Takehomenews Sunday 6 June 2021
Fr Colin writes:
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, popularly known as Corpus Christi. It is in fact Corpus et Sanguis Christi because we now celebrate the Most Precious Blood of Christ which in former times was celebrated separately on 1st July. We will be celebrating how the Eucharist is so much part of our life and reflecting how we have been disadvantaged by not being able to receive the Eucharist at times over the last year or so. The Feast Day was first introduced in the Middle Ages when there was a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and people would go from church to church just to see Jesus appear on the altar at the Consecration of the Mass .
The Offertory Procession, which has been suspended since the first lockdown, has now been re-introduced. It reminds us that we bring the work of our hands to the altar to be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We too are transformed into the power of the Holy Spirit when we present ourselves at the altar to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Those bringing up the Offertory Gifts are asked please to sanitise your hands before touching the gifts of bread and wine.
By re-introducing the Bidding Prayers at Sunday Masses, we are making a step nearer to what we were used to before March 2020. However, we are still unable to have congregational singing at Mass and the Sign of Peace and Communion under both kinds remain suspended. Today we will be re-commissioning Eucharistic Ministers at Masses in the hope that they will soon be able to continue their ministry. Fr Colin.
‘The Body of Christ’ ‘amen’
On this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, you are now able to say individually AMEN when the priest says THE BODY OF CHRIST at the moment he gives you Holy Communion. The Response AMEN is like a profession of faith. It is saying that we believe it is Jesus really present in the host. Before receiving Holy Communion you should make some reverence like a bow as the person in front of you receives communion. We should still keep a social distance in the communion queue. I have found over recent months how people receive Holy Communion in a dignified way. It is a most prayerful part of the Mass.
Re-Commissioning of Eucharistic Ministers
At Masses this weekend we will be re-commissioning Eucharistic Ministers after the homily. Although we cannot receive the Precious Blood from the chalice for the time being, we hope that there will be a role to play for Eucharistic Ministers in the future. For the re-commissioning, please stand wherever you are in the church.
Eucharistic Ministers can take the Blessed Sacrament to the housebound but need to have an up to date DBS check unless they are going to a member of their own family in the same household. For a DBS check please contact our Parish Safeguarding Representative Macdara Conneely by email on firstname.lastname@example.org who will guide you on what needs to be done.
Today’s Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, popularly simply called Corpus Christi, sums all we have been celebrating during the recently completed Easter Season. We have celebrated Jesus rising from the dead. We have celebrated new life and reflected on the work of the Apostles in the early church. We have wondered at Jesus’ appearances after the Resurrection. We have reflected on Jesus’ final instruction to the Apostles before he ascended into heaven. And finally, shared in the joy of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles and the church was born. What emerges from all this is that we cannot manage without Jesus. So Jesus has remained with us in the Blessed Sacrament. He has not abandoned us but is intimately present with us in the Eucharist and today we celebrate the great gift of himself, his Body and his Blood.
This year our readings concentrate very much on the Blood of Christ. Blood is the source of life. In fact, so many events and writings in the Old Testament point to the idea that blood is the very life of humans and animals. When Moses casts the blood of sacrifice towards the people in today’s reading from the book of Exodus, it shows that God has made a Covenant with his people. We note that Moses read the book of the Covenant, then they made a promise of obedience and then the blood was cast. It was like making a profession of faith before a Sacrament. But the blood of the sacrifice of the New Covenant is of a different order as explained in the letter to the Hebrews. It is a once-and-for-all sacrifice. It not only purifies the outward lives of the people but cancels their sins. It is an eternal covenant, leading to an eternal inheritance. Jesus’ death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant.
The Gospel of Mark which we read today places a particular emphasis on the blood of the covenant, poured out for many. Participation in the Eucharist is not just a matter of food and drink, sharing at the table of the Lord, but is participating in sacrifice, where the blood of the one slain redeems us. Although we cannot receive from the chalice for the time being, we can still reflect when we are in the socially-distanced communion queue that we are about to receive the fruit of Christ’s sacrifice, and that we are fulfilling our side of the Covenant. We patriciate in the Eucharist to renew our lives and which leads us towards the eternal life which God has promised us.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised this afternoon (Sunday) at 4pm in the church.
First Communion programme
Next Saturday the First Communion children will be making their First Confession at 2pm (Group A) and at 3.30pm (Group B) in the church. Group B have a session today (Sunday) at 9.15.
For the parents, there will be a session on Tuesday at 7.45pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre. This will be a live session, not by zoom as for the previous meetings.
Next Sunday Bishop John Sherrington will be here to confirm the first group of candidates at 3.pm. He will return on Saturday 19th June at 3.pm to confirm the second group.
The sessions for confirmation candidates continues on Wednesday evenings at 7pm by zoom.
No Friday Abstinence
On Friday we celebrate the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. As this is a Solemnity, there is no need to abstain from meat that day.
We are in need of more people to help with flower arranging. If you have some time spare on a Saturday morning please have a word with Fr. Colin or Fr. David. Thank you.
Feast Days this Week
Friday—the most sacred heart of Jesus, The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion with long and historic prominence within Christianity, and in modern times has been established as a Solemnity for the universal Church.
The Solemnity was first celebrated in France. The liturgy was approved by the local bishop at the behest of St. John Eudes, who celebrated the Mass on August 31, 1670. The celebration was quickly adopted in other places in France. In 1856, Pope Pius IX established the Feast of the Sacred Heart as obligatory for the whole Church.
Saturday– The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a devotional name used to refer to the Catholic view of the interior life of Mary, mother of Jesus, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus Christ, and her motherly and compassionate love for all mankind.
Traditionally, the Immaculate heart is depicted pierced with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven sorrows of Mary and roses, usually red or white, wrapped around the heart.