The Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Today at the 9.30 Mass the children will perform the first part of the cycle of mystery plays. This tells of the visit of the angel to Mary and the promise the Saviour is to be born. Thank you to all the children for sharing in these plays and especially thanks to Joan and to Marianne for helping to arrange them. After Mass please return the costumes to the big hall so they will be ready for the further plays.
And now some details about the arrangements for the coming week.
Saturday is Christmas Eve. The procession through the village leaves from the roadway outside the Church at 4.30. There will be no Saturday evening Mass on this day. The Church will be open at 11pm and there will be a service of readings and carols, starting at 11.30, followed by Mass at 12 midnight. We are sometimes asked if there is a vigil Mass for Christmas but we think that it is important that the parish should share in the Masses either at the traditional midnight or on Christmas morning.
On Christmas day itself the Masses will be at the normal times: a low Mass at 8am, at 9.30, a Mass for the children with the second part of the cycle of Mystery plays and a solemn Mass at 11am. There is no evening Mass on this day.
During the coming week I will try to be about as much as possible, particularly to help with the preparations of the Church. The Crib should be in place and I hope that we will be able to take figures down from the loft without a disaster.
As usual, there will be Confessions from 12 to 1 on Saturday morning.
There are now feasts of saints this week: if you attend Mass during this week, you will notice that the gospels narrate the events which led up to the birth of the Lord, the Annunciation, the visit of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and the birth of John the Baptist as well as the genealogies which are found in the gospels.
Probably you have all your Christmas recipes, but you might like to try this one from Spain: 2 green peppers, 2 red peppers, some small onions, some carrots, and four potatoes. De-seed the peppers and cut in half. Remove the outer skins form the onions and scrub the carrots and potatoes. Arrange in rows in a baking dish and sprinkle well with olive oil and salt. Bake in a hot oven for about an hour. This is something that you can serve with the cold turkey on Boxing Day.
Here is a jolly poem, unusually, from William Blake:
When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.
When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
When our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me
To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha, ha, he!’
Some railway news: on your way to London look for the new track which is now in place beside the Power Station. This forms part of the extension to the East London line and should be in use in about a year’s time. Some of the new trains for the extension have been delivered already and are being run-in on the existing services.
Last week the Diocesan newspaper was published: please let me know what you think as I need to know how many copies to order for the future.
Here is the O Antiphon for today, 18th December: O Adonai, Leader of the House of Israel,, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the Law on Mount Sinai: come and redeem us by your outstretched arm.
Thank your for your understanding with the new Mass books – so far only has disappeared. I know that the format is slightly different, but I hope that after a few weeks, you will be able to find everything.
Just room for a text message which reads DTAACC – which means doors to automatic and cross check.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon