Newsletter Sunday 1st December 2013
Today is the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a period of prayer – and perhaps of a little penance – as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas. At Mass we use purple vestments and on Sundays, do not recite the Gloria. There are special Mass texts for the days of Advent and usually the first Scripture reading is taken from the prophets.
The new cycle of readings begins today – from cycle A. You will note the new Mass books. A special request: please take care to replace the marker card in the books. Check that you have not left it on the bench and please do not feed it to your children.
There is a second collection today for the maintenance of St. George’s Cathedral.
Friday is the feast of the holy Patron St. Nicholas whose relic is kept beneath the altar. You will see that a candle will be burning in his honour on this day. Saturday is the feast of St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who converted St. Augustine. He appears on the right hand side altar – with a bee hive at his side. Together with Jerome, Augustine and Gregory he is one of the great teaching saints.
Next Sunday, December 8th is kept as the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
A reminder of the Festive Carol Service in the Church on the evening of Sunday 15th December.
By now the part lists should be up in the Angelus Room for the cycle of mystery plays. I hope that we can cover all the parts. The plays take place on 23rd December, Christmas Day and January 5th. Important parts for the older people and some can be the narrators whilst there are plenty of costumes for the smaller children so that they can appear as shepherds and angels.
The Confirmation group this year will remember Karl who helped with the classes. He left St. Matthew Academy in the summer to train as a teacher but is coming back on Monday afternoon for a special Mass and celebration at the Academy.
Time for First Communion classes once again – the parents who have agreed to help this time meet on Monday evening to plan the class and the class meets in the big hall on Saturday morning at 10am.
To Westminster for a meeting on Tuesday and then back to a meeting of the Governors of Christ the King College – so there is a busy week ahead.
Here is some John Milton:
O may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light.
At the hospital the niece has been studying compulsive repetition syndrome. She suggested that she might treat me as I always tell the same jokes. Actually I think that this came from the great nephew.
Membrillo is a typical Spanish sweet meat. Wash and grate four large quinces and discard the seeds. Prepare a syrup with a litre of water and a kilo of sugar. Boil to form a syrup and add the quince and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until the paste is transparent and fairly thick. Turn into a mould and allow to set. It is an acquired taste and frequently it is served with cheese.
A prayer from St. Thomas More:
O my sweet Saviour Christ, which in thine undeserved love towards mankind so kindly wouldst suffer the painful death of the cross, suffer me not to be cold nor lukewarm in love again towards thee.
And a puzzle: in a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey a red London bus appeared very briefly with the fleet name General. I do not think it came from the London Transport Museum Collection as their older exhibits are too fragile to venture out nowadays. It only appeared for a short moment but I suspect it might be the 1925 Dennis with a Dodson body which originally belonged to the Dominion Omnibus Co. but was taken over by the General in 1926 and withdrawn from service in 1931. It is now normally at the Weybridge Museum. Any further clarification would be welcome.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon