St. Mary’s – Newsletter 6th December 2020
Mssses: Saturday evening 6.30pm (First Mass of Sunday)
Sunday: 9.30 and 11am: 5 and 7.30pm
Weekdays: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10am
Tuesday and Thursday 7.30am
Confessions: Saturday 12 to 1pm.
Today is the second Sunday of Advent. Readings are taken from the second cycle (B).
Welcome back: I am delighted to see you all now that we have been able to re-open the Church once again. I hope that you are all keeping well.
Also today is the feast of our holy Patron St. Nicholas, whose relic is kept beneath the altar. A candle will be kept burning today in his honour.
Tuesday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
So, some thoughts about how we can celebrate Christmas in the Church. We have now received some instructions from the Archbishop. I have decided to celebrate the Masses at the normal times. 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass and 9.30 and 11 on Christmas morning. Also, there will be an additional Mass at 8pm on Christmas Eve.
We have been advised that the normal restrictions must remain in place – for distancing and the use of hand gel when you come into the Church. I will try to clean the Church between the Masses. Some parishes are introducing a ticketing system – book on line before you come with stewards at the door – but I have decided that this would not really be practical for our parish. Please do your best to follow the distancing rules.
There will be no carols or singing of hymns but I hope that the organ can be played at some of the Masses.
This year it will not be possible to perform the cycle of mystery plays – I think the first time for 20 years. The costumes have all been kept in a safe place and I hope that they can come out again next year.
Also we will not put out the big crib: I will simply place the figures of Joseph and Mary and the manger in front of the altar.
We have already mentioned to you that we will not be putting up the giving tree but if you so wish you might want to send a donation to the Manna Centre or to Cafod.
I reminder that I will be back in the Church for confessions on Saturday mornings.
This week the Confirmation group meet at 6.30pm in the big hall and there is a First Communion class at 10.30am on Saturday morning.
A word about the Advent readings: we missed last week which joins up the coming of the Saviour as the child of Mary to his second coming at the end of time. In the middle weeks of Advent, the gospels tell of John the Baptist, the precursor of the Lord. In the final week we consider the events which lead up to the birth of Saviour at Bethlehem.
During the week, the Scripture readings at Mass are taken from the Old Testament with prophecies of the birth of the Saviour. In the last few days, the readings are taken from the first chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke which give an account of the events which preceded the birth of the Saviour.
The Wives Fellowship will be holding a service in the Church at 11.30 on Tuesday.
You will need a soup for these wintery days, so here is a recipe from Valencia. Stew together some pieces of chorizo, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, an onion and maybe some lard and add some pieces of ham. As the stew begins to thicken add a cup of rice and some peas. Cook gently, adding a little more water if necessary.
Major works are taking place at Denmark Hill station. There will be a new entrance and booking hall and a new bridge. The idea is to create an interchange between the Overground and the other routes. The original splendid station building is used at least in part as a pub.
We missed this prayer the other week, but I am sure that you will like to have it at this time of year:
Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they , plenteously bringing forth the fruit if good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A lot about Ted Hughes of late so here is one of his poems:
I woke to a shout: I am Alpha and Omega
Rocks and a few trees trembled
Deep in their own country.
I ran and an absence bounded beside me.
Some interest in my curious translations the other week, so here is another attempt:
Seulement, je suis un type pauvre
Et mon histoire est raconte rarement.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon.