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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent

SUNDAY: It’s only in this last week before Christmas that we begin to hear about the “Christmas story” itself. For the past weeks we have been preparing ourselves to greet the Lord, when he comes. Now we prepare to remember how he first came, by listening to the prophecies of his coming, and by hearing of the events before his birth. We meet the woman, Mary, who herself had been prepared for the coming of the Messiah. She has received the angel’s greeting, and his strange news, and has accepted her role in God’s plan. Now she hurries to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who herself bears John the Baptist in her womb. John, just as we heard last week, alerts us to the presence of the Lord, as he leaps for joy in his mother’s womb. His joy is that God has kept his promise, and is with his people.


ROTAS FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY are available from the narthex.


FLOWER COLLECTION: The retiring collection for the flowers for Christmas – do support our wonderful ladies in the work they do to keep our church looking so beautiful at this festive time of year.


FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: This beautiful preparation for Christmas takes place in Church on this Sunday afternoon 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. LAST CHANCE THIS WEEKEND TO GET THOSE GIFTS IN!


INVITATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS: There are still invitation cards that can be picked up from the narthex and passed on… please do collect one or two for those around you!


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.


CRIB OFFERINGS this year go in support of the work of St Nick’s with the homeless and the migrant. The little basket next to the crib is for you to put your offerings in. It will remain there until 13 January.


THE 12 DAYS: Near to the crib you will find copies of The 12 Days – a beautiful book of reflections as you gather around the crib at home. Do pick one up – they are free and are there for you to use.


VESPERS AND BENEDICTION for the Feast of the Holy Family (next Sunday) will be celebrated at 4.00pm.


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 now be £4… someone has kindly offered to pay for part of that lunch for us. 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…so you may go home with more than you came with.


YEAR OF FAITH DAYOF PRAYER: January 8 at St James’Priory – put the date in your diary. A day of Exposition for our deanery in this Year of Faith. Each deanery hosts a time of prayer during the Year of Faith and January focuses around south Bristol deanery. The church is open all day, beautifully positioned next to the bus station, and offers us the chance to keep our gaze fixed upon Christ as we enter the New Year in prayer and reflection. It would be good if there were folk from our parish able to take part in this simple day of prayer.


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. The 2012 Big Draw will take place after the Crib Service – three prizes: £200, £100, and £50… just in time for Christmas.

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