newsletter 16th December 2018

Newsletter Sunday 16th December 2018

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent.

We are now more than half way through the season of Advent and we use the rose coloured vestments today. It is known as Gaudete Sunday from the first word of the Latin Introit antiphon at Mass: Rejoice, for the Lord is near.

Next Sunday at the 9.30 Mass the children will perform the first part of our cycle of mystery plays. There will be a short rehearsal in the Church after the 9.30 Mass today. Next Sunday please remember to arrive in good time. Your costumes will be laid out in the big hall and when you are ready, come to the Church and sit with your parents. After Mass take the costumes back carefully to the hall and leave them on the Chairs.

The crib is now up – and gradually the figures are beginning to appear – only shepherds at present but Joseph and Mary will appear soon. As yet the Kings have not started out on their journey. They have a long trip.

A reminder of the Christmas services. The procession to the Heath leaves from outside the Church at 4.30pm. There will be a Mass at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve and this fulfils your Christmas Mass obligation.  There will be a service of readings and carols starting at 11.30pm leading up to the Mass at 12 midnight. On Christmas morning there will be Masse at 9.30, including the second part of the cycle of plans and the solemn Mass at 11am.

There are no feasts of saints this week. All the Masses are of the Advent season. From 17th December, the “O antiphons” are used at Vespers before the Magnificat.  I will try to remember to put up a list in the porch.

No recipe this week but some practical advice on lunch in France.  The serving of lunch begins early; quite soon after 12 noon so arrive in good time. Order the dish of the day, as at this time it will be freshly cooked and should be excellent. If you delay things and come for a late lunch, only the remnants will be left.

And here is Eliot talking about Christmas:

The accumulated memories of annual emotion

May be concentrated into a greater joy

Which shall be also a great fear, as on the


When fear came upon every soul;

Because the beginning shall remind us of the end

And the first coming of the second coming.

I have been doing my best to clear up the leaves in the electric lawnmower is a great help though it needs to be unblocked regularly. The big old sweet chestnut tree has lost all its top leaves but seems to have a developed some new branches at a lower level.  The recently planted magnolia and the olive trees all seem to be doing well.

For those with obscure interests, the MMC buses seem to be appearing more regularly on route 54. In think that some of the older Enviro 400s are being sent away for major overhaul.  No sign of further new Routemasters in South London, though there will be some spare vehicles following the demise of route 48.

The answer to the quiz question last week. At one time taxes were paid on Lady Day, 25th March.  With the coming of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 we lost eleven days but it was still necessary to collect taxes for a full 365 days. Therefore the move to 5th April.

Best wishes to you all,


Monsignor Nicholas Rothon


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