Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. In this middle part of Advent, the Sunday gospels concentrate on the figure of John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Lord.
The film club meets this evening at 5pm in the Angelus Room. This time the film is “How Grinch stole Christmas”. Pizzas and drinks during the film and we should finish by about 7.15.
Next Sunday at 5pm the Choir will present an Advent Service of music and readings. Afterwards there will be hot wine and mince pies in the Angelus Room.
The cycle of Mystery Plays will be taking place this year at the 9.30 Mass on 18th and 25th December and on 1st January. Next Sunday after the 9.30 Mass there will be a rehearsal and it is important that the children should take part in this.
This year Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. There will be no 6.30pm Mass on Saturday 24th. The Church will be open from 11pm with a service of carols and readings at 11.30 and Mass at 12 midnight. On Christmas day there will be Masses at 8, 9.30 and 11am.
Thank you for your help with the cards for Prisoners of Conscience. They have all been sent off during the past week.
A warning, the new Mass books are fitted with an electronic device which is activated if you take them out of the Church and your legs will fall off if you pass the strip buried in the pathway.
Tuesday is the feast of our Holy Patron St. Nicholas whose relic is kept beneath the altar in the Church. Wednesday is the feast of St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan who converted Saint Augustine. Thursday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is not a day of obligation in England though this is the case in other countries. It was always said that this was not necessary in England as Catholics would honour Mary on this day by coming to Mass without obligation.
There will be a Mass at the Convent at 2.30pm on Friday 9th December for the Sacred Heart Companions.
We usually remember this prayer at this time of year, though in fact it belongs to the Sunday before Advent:
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
After this you will need a recipe, so how about this, to serve with cold meat after Christmas. Cook a sliced onion in some olive oil. Add some long grain rice and two glasses of sweet sherry. Stir in two cups of chicken stock and add a little butter and salt to taste. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, adding a little more stock if necessary.
A busy week ahead with Education Meetings on Tuesday and Thursday as well as a marriage on Saturday. There is a Mass for the pupils at St. Matthew Academy at 9am on Thursday if parents might like to attend.
And Kipling on the legends of England:
And see you marks that show and fade,
Like shadows on the Downs?
O they are lines the Flint men made,
To guard their wondrous towns.
I am disappointed to discover that the great nephew has decided to travel to Australia for Christmas. I was looking forward to a challenge at snooker or maybe to see if I could out-wit him at Scrabble. This year it looks as if we will be celebrating at Charterhouse Square rather than Sussex.
The bendy buses have come to an end with the changes to routes 12 and 436. I calculate that they lasted about 7 years, which is very short compared with the life span of the Routemasters. Somehow they did not work in London, although they continue to operate in many towns and cities, including Valladolid.
New lists for readers and for eucharistic ministers have appeared. Thanks to Nadia and Hazel for their work.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon