4th SUNDAY OF Advent (A)
In this final week of Advent we reflect on the preparations that were being made for the birth of our Saviour. Today the focus in on Joseph, who found himself in a dilemma. Mary was found to be with child. What should he do? As a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, he decided to divorce her informally. It was then that he received an appearance from an angel telling him that he should take Mary home as his wife, explaining that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a righteous man, loyal, close to God, full of faith. These are attributes that we should try to attain ourselves as we prepare to encounter Jesus in a new way when we celebrate his birth.
Lord Jesus you are the light of the world COME LORD JESUS
You are the light in our darkness COME LORD JESUS
Son of God, save us from our sins COME LORD JESUS
Bring hope into the lives of all people COME LORD JESUS
Give your peace to all nations COME LORD JESUS
Be the joy of all who love you COME LORD JESUS
Bless us as we gather here in your name COME LORD JESUS
Lord Jesus, stay with us. COME LORD JESUS
On this day we stand in wonder with the shepherds as the glory of the Lord shines around us and as angels proclaim the joyful news of the birth of Mary’s son. We join with Christians across the world in celebrating the Nativity of the Lord. With them and with all the choirs of heaven we sing “Glory to the new-born King”.
The Holy Family (29th December)
Soon after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus had to abandon their homeland and flee to Egypt as Herod had threatened to kill the child. It was only after Herod’s death that they were able to return to the land of Israel. On this day we pray for all families that they may take the Holy Family as their model. In particular we pray for families who have been forced to leave their homeland because of war, threats or particular circumstances.
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (1st January)
We start the year by celebrating Mary’s motherhood. We read in the Gospel how Mary treasured what had happened in Bethlehem, and pondered in her heart. We remember all mothers in the vital role they play in the lives of their children and that they have every reason to praise God, as did Mary. There will be a Mass at midnight as we enter the New Year and the morning Mass will be at 10.AM.
This newsletter covers 2 weeks. The next Newsletter will be on the 5th January, the Feast of the Epiphany. Fr Colin would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Holy Christmas and every blessing for the New Year. Many thanks for the cards and gifts you have given me.
If you have not already done so, please take a card giving all the arrangements over the Christmas period. Please note that this year the Christmas Eve night Mass will be at 10.PM. Weekday Mass from Friday 27th December to Friday 3rd January inclusive will be at 10AM, except Monday 30th December when Mass is at 7.30AM.
No Friday Abstinence
There is no need to abstain from meat on Friday 27th December as we are within the Christmas Octave.
There will be carol singing around the streets this evening (Sunday 22nd December), gathering in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre at 6.30PM and returning for warm refreshments afterwards.
Novena and Holy Hour
The Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help resumes on Tuesday 7th January at 7.PM and Holy Hour on Wednesday 8th January at 9.30AM.
Year of the Word Scripture Quote
“To you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11.
Pray without ceasing. 1 -Thessalonians 5:17
I will be away from Wednesday 1st to Saturday 4th January. Fr Norbert Fernandes will celebrate the 10AM Mass on the Thursday, and Fr Tony Pellegrini on the Friday and Saturday.
The next session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised will be on Sunday 19th January at 4.00pm in the Dominic Room.
Westminster Year Book 2020
The 2020 edition of the Westminster Year Book is available in the porch price £4.50. It gives useful information about priests, parishes, schools and organisations in the Westminster Diocese together with a liturgical calendar for the year.
90th Anniversary of Affiliation to the Guild of St Stephen
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the affiliation of the altar servers of this parish to the Guild of St Stephen. To mark the occasion, the servers will be celebrating with their annual St Stephen’s Day Mass on Thursday 26th December at 10.30am, followed by a reception in the parish centre. All are welcome. We extend a special invitation to all former servers – please take a flyer from the back of the church and spread the word to any family members or friends who have served in the parish in the past, particularly those who may be visiting over the Christmas period.
Crib offerings will be sent to the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster), which gives hope to families by offering a range of services. A team of mental health professionals work in over 80 schools supporting children with issues such as bereavement, abuse, neglect and family breakdown. It operates a Crisis Fund which provides emergency grants for families facing a crisis in their lives.
Weddings in 2020
Couples who wish to be married in this church next year or require us to prepare them for their marriage elsewhere, please get in touch with Fr Colin.
Caritas Westminster is recruiting at least one Representative for Social Outreach from each parish to help communication between the Parish and Caritas to support and grow charitable activities. They will help to display posters, flyers, speak in Masses, learn about new tools and models for social action and share best practice between parishes. If you would like to become a Caritas Representative, please first obtain consent from your Parish Priest, then contact us on 020 7931 6077 or email email@example.com
Children are invited to take part in a presentation of the Nativity at 6.30pm Mass on Christmas Eve, either acting, or reading. If you are interested please gather in the church after the 10.30 Mass today.
The Year of the Word
In this Year of the Word, Pope Francis has announced that the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary time each year will be known as the Sunday of the Word of God. Next year this falls on 25th/26th January. On this day we invite our parish readers to be commissioned at whichever Mass they attend. There will be a meeting for parish readers and anyone who would like to become a reader on Thursday 23rd January at 8.pm in the church.