Newsletter 8th December 2013.
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. Normally December 8th is kept as the feast of the Immaculate Conception but the Sunday takes precedence and the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is transferred to 9th December this year.
Next Sunday the choir will present an Advent Service of music and readings. After the service there will be hot wine and mince pies in the Angelus room.
The meeting of the Parish Council has now been moved to Monday 16th December – thanks to everybody for agreeing this. Agenda papers will be available next Sunday.
A very full week with a Governors’ meeting at St. Matthew’s on Monday, to London on Tuesday with Greenwich Council in the evening – to Christ the King on Thursday and to Greenwich again in the evening.
The list of parts for the Christmas plays is still available in the Angelus Room – a number of parts still available so please fill in the gaps today. We still need some more soldiers – I am sure the boys will enjoy this with swords and helmets.
A reminder of Christmas times: the procession up to the heath leaves from outside the Church at 4.30. On Christmas Eve the Church will be open from 11pm – and there will be a service of carols and readings, starting at 11.30 before Mass at 12 midnight. On Christmas morning there are Masses at 8 – 9.30 with the second part of the cycle of mystery plays and the solemn Mass at 11.
There is no evening Mass.
The structure of the crib is now in place – thanks to Thomas for this. Some of the figures will begin to arrive in a week or two when the decoration is completed.
Also the giving tree is now in place: when you bring your gifts, please remember to place them in the correct box – either for the Manna Centre or for the Children’s Centre.
Friday of this week is the feast of St. Lucy. Probably she was martyred at Syracuse in 304 during the persecution of Diocletian. A custom to be encouraged – in some countries, the youngest daughter awakes the family on this day with coffee, rolls and a special song. Saturday is the feast of St. John of the Cross, the Spanish Carmlite who was the guide and friend of St. Teresa of Avila.
Here is part of his spiritual canticle:
Where have you hidden yourself, my loved one,
Leaving me crying with pain
You have wounded me
And like the hind you fly away
I follow after you crying out,
But you seem to be miles away.
(this is my very free translation)
In Berkshire the other day to visit Douai Abbey and I find that some of my short cuts through the lanes have been shut off. One of the monks is a railway enthusiast and tells me that the electrification of the Great Western main line is now in progress and many of the smaller bridges have been closed for the time being so that the height can be increased and the wires installed.
By now I expect you are looking for a recipe. Here is something from Badajoz in Extremadura.
Cook some slices of chorizo in oil and add a large de-seeded and chopped green pepper and a teaspoon of paprika. Beat together some eggs – 8 is suggested but this seems to me rather a lot – add a little water and maybe a pinch of salt. Add to pan and cook until the mixture is set – then turn over and cook the other side – and serve at once.
I am sure you know Byzantium:
The unpurged images of the day recede;
The Emperor’s drunken soldiery are abed;
Night resonance recedes, night walkers’ song
After the great cathedral gong;
A starlit or moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the more if human veins.
And finally a quiz question: what is the relationship between Tramontana and Ostro?
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon