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Third Sunday of Advent

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Third Sunday of Advent

Gaudete Sunday – Third Sunday of Advent – 16 December 2012

THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday is called “Gaudete” Sunday — “Rejoice Sunday”. This comes from the readings we hear today, and it underlines an important point. In the Gospel, we hear John the Baptist telling different groups what to do – they must repent, and change their lives. We might think of this as a rather joyless thing – something which is hard and unrewarding. The message of this Sunday is that repentance and changing our lives to welcome Jesus is something richly joyful. When we are planning to welcome anyone we love to our homes, we set about cleaning and preparing for their visit with enthusiasm – nothing is too much trouble for someone we care for greatly. Even scrubbing the bath or polishing the furniture can be a happy and joyful thing! The message of this Sunday is that preparing to welcome the Lord – even though it may involve hard work – is something utterly joyful, because of our love for Him, and His love for us.

ADVENT VESPERS: This Sunday afternoon in the Church – do come along – 4.00pm

FIRST COMMUNION 2013: Congratulations to the children who came last week to initiate their preparation. They begin in the New Year: Sinead Monks,  Joshua Hazelwood-Richings, Fiona Harris, Antoni Ciszyk, Kian O’Regan, Alan Mielczarek, Jessica Kirwan, Oliver Hynes, William Hynes, Danny Ryan, Lottie Bowen, Ross Ambrose, Kuba Komada,  Liam Ambrose, Alisha Chinnock, Frank Wise,  Finnian Jones,  Jake Collins, Carmelo Merlino, Woody Milsom, Isabelle Tapscott, Ellen Lowson, India McMahon, Eleanor Critten, Helena Costa, and Eva Borrallo Barragan.

FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: This beautiful preparation for Christmas takes place in Church on Sunday 23 December at 3.30pm. The youngsters are invited to come dressed as part of the nativity scene and there will be refreshments in the hall afterwards. Please do come along with your friends and families if you can.

CHRISTMAS MASSES: Mass at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, Mass at midnight on Christmas Eve (preceded by the half hour of carols and readings at 11.30pm), and Mass at 8.30am and 10.30am on Christmas Day.

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THE HOMELESS: As we have done in previous years, there is an opportunity to reach out to the homeless in our city with simple gifts – warm socks, gloves, hat and scarf, toiletries or chocolates. If you would kindly wrap them clearly identifying whether they are for a man or woman they will be taken either to the Julian Trust or to the Centre down at St Nick’s looking after refugees and asylum seekers. The box can be found in the Lady Chapel.

INVITATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS: Please do pick up one or two of the cards from the narthex giving the details of Christmas Masses this year. Do hand them out to people who may just need that gentle encouragement to bring them ‘home’ for Christmas… let the warmth of Christ’s love and welcome flow through you.

ADVENT CONFESSIONS: There will be an opportunity on Tuesday 18 December from 7.00pm until 8.00pm. Just pop in! You also have the Saturday opportunities, too. There will be one or two extra priests available on the 18th.

BIG CLEAN FOR CHRISTMAS: If you have a little time on Thursday 20 December from 10.00am onwards, it would be great if we have an army of helpers to get the Church ready for the Christmas celebrations. All you need do is bring a mop or a duster or a brush and lend a hand sorting the Church out for that coming weekend. All wiling help would be greatly appreciated.

BAMBINO FROM YOUR CRIB: If you haven’t got a crib for your home, then why not pick one up from the repository. Siobhan has one or two still in stock. You may like to bring the baby Jesus from your crib to whichever Mass you come to over Christmas for the blessing. Place it near to the bambino beneath the altar…but do remember to take it home with you, too.

VESPERS FOR NEW YEARS’ EVE: To end 2012 in thanksgiving and anticipate the coming new year, there will be sung evening prayer in the Church at 6.00pm on Monday 31 December. If you can come along (just before you go out to those parties) then please come and join us.

NEW YEAR GRAND DRAW: Those draw ticket stubs and money need to start seriously coming back now. The Draw will take place on Saturday 5 January. If you have taken tickets away please make sure they are returned to FrC before too long. There are still some in the narthex if you have yet to pick some up. Every pound goes to support our parish.

EPIPHANY LUNCH in the hall on Saturday 5 January at 12.30pm. There are 40 places available and the cost of the lunch will be £6. If you would like to come along to this Epiphany parish celebration, pop your name on the list in the narthex to secure yourself a seat. The Draw will take place during the lunch.

YEAR OF FAITH DAYOF PRAYER: January 8 at St St James’Priory – put the date in your diary. A day of Exposition for our deanery in this Year of Faith. More details next week.

DIOCESAN DIRECTORIES AND YEAR BOOKS: The new editions of these diocesan publications are available from the narthex: £6 (liturgical yearbook) £5 (directories). Please put money in with newspaper money.

200 CLUB: Renewal notices are on their way to you around now. Please do consider renewing your membership. This next year will run from January through to December – £12 for the year with the prospect of winning the £25 monthly prize or the big prizes twice in the year. See Colette for more information.

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