It seems that we’ve just tossed the pumpkins from our doorsteps and begun planning Thanksgiving dinner, and it is already time to think about holiday gift-giving.
But there’s no need to panic. Christ Cathedral has plenty of ideas for clever gifts for everyone on your list.
Christ Cathedral gift shop
From Christmas ornaments adorned with the holy family to Bibles for Catholics of all ages to patron saint medals and books, the new Christ Cathedral Gift Shop is well stocked with giving ideas.
An original, affordable gift to consider for Catholics interested in local history and the Church is the commemorative edition of Orange County Catholic published for the historic July 17, 2019 dedication of Christ Cathedral. It’s available in the gift shop for just $4.95.
The shop is also a lovely place to browse. You’ll find fine and costume jewelry, including a wide selection of crosses and crucifixes in gold and silver and in many different shapes and styles.
For the gentleman who has everything, consider a bottle of The Pope’s Cologne, made from the actual private formula of Pope Pius IX handed down through generations by his colleagues. The complex formula was followed meticulously using the same essential oils that his perfumers used 150 years ago.
“Jesus VR – The Story of Christ” film
If experiences rather than things intrigue you as gift possibilities, you’ll want to consider “Jesus VR – The Story of Christ,” which is showing on the Christ Cathedral campus through December 31. This 60-minute, immersive film offers viewers a virtual reality experience showing Jesus’s life and death, from the Nativity to his ascension and everything in between.
The Jesus VR experience is offered in the Cathedral Cultural Center. Minimum age is 13 years-old and viewers must be able to wear a high-quality headset. For tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jesusvr-christ-cathedral-tickets-73421594967.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition
For a family-friendly excursion during or after the holidays, take your loved ones to see the magnificent works of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel up close in the exhibit in the Christ Cathedral Cultural Center through January 11.
“Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” recreates the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements, while allowing visitors to experience this art from a new perspective. With special expertise, the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced using state-of-the-art technology. The overwhelming impressions observers have are the dimensions of the art and one’s closeness to the pictures.
Admission is $18, $12 for seniors, members of the military, and college students. Children from 7 to 18 are $9, while groups of 10 or more are $10 per person. The exhibit is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information, call (323) 935-6000.
Christ Cathedral concerts
To kick off the Christmas season, plan to treat your family to the cathedral’s popular “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert on Friday, December 13. The event features the Diocese of Orange adult and children’s choirs as well as Christ Cathedral’s choirs singing in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish. This evening often sells out, so purchase your tickets soon at christcathedralmusic.com or by calling 714-620-7912.
Your gift recipients won’t want to miss the Christ Cathedral Concert Series, which offers events through 2020, including the Friday, April 24 performance of the Notre Dame Cathedral Choir from Paris. The 7:30 p.m. concert is under the direction of Henri Chalet and features organist Yves Castagnet. For tickets, or to see the yearlong series of concerts, visit https://christ-cathedral-concerts.ticketleap.com/.
Hazel Wright Organ events
If your friends or family are intrigued by the return of the world-famous Hazel Wright Organ to Christ Cathedral, you’ll want to think about purchasing tickets to Hazel’s May 15 rededication recital, featuring Fred Swann, Paul Jacobs, and Hector Olivas with special guests Michael Barone and Pipe Dreams and Diane Bish and The Joy of Music. For tickets, visit http://christcathedralmusic.org/hazelsback.
The evening kicks off a series of events related to the famous organ and is perfect for the organ enthusiast on your list, including a weekend of workshops, classes, and presentations May 15-17 followed by a yearlong series of concerts featuring world-famous concert organists.
Gifts to honor loved ones
Honoring your loved ones is easy using one of the many giving opportunities available through the Orange Catholic Foundation, says Sue Nunn, executive director.
In the foundation’s Heavenly Lights program, you can name one of Christ Cathedral’s windows in your loved one’s name; fees run from $40 to $10,000 depending upon the window’s location, Nunn says.
In addition, the Bishop’s Fund is a new program with various levels — $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 – in which participants become honorary members of the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe and proceeds go toward Bishop Kevin Vann’s top priorities in line with his recently developed Strategic Plan. Nunn says priorities include evangelization and faith formation, stewardship, Catholic schools and the cathedral.
If you’re interested, call the foundation at 714-282-3021.