4th Sunday of Advent (B)
Our Gospel today is the familiar account of the Annunciation. As we await the coming of the Lord tomorrow, we are reminded of how it came about. In fact, we have a constant reminder as we face the painting in our church. The archangel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear a son, who will be the Son of God. It was because Mary said ‘Let what you have said be done to me’ that we are able to celebrate the special day tomorrow.
We marvel that God has come into the world to share our humanity, and to show us how to become like him. We can make a Christmas resolution to imitate Jesus in his love, his care, his service and his mercy.
The first Mass of Christmas will be at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve during which the children will be acting out the Nativity story. Those taking part are asked please to be in the hall by 6pm on Christmas Eve to be ready for the 6.30pm start. The Night Mass will be at 10pm this year and will be preceded by carols at 9.30pm. Masses on Christmas Day will be at the usual Sunday times.
The Feast of the Holy Family (31st December)
Today’s Gospel is the account of the Holy Family going to the Temple where Jesus is presented as was the Jewish custom 40 days after birth. There were two holy people present—Simeon and Anne. They realised that all their hopes had been fulfilled when they saw that the Messiah had come, the Saviour of the World was among them.
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (1st January)
We welcome the New Year with a feast of Our Lady. We celebrate her motherhood and pray for all mothers in their important role. Mary treasured all the things that had happened and pondered them in her heart. There will be a Midnight Mass to welcome in the New Year and the morning Mass will be at 10am.
Bishop John Sherrington has written to us thanking us for the warm welcome he received for his visitation a couple of weeks ago. He realises that many were not able to get to Mass because of the snow. He particularly would like to thank Four: 12 for organizing the Winter Wonderland evening. He appreciated the time which parishioners gave on Sunday to talk about the life of the parish.
There will be a session for parents who wish to have their baby baptised on Sunday 28th January at 4pm in the Dominic Room. Application forms are available in the sacristy.
Mass on Tuesday (St Stephen’s Day) will be at 10.30am, during which altar servers will be enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen. For the remainder of the week, Mass will be at 10am.
On Monday 1st January, morning Mass will be at 10am and then revert back to 9am from the Tuesday.
Novena & Holy Hour
The Tuesday Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help resumes on 9th January at 7pm and Wednesday Holy Hour on 10th January at 9.30am.
No Friday Abstinence
There is no need to abstain from meat on Friday 29th December as we are within the Christmas Octave.
Aid to the Church in Need
Aid to the Church in Need will be making an appeal at Masses on the weekend of 6th/7th January.
Fr Colin will be available to sign school forms on Saturday 6th January between 12 Noon and 1pm in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre.
This newsletter covers two weeks. The next TakeHomeNews will be on 7th January, the Feast of the Epiphany.
Application for next May’s Confirmation’s has now closed. There will be a meeting for parents of the candidates who have applied on Wednesday 24th January in the Canon Smyth Parish Centre at 7.30pm. The first session for candidates is on Wednesday 31st January at 7pm.
Westminster Year Book 2018
Copies of the 2018 edition of the Westminster Year Book are available in the porch, price £4.50. It gives useful information about parishes, priests, schools, hospitals and organisations in the Diocese as well as a 2018 Liturgical Calendar.
George Sabag Rip
The funeral Mass for George Sabag of Homefield Rd, will be on Tuesday 2nd January at 12 noon. This will be in addition to the 9am Mass that morning. May he rest in peace.
Message from Fr Jozef
Fr Jozef sends his good wishes for Christmas from Slovenia and wishes us all a prosperous New Year. We hope he will be with us again in the summer.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written as a Pastoral Letter which will be read next weekend, the Feast of the Holy Family.
Lord Jesus you are the light of the world COME LORD JESUS
You are 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
Donations at the crib will go to the Catholic Children’s Society. It provides mental health services for children struggling with issues such as abuse, neglect and family breakdown. Since the summer, it has been supporting children who have been traumatised by the fire at Grenfell Tower.