Newsletter 21st June 2020.
Today – at last, back to the Sundays in ordinary time with the use of the green vestments. Today is the Twelfth Sunday of the year with the readings taken from the first cycle. Ordinary time now continues until the end of November, when we come to Advent once again.
I hope that you and you families are all keeping well and managing to survive. Things are gradually changing with some of the young people back at school and shops and other places gradually re-opening. We have been able to re-open the Church for limited periods for private prayer each day but with some strict rules. The rumour at present is that we can resume Masses on 4th July but this requires official confirmation. I would propose to say the first Mass on the morning of Saturday 4th with the usual Saturday evening Mass at 6.30pm. There are restrictions on space and numbers so I am thinking of adding an additional Mass at 5pm on Sunday. I will keep you informed as things develop.
As soon as we are back to normal, we can arrange all the outstanding baptisms and confirm the dates for the proposed marriages.
I have been celebrating Mass in the Church each day and have remembered to pray for you all. Some of you have asked for Masses for special intentions. To date there have been no funerals in the parish here – we seem to have been most fortunate in this area. If any of you would like to have a memorial Mass or prayers, please let me know and I can arrange this. I hope to arrange a memorial Mass for Father Hartley and suggest that we can do this one Sunday at 11am.
Other prayers each day – my office book – you may have discovered this as well, but it was curiously comforting to finger the beads of my rosary each day.
We still have to arrange a date for the outstanding First Holy Communions. There are 11 plus exams in Mid-September and so the date I am suggest is 20th September. I will be in touch with the families about this. Already looking ahead and I will also be putting out some inscription forms for the First Holy Communion and for Confirmations to be celebrated in 2021.
Monday of this week is the feast of the two great English martyrs, John Fisher and Thomas More. Fisher was the Bishop of Rochester and More was Chancellor of the Kingdom. They opposed Henry and paid for it with their lives.
Fisher encouraged Lady Margaret to found Christ’s College in Cambridge. He composed the Latin grace which is used in Hall: you might like to see the text.
Exhiliarator omnium, Christe, sine quo nihil suave, nihil jucundum est; benedic quaesumus, cibo et potui servorum tuorum, quae iam ad alimoniam corporis apparavisti; et concede, ut istis muneribus tuis ad laudem tuam utamur, gratisque animis fruamur; utque quemamodum corpus nostrum cibis corporalibus fovetur, ita mens nostra spirituali verbi tui nutrimento pascatur, Per Te Dominum nostrum. Amen
Wednesday is the feast of the birth of John the Baptist.
Things go in full circle! Up to 1951, the Ministry of Transport rules limited the number of passengers on a bus operated by a driver alone to 20. Gradually the numbers increased, and many modern double deck buses have a theoretic capacity of 90 passengers. But with the current restrictions, we are back to 20 again, the total that was allowed on the pre-war Leyland Cubs.
Various things to be mended and repaired. I hope to arrange for the clock and the bell to be repaired during the coming weeks. There seem to be no ending problems with the various tenancies and these take up a lot of time. The boilers have to be serviced and there is a dead tree in the garden to be removed. The normal supply of altar breads has been suspended and I have had to look around to find some. On personal maintenance, I have invested in some hair clippers and no longer belong to the hirsute brigade. A bit uncertain round the back, but things are improving with practise.
A summer soup as green peas are about at the moment. Cook the peas with some pepper and salt, a knob of butter, a little sugar and some mint leaves. Liquidize and add some chicken stock and some double cream. Correct the seasoning as required. The soup can be served either hot or cold.
Here is Francis Thompson
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry; – and upon so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
A prayer for the feast of John the Baptist: Merciful Lord, whose prophet John the Baptist proclaimed thy Son to be the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world; grant that we, who have known thy pardon and thy life-giving love, may ever tell of thy mercy and thy peace.
Here is a joke for this week; what did 0 say to 8? I like your belt.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon