Takehomenews Sunday 25 July 2021
Fr Colin writes:
With the easing of some of the COVID restrictions on Monday, we have been issued with some general guidelines form the Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales. The general principles are to be cautious, to use our common sense and to make decisions according to local prevailing conditions.
I am suggesting that we do not make any major changes until September. We are now allowed to have congregational singing but it is recommended that face coverings should be worn by members of the congregation whilst singing together. So, we will be able to resume singing in September.
We will be allowed to open churches outside Mass times and stewards are not required to be present. However the track and trace system will still be in place and the QR code available.
The stewards have done a magnificent job over the last year or so. They have served as guides, welcomers, fire wardens and cleaners. So it will be good to continue with this arrangement and possibly open the church outside Mass times with no stewards present. Many thanks to all the stewards.
Communion under one kind will continue. We will not be able to receive from the chalice for the time being. However, it will be possible to revert to 2 lines of people coming forward to receive Holy Communion. We will start this in September and produce a rota for the Eucharistic Minister to assist the priest in the distribution of the Body of Christ.
There are now no restrictions on numbers attending baptisms although multiple baptisms at one service should be avoided and baptisms will not take place during public Masses for the time being. Similarly, there is no restriction on the numbers attending, funerals in the church. However, checks will have to be made with the cemetery or crematorium as to how many can attend these.
Home visits can now take place by priests, deacons, Eucharistic Ministers and other volunteers. However we cannot go from house to house; only one morning and one afternoon visit can be made in a day to minimise the risk of infection. It is recommended that those doing home visits use COVID 19 home test kits before setting out.
As far as use of the Parish Centre is concerned, we will be finding out what needs to be in place, including sanitisation, risk assessments and renewal contracts before we re-open.
Finally, there is no legislation about social distancing in England so churches can adapt to local needs. So, I am suggesting that we keep to the general principle of being socially distant but we can open up some of the closed pews to avoid people standing outside during Mass.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be suspended, until at least the 1st Sunday of Advent.
Thanks everyone for your co-operation. Father Colin
17th Sunday of Year B
The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 we have heard today from St. John’s Gospel has added theological depth for us which links the multiplication of the loaves with the Eucharist. The link in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) can be supposed, but with John it is more explicit. Moreover, it acts as a precursor to the institution of the Eucharist.
As with all of Christ’s miracles, there has to be a trust and an interplay between an act of faith consisting of total self-giving and the exercise of divine power.
The words that John uses to recall the words of Jesus are very similar to the words used in the Synoptic Gospels for the institution of the Eucharist. Indeed, the Greek word for “given thanks” is eucharistesas which is where we get the term ‘Eucharist’. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) defines the word ‘Eucharist’ as follows:
The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all ‘thanksgiving’ CCC 1360
Next week’s newsletter will cover the whole of the month of August. After next week, the next newsletter will be on 5th September,
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Harold Jerome Charles whose cremation takes place on Thursday and BRIDGET LOVE whose funeral will be on 3rd August.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 5th September at 4pm in the church.
Foodbank for the community
Very many thanks to all those who have provided food for the foodbank. This outlet is now closed and will resume in September.
This Week’s Saints
Monday—St Joachim and St Anne, parents of Our Lady are the parents of the Virgin Mary. There are no mentions of them in the Bible or Gospels, what we know comes from Catholic legend and the Gospel of James, which is an unsanctioned, apocryphal writing form the second century AD. We do know from scholarship that the Gospel of James was not written by James, the Brother of Jesus, despite its claim to be so authored. Even the early Church fathers expressed scepticism about the Gospel of James in their writings. There are about 150 copies of the ancient manuscript which often have different titles, but tell the same story, that Mary was promised to Joachim and Anne by an angel, was consecrated to God, and she remained a virgin all her life.
Thursday- St Martha "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. In Martha we see ourselves -- worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her just the same. St Martha is the Patron Saint of servants and cooks.
Saturday -St Ignatius of Loyola , On March 25, 1522, he entered the Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat. Before an image of the Black Madonna, he laid down his military garments. He gave his other clothes away to a poor man, he passed away on July 31, 1556, at the age of 64. He was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609 and canonized on March 12, 1622.