newsletter 6th December 2015

Newsletter 6th December 2015
Today is the second Sunday of Advent. You will notice that John the Baptist appears in the Sunday gospels during the middle weeks of Advent.
If you have your own missal, the Scripture readings are now taken from the cycle “C”.
Also today is the feast of our holy patron St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra. His relic is kept beneath the altar in the Church and there will be a candle today to honour him. A day for candles – also two of the advent candles will be lit at Mass.
You will have seen that the Giving Tree has gone up at the back of the Church once again with the various tags. You might like to help with this once again.
The Crib goes up on Friday – at least the main structure – the figures have come down from the loft already – so it will be a busy week.
On Monday I have to be at the Town Hall at 9.30 for a school meeting. I hope that the Bishop will be able to help with a Mass at 10 but if not there will be a Eucharistic service.
Thank you for your consultation on a Mass on Christmas Eve – you can’t say I don’t listen to you! The Mass will be at 6pm which will give you time to return from the Carols on the Heath. Looking at the list, is there anybody who would be prepared to help with music – either with the organ or the piano – so that we can have some carols?
On Christmas Day there will be Masses at 9.30 and 11 – there will not be a Mass at 8am.
A reminder of the Christmas Carol Service next Sunday – a service of splendid music and readings provided by the choir. Afterwards there will be hot wine and mince pies in the Angelus Room – which reminds me – I must set off to buy the ingredients.
The lists of parts for the three Christmas plays have been put up in the Angelus room. Maria has been ironing the costumes. We hope to have a cast of thousands for each play so remember to put up your name today. There are three plays – the Sunday before Christmas, Christmas Day at 9.30 and on 3rd January. There will be a short rehearsal after the 9.30 Mass next Sunday.
I am pleased to tell you that once again we will welcome a student from the College in Spain during the month of January. More details to follow. They always seem to enjoy their stay and return to the College with good reports.
After Christmas there will be a day working on the steam railway. I will have to travel to Alton by way of Clapham Junction as the line to Charing Cross will be closed over the holiday period. Freezing to start with but eventually there is a damp warm fug as the steam heat begins to come through.
Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known-
Happy field or mossy cavern-
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
(Do you recognise this from Keats?)
An Advent prayer: Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armour of light during the time of this mortal life; so that on the last day, when your Son Jesus Christ will come again in majesty to judge the living and the dead we may rise to life everlasting through his name. Amen.
A simple dish for days after Christmas. Put some grilled rashers of bacon in a fireproof dish. Grate some Gruyere cheese of them and on top break in some eggs. Coat with some cream and cook in a moderate oven until set.
In the winter days the garden is looking a bit of a mess as we try to cope with the remainder of the autumn leaves and the pine needles. I think my herb pots have finished and I will start again next spring with some new seeds. The olive tree continues to thrive and the magnolia is also doing well. The cherry tree has lost its leaves but I hope that it will survive the winter. My attempts to cut the grass with a close chop seem to have been successful. The only problem is that it starts to rain before I can complete the task.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

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