Takehomenews 20th December 2020
MON 21st-Thur 24th
After Morning Mass
Church Opening Times
Monday 21st Dec 7.10am –8am
Tue 22nd-Thur 24th Dec
Church Open for Christmas Masses 1/2 hour before start
Sat 26th Dec 10.00am-11.00am
Mon 28th– Thur 31st Dec
Fri 1st Jan
Sat 2nd and 9th Jan
Mon 4th Jan
Fr Colin Writes:
If you have not done so already, you need to book if you wish to reserve a place at one of the Christmas Masses. Please phone the Parish Office (Opening times on the front of the Newsletter). If you are unfortunate in not getting a place, the Bishops have encouraged the faithful to attend another Mass in the Christmas Octave up to the 1st January. Furthermore, we hope to get a livestream up and running before Christmas, so you could watch the Mass from home. The church will be open half- an-hour before the start of Christmas Masses. Please be in good time as the stewards will need to show you the places that have been allocated for you.
We would like to thank you all for your co-operation during these difficult times, especially the stewards who have made it possible to open the church. Please observes social distance, especially around the crib and outside the church. This newsletter covers 3 weeks. The next Takehomenews will be on the 10th January. Father David and I wish everyone a very Happy and Holy Christmas and every blessing for the New Year.
Today is Sea Sunday when the church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Without them, we would not have most of the items we buy in the shops. Today’s second collection is for Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea), the Catholic Church’s maritime welfare agency. It supports seafarers both practically and spiritually.
Donations at the crib will go the Catholic Children’s Society. Since March, the CCS has provided emergency food and essential, as well as mental health services for over 5,000 children and their parents. Our crib offerings will help the CCS in their continuing work.
White Flower Appeal
The Annual White Flower Appeal from the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children will be on the weekend of 9th/10th January.
Mary (Nan) Moss RIP
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mary Moss (Nan) who died on 13th December, he funeral Mass will be on Monday 4th January at 10.30. Presence at the funeral is at the invitation of the family.
No Friday Abstinence
There is no need to abstain from meat on Fridays 25th December and 1st January. Yes you can have your turkey on Christmas Day.
4th Sunday of Advent (B)
On the final Sunday of Advent each year, we turn to Mary and her role in making Christmas possible. Today we have the familiar account of the Annunciation, the theme reading of our parish. We notice how Mary was initially disturbed by the words spoken to her by the Archangel Gabriel. ‘How can this come about, since I am a virgin’, she said. Mary is being invited to risk her reputation and even her life. The law of Moses would have classified her as someone deserving death by stoning, since she would have been regarded as an adulteress. She would also have known that her parents would have been disgraced in their community because of their daughter’s shame. But when the angel explained that she will conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit and that her cousin Elizabeth has conceived at an advanced age, Mary is able to accept the invitation from the angel—’Let what you have said be done to me’. These are the most important words uttered by anyone except God himself. It meant that each of us has a means of salvation. Mary of course would not have known this at the time or how it would come about. She was making a step in the dark, but confident that God will protect her and guide her.
Both the Gospel reading and today’s 1st reading are about promises. We have seen the promise made to Mary through the words of Gabriel. But David also received a promise from God but it was not fulfilled until after his death. David had been taken from the sheepfold to be victor and ruler. God’s promise to David extends into the distant future and will endure for ever. David is asked to build God a house to dwell in. But this is not a physical house, a temple or some other building, it is the womb of Mary where the Lord Jesus will be. So the scriptures today are pointing through David and Mary to the joy of the birth of our Saviour at Christmas.
The Church is blessed with 4 different Masses for Christmas. The readings for the Vigil Mass (which we will celebrate at 4pm and 6.30pm) focus on how Jesus Christ came to be born and how he is given the name Emmanuel which means ‘God-is-with-us’.
At Midnight Mass, we hear from the prophet Isaiah titles that the new-born child will receive: Wonder-Counsellor’. ’Mighty-God’, ‘Eternal Father’, ’Prince of Peace’. The Gospel relates the story of Jesus’ birth and how the shepherds were the first to hear about this.
At the dawn Mass (9.0), more titles are given but this time to those who acknowledge the birth of the Saviour: ’The Holy People’. ’The Lord’s Redeemed’. Mary was one of these, she treasured what had happened in her heart.
At the Day Mass (10.30 and 12 Noon), we join in the chorus ‘All the ends of the earth have Seen the Salvation of Our God’. The Gospel is the Prologue of St John, tracing the Word of God in the beginning to the Word becoming flesh.
The Holy Family (27th December)
This is the day when we pray for all families, that they may be able to model themselves on that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Gospel gives the account of Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple with Simeon and Anna praising God for what they have seen.
Mary Mother of God (1st January)
We start the New Year(10am and 12 Noon) with a focus on Our Lady’s Motherhood. Mary ponders in her heart all that has happened and names her child Jesus.
2nd Sunday After Christmas (3rd January)
In recent years, this Sunday has been replaced by the Feast of the Epiphany. On this day we reflect on the Word becoming flesh and again have St John’s Prologue as the Gospel. In times past, this was read as the last Gospel at every Mass.
The Epiphany (Wednesday 6th January)
Three Wise Men came from the east bringing gifts, symbolising Christ’s divinity, his humanity and his kingship. We too can follow the light to find Jesus. Masses on this Holy Day will be at 9am and 7.30pm.
Office: Opening Times
Closed 23rd Dec, Reopens 5th Jan