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With the COVID-19 pandemic halting people’s normal everyday lives the year 2020 has been extremely difficult. One pastor — from Old Town, Maine — is trying to brighten people’s spirits this holiday season. Father Kyle Doustou — pastor of the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord — said, “Given the difficulties, sadness, and isolation that so many are experiencing this year, we need tangible signs of cheer and goodwill, not to mention faith, hope and love.”
‘Signs of Cheer and Goodwill’
COVID-19 has put a halt to the way people celebrate the holidays. Not being able to follow family traditions has many people feeling a void in their lives. This is the time of year that many look forward to. Doustou and his parish believe that a simple act can boost the community’s spirits.
We are inviting everyone to construct a star that can be displayed outside of their homes as a sign of peace, hope, and solidarity.
The “Worship and Spirituality Commission has proposed a wonderful idea for the nearly 800 parish families,” Doustou said to Bangor Daily News. People do not have to build an elaborate star display, one made from construction paper or popsicle sticks will do. People can display their stars in their windows or yards if they chose to.
Doustou further stated that the parish has encouraged “everyone to be as creative as possible.” He also suggested having neighbors, friends, and family participate in these signs of “comfort and joy.”
The parish believes the stars will show the community that they are “not alone.” Stars have been symbols of guidance for hundreds of years. Many people have often regarded stars as protective symbols. Most commonly, stars represent something good and positive.
The Knights of Columbus — a global Catholic fraternal service order — has already begun constructing four seven-foot Stars of Bethlehem displays. These stars will be placed in front of the Holy Family Church in Old Town, Our Lady of Wisdom Church in Orono, St. Ann Church in Bradley, and the St. Ann Church on Indian Island.
They will be putting the star in place at the Holy Family Church on November 28. The church will be holding a special ceremony the day before the First Sunday of Advent. For Catholics, this is the day the new Liturgical Year commences.
Others Join In Placing Stars as Symbols of Joy
Other denominations and parishes have joined Doustou in placing stars up as signs of goodwill and cheer. Doustou stated that the Methodists, the Congregationalists, the Baptists, and the Episcopalians have encouraged their people to display stars as well.
If one would like to join in showing cheer and goodwill just simply construct your own display. Everyone is encouraged to display their camaraderie during this trying time.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Bangor Daily News: Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in Old Town to use stars in offering Advent light and hope to community by BDN Community
Dream Astro Meaning: Spiritual Meaning of Stars
Catholic Culture: Advent: November 29th
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