk on the Sacrament of Confession. The theme was Galatians 5:1, “Christ set us free, so that we should remain free”. And St. Paul continues, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.” So we explained to the children how it is sin that makes us slaves, but that Jesus Christ gave Peter and the apostles the power to forgive sins in His name. Holy Father Pope Francis spoke of how we must recognize the reality that sin makes us slaves, “If we don’t recognize this, we will never be able to have God’s forgiveness, because if being a sinner is a word, a way of speaking, a manner of speaking, we have no need of God’s forgiveness. But if it is a reality that makes us slaves, we need this interior liberation of the Lord, of that force” (CNA Oct 25, 2013).

Afterwards, all the children participated in the Holy Mass and being the 12th of December, Father spoke in the homily about the Virgin of Guadalupe and gave each child her holy card. When the Mass ended, after praying together a short thanksgiving prayer, we made our way to the Christmas Party. We had prepared many games and at each game, there was the chance to win little paper money. With this money, the children could buy presents and snacks. What a great joy it was to see the children having so much fun with something so simple. They played and enjoyed themselves for more than an hour and a half. We then brought them to the chapel where we reminded them the purpose of the celebration: to celebrate that God, the Lord of all creation, came to earth as man to save us from our sins. We ended the festivities with a Christmas Carol, which the children sang with all their heart – they really love to sing Christmas songs.

SSVM-Iceland-Christmas (2)

This week, we had our Christmas Play and our last oratory for the year, with another “Christmas Crafts – Jólafundur”, and more time to sing of our Lord´s coming and to prepare to receive Him. We ask for your prayers for all our children and youth that they may truly make room for Jesus to come into their lives this Christmas and learn to love Him more and more.

Servants of the Lord in Stykkishólmur, Iceland

SSVM Mission


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