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Christmas 2011

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Christmas 2011

THE WORD AT CHRISTMAS: There’s a wonderful way in which the Christmas message emerges from out of the midnight darkness as we gather for Mass: the first words of Scripture we hear at midnight are like the beaming of a star through the blackness of night: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” The mystery of Christmas is this – a great revelation: a light in the darkness, a star through the night, the birth of the Sun of Justice; the showing to the whole world of the love of God, made visible in Jesus. No wonder there is a great throng of the heavenly host shattering the darkness of the cold night on the hillside outside Bethlehem – because the invisible night of sin and sadness is shattered by the light of the Saviour’s birth. Christmas is a very emotive and (in a sense) romantic feast: many of us will come with childhood memories and our own idea of what Christmas is about. It is important that we are aware of this, so that we can allow the deepest wonder of this night to penetrate through what sometimes are rather shallow thoughts about the mystery. Remember it is not about “then” – this is about “now” and our salvation.

VESPERS FOR NEW YEARS DAY: There will be a celebration of Evening Prayer in Church at 4.00pm to welcome in the New Year next Sunday. Please do come along if you can – it’s always a wonderful occasion.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE HOMELESS: Thank you for your kindness and your thoughtfulness for those less fortunate this Christmas through your Christmas gifts to the guests at Julian Trust. They were taken down during the week and left in readiness for this weekend.

BLESSING OF THE BAMBINO: If you are bringing the baby Jesus from your cribs at home to Mass over the Christmas weekend, please place them beneath the altar for them to be blessed. Seeking God’s blessing, we pray that his peace may rest upon us and stay with us in our homes.

THE 12 DAYS: A beautiful book of reflections composed by folk within our diocesan community is available for you to pick up from Mass this weekend. It is designed for you to make something of each day of this Christmas season, from Christmas Day to the Epiphany. Use it as part of your day, gazing into the crib, and allow this Christmas mystery to deepen your awareness of the love of God for you. They have also been recorded as podcasts via so do tune in each day.

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

THIS YEAR’S CRIB: Over in the Lady Chapel you will find a new stable and a new set of Crib figures. These are Fr Christopher’s Christmas gifts to our parish. The figures are a simple, traditional set but, nevertheless, they draw us ever deeper into the story of God’s unconditional love for us and, hopefully, this image of a divine encounter of love is something our parish will be able to enjoy for many years to come.  Do go and spend a little time at the crib, most especially with loved ones and family. Come close to the Christ who came to bring us joy; bring him your selves and your lives, and allow him to bring himself to you.

CRIB OFFERINGS: As usual, there is 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.  Your gifts across Christmas will help those who turn to them for help in their need.

FIRST COMMUNION 2012: We look forward to welcoming them at Mass in January for their Enrolment into the next leg of the preparation for First Communion on Sunday 8 January ~ the Epiphany ~ at 10.30am.

CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE: Although it seems some time away, the Bishop invites all married couples to join him as part of National Marriage Week on Saturday 11 February in the Cathedral for Mass at 12noon. It’s a wonderful gathering from across our diocese. Do go along and celebrate the beautiful state of married life with him. Poster on the board and copies for you to take away from the narthex.

200 CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Subscriptions for 2012 are due soon. Look out for your membership letter. Your membership supports our parish in such real ways and, if you haven’t got a number, have a word with Colette and sign up before the end of this December. Congratulations to Carmel Allfree who picks up the December £25 monthly cheque.

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.

ITALIAN CONSULAR AGENCY in Bristol is being re-opened at the start of 2012. There will be a reception to welcome this opening on Sunday, 8 January 2012, at Saint Bernadette’s, Wells Road, Whitchurch, Bristol. After the celebration of Mass (in Italian) for the Epiphany at 5.30pm,  there will be a short presentation informing you of the services that the agency will be able to offer. There will be some light refreshments, an opportunity to meet friends, as well as have your questions answered. All are most welcome. Please pass the word around and encourage your Italian friends and family to come along…and come, even if you are not Italian!

FR CHRISTOPHER wishes you – Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia,  Joyeux Noel – Beannachtaí na Nollag – kristumas puthuvalsara āshamsakal – Buon Natale – Feliz Natal – Feliz Navidad – Maligayang pasko – Kellemes karácsonyt – a very happy and holy Christmas to you all! May the Christ child of Bethlehem draw you ever nearer in love of him this Christmas so that his peace, his love, and his joy may find a home in you.

  1. vittoria carotenuto says:

    hi could you please tell me where the consular is please thank you

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