Takehomenews 1 November 2020
Fr Colin Writes:
We welcome Fr. David Knight to the parish. This will be his first weekend. Having been ordained priest in September, this is his first appointment as a priest. It is often said how your first parish helps to form you for the rest of your parish ministry. May our friendship and good example help Fr. David in his lifetime of ministry.
We start the month of November with the Feast of All Saints. We learn much from the saintly people that have gone before us and the saints can intercede for us from their heavenly home, including those we have known ourselves. The Beatitudes which form our Gospel today are good guidelines for our pursuit to the heavenly kingdom.
November is the month of the Holy Souls when we pray for all the faithful departed. We start with All Souls Day on Monday when Masses will be at 7.30AM and 7.30PM. There will be no Bereavement Mass this year. Several Masses will be offered throughout the month for the Holy Souls. Next Sunday is Remembrance Day when we remember all those who have lost their lives at war. There will be a 2-minute silence during the 10.30 Mass. Father Colin
Month of the Holy Souls
In previous years, names were written in the Memorial Book but this year with COVID precautions we cannot allow several people to touch the book. So, I will write the names of those who have had funerals in the last year and the book will be placed in front of the altar during November. It contains the names you have inscribed in previous years. There will also be a box in front of the altar into which we will put the names you wish to be remembered. Please write the names on a piece of paper and put in an envelope which you can put through the presbytery letter box. There are envelopes for this on the table at the back of the church.
Candidates who were preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation earlier this year until the sessions had to be cancelled because of COVID, are now invited to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during November. Families will be contacted by the catechists to arrange dates and will send you a power-point package by email to cover the sessions missed. There will be no Reconciliation Service but candidates are encouraged to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a Saturday between 10.30 and 11.00 or between 5.45 and 6.15pm. Bishop Sherrington is unable to come to the Confirmation ceremonies so Fr. Colin will be administering the Sacrament.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 6th December at 4.PM in the church.
Parish Council Meeting
The Parish Council meet on Thursday 5th November at 7.45PM in the church.
The cult of Saints in the Christian Church goes right back to the earliest days, and throughout the centuries countless women and men have been held up as examples of sanctity, that is as saints, in all corners of the world. Whilst there has been a formal process of canonisation for many centuries, many people were regarded as saints long before that, and have been held in esteem in their local community. In his letters, St Paul often refers to some of the people as ‘saints’. These would be people who would have followed the teachings of the Church and acted in a way to be an example of Jesus Christ to other members of the community. So when we celebrate today’s feast we are doing so in a very general way. We are not just thinking about the saints who have been canonised by the church.
The compilers of the lectionary have offered us three very different passages from Scripture to help us explore what we mean by saints. The wonderful passage from the Book of the Apocalypse gives us a picture on a very grand scale. There are 144,000 elect and then there is ‘a huge number impossible to count of people of every nation, race, tribe, and language’. Saints then are very plentiful and to be found in all places and in all situations. The reading invites us to expect to encounter saints in all sorts of situations. We must remember that sanctity has nothing to do with celebrity.
The extract from the first letter of St John emphasises God’s love for his children. It starts: ‘Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children’. It is God’s love that makes us his children and it is his love that enables us to love in return. At the heart of being a saint is to be loved by God and to be able to love in response. Then comes that extraordinary promise that God’s children will be like God as we shall see God as he really is. We become a reflection of God himself. Being a saint is being caught up into the love and life of God.
The Gospel today is The Beatitudes, Jesus’ first words at The Sermon on the Mount in St Matthew’s Gospel. These are challenging and humbling dispositions that express what being caught up in the life and love of God looks like here and now. The Beatitudes indicate what it looks like to be a person of the Kingdom, a disciple of Jesus, a child of the Father. To be poor in spirit, to be gentle, to mourn, to hunger and thirst for what is right, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to be a peacemaker, even to being persecuted in the cause of right are ways to the kingdom. The Beatitudes offer us a way of recognising what a saint looks like and they invite us to reflect on our own lives to see how close we are to being kingdom-seekers, how close we are to becoming saints.
In celebrating All Saints Day we are offered important insights into the nature of sanctity as witnessed by those in the life of the church who are recognised as saints but we are also invited to recognise our call to be numbered among them.
First Communion 2021
Children in Year 3 or above who would like to receive First Holy Communion next year are invited to complete a yellow—coloured application form from the table at the back of the church and return it by 13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation sessions will be arranged but it will certainly require more parental help at home. Once we have the number of applications, we can start making arrangements for the preparation and the First Communion days.
Those in year 10 or above who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation next year are invited to complete a blue coloured application form from the table at the back of the church and return it by 13th December. At the moment we are uncertain how the preparation will proceed, nor of the date of the Confirmations.
Sick and Retired Priests Fund
Next weekend there will be a second collection for the Sick and Retired Priests Fund. Envelopes for this are available at the back of the church.
Blessing of Graves
In November we normally have the blessing of the graves in Hendon Cemetery. Since we cannot now have large gatherings of people we are suggesting that next Sunday you bring some water in a small container that we will bless at the end of Mass. Then you can make your own arrangements with your family for a time to go to the graveside, bearing in mind that there should be not more than 6 around the grave at any time. You might like to use this prayer when you sprinkle the Holy Water: Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb,
you made Holy the graves of all who believe in you,
and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection,
even as it claims our mortal bodies.
Grant that our loved ones
may sleep here in peace until they awake to Him in glory,
for you are the resurrection and the life.
All Souls CAFOD Memorial Mass – online Monday 2 November, 6pm-7pm
This year’s CAFOD Memorial Mass for deceased supporters can be joined online on Monday 2nd November at 6pm. Mass will be celebrated by CAFOD’s Chair of Trustees, Bishop John Arnold, with music, readings and prayers from CAFOD staff and supporters from around the world.
Register at https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks
The funeral Mass for MANIE MANDAPAT will take place at 12.30PM on Friday. This is in addition to the 9AM Mass that morning. Attendance at the funeral is limited to those who have been invited by the family.