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Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

18th December 2011 – Fourth Sunday of Advent (B)

 

THIS SUNDAY: Here we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord’s First Coming. Today we focus on the character of Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel being sent to her, to invite her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages”. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing of the establishing of that house. An interesting idea is that the first reading talks of David wishing to build a house for the Lord; through the prophet he is told not of the house that he would build, but the House which is his line: eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.

RETIRING COLLECTION this Sunday morning (only): The Flower Ladies are seeking your help and support with their Christmas flower collection. Your support enables them to make our Church look so beautiful and stunning for the Christmas feasts. Thanks to the Saturday evening ‘crew’ for your kindness last weekend.

FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: This Sunday afternoon, we gather with the children of our parish to begin to re-trace that journey to Bethlehem and reflect upon the beauty of the Christmas story. The children are invited to come dressed as one of the characters of the nativity to help focus our reflection upon the people who responded to the invitation to welcome Christ into our world. All are most welcome and we begin at 3.30pm.

BLESSING OF THE BAMBINO: If you would like to bring into Mass over the Christmas weekend the bambino from your crib at home, please place them beneath the altar at which ever Mass you come to over the Christmas weekend. Seeking God’s blessing, we pray that his peace may rest upon us and in our homes.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE HOMELESS: You’ve been great in previous years wrapping socks, jumpers, toiletries and chocolates for the homeless at the Julian Trust shelter. Please leave your gifts in the Lady Chapel.

CHRISTMAS CONFESSIONS: There will be the usual Saturday morning session of Confessions Christmas Eve. On Tuesday 20 December, there will be a couple of priests hearing confessions from 7.00pm – 8.30pm. Then on Thursday 22 December, an opportunity from 10am – 10.45am. Make room for the Lord this Advent!

BIG CLEAN FOR CHRISTMAS: On Wednesday 21 December from 10am onwards, willing volunteers are needed just to get the Church ready for the Christmas weekend. If you can spare a little time along with a duster and a brush, just turn up for half an hour or so and lend a hand. Many hands make light of the work.

A CHRISTMAS WELCOME AND OUT-REACH: There’s still time to take those postcards away with you and hand them around. Use this Christmas as an invitation to folk who may have lost touch with Church, and bring them home for Christmas.

CHRISTMAS TREE: The decorated and illuminated tree will be blessed at the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve.

CRIB OFFERINGS: As usual, there will be a little basket next to the crib for your offerings. This year, our crib offerings will go in support of the work done at St Nick’s, Lawford’s Gate for the homeless and the refugee.

CHRISTMAS MASSES: It’ll be great to see you sometime over this Christmas weekend. Do make note of the times. You have them on the newsletter, on our website, and on the Christmas postcards.

FIRST COMMUNION 2012: The children preparing for First Communion this summer celebrated their First Confession this weekend. We look forward to welcoming them at Mass in January for their enrolment into the next leg of the preparation for First Communion.

PARISH MAGAZINE: Pick up your copy this weekend. There’s no charge for the magazine. If you want to pop a little something into the newspaper pot, then please do.

200 CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Subscriptions for 2012 are due soon. Look out for your membership letter. Your membership supports our parish in such real ways. With all 200 numbers taken, half that subscription money goes to parish funds – that’s £1200 if all numbers are taken. The other £1200 is given out in prizes throughout the year – ten £25 monthly prizes and two Grand Draws (May and November) with the potential first prize of £200. Do think about renewing your subscription and, if you haven’t got a number, have a word with Colette and sign up before the end of this December.

FIFTY YEARS ON – VATICAN II: This next date for your diaries ready for the New Year – Tuesday 24 January 2012 at 7.30pm. Fr Timothy Menezes will be leading our reflection upon Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Council’s document on the liturgy. This fantastic series of talks Opening the Windows offers us a simple route into re-introducing ourselves to the fruits of the Second Vatican Council. Do go along if you can. It is free, open to everyone, and there’s plenty of parking, too. Downloads on diocesan website.

AND FINALLY… if you are travelling this week to spend Christmas with family or friends, drive safely, have a wonderful time, and return refreshed and spirit-cheered.

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