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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent

22 December 2013 – Fourth Sunday of Advent (A)

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 characters of Mary and Joseph, and hear of the circumstances surrounding the conception of the child Jesus, and the reaction of Joseph. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing of the promise that the Messiah would come from that line. The link between the First Reading and the Gospel is quite explicit today, since Matthew actually quotes Isaiah. Joseph, descendant of King David, is invited to take his place in the great story of God’s relationship with the Chosen people. There is great sense of a timeless mystery reaching its focal point, as that which was “promised long ago” (Second Reading) now takes flesh in the womb of Mary.


FLOWER COLLECTION:  Thank you for the money you gave towards the flowers for Christmas. £209 was so generously given last week.


FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: A huge thank you to all those who made last Sunday’s Crib Service so spectacular and welcoming. From music to decoration, donkeys to refreshments and piñatas, it was a wonderful afternoon of prayer, preparation and joy!


VESPERS:  Evening Prayer for this Fourth Advent Sunday takes place at 4.00pm and followed by Benediction.


CHURCH BIG CLEAN: Can you spare an hour first thing Monday 23rd just to flick round in readiness for Christmas and our guests? We’ll start at 9.30am and crack on! The more the merrier and we won’t need to take too long, either.


200 CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Renewal is due and Collette is already sending out reminders in readiness for January. It only costs £12 per year and maybe as we ‘build for the future’, this continues to be one way of boosting our income. Have a look at the spare numbers if you fancy joining up. December’s ‘big’ draw this Sunday after 10.30am Mass.


ADVENT CONFESSIONS: As well as the usual times for Confession this Saturday, there will be chance on Monday 23rd. There will be someone in Church from 7pm until 8pm to hear confessions.


CHRISTMAS SEASON LUNCH just to keep our Christmas celebrations going on Saturday 11 January with doors opening at 12.30pm. All you need do is sign up if you would like to secure yourself a seat. Tickets will cost £10 a head (with a generous reduction for children) with the profits going towards our building project. Seating is limited to 50.


PAINTING THE HALL: FrC has put two or three days aside in the hope that there will be a good number of volunteers to paint the walls and wash down the woodwork. Thursday 2, Friday 3, and Saturday 4 January should give us plenty of time. If you can lend a little time (doesn’t matter how small an offer) please sign up on the list in the narthex.


ADMISSIONS – PRIMARY SCHOOL: Applications for this September’s Reception class need to be in no later that 15 January 2014 via the local authority website. Supplementary forms need to be sent into the school no later that 1 March 2014. Make a note of the dates and don’t miss out on these places.


CATECHISTS FORMATION: This opportunity could be for you… a real chance to explore and deepen your faith as this formation course seeks to prepare the people of our diocese for the task of handing on faith to others. It begins in earnest this coming January as David Wells leads the first session on mission and evangelisationThursday 9 January at 7.30pm in the primary school. Ask FrC for more details. Come and see! This is such an exciting opportunity.


BISHOP’S VISITATION: The bishop is visiting this deanery after Christmas and comes to us on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February. Bishop Declan will celebrate both Masses over the weekend and would like to meet ‘the parish’ in our hall after Mass on Saturday evening. This is a great opportunity to share with him our hopes and our vision for this parish and its future. Put the note in your diaries, please.


MARRIAGE CELEBRATION: This annual celebration drawing our diocese (and especially our married couples) together in celebration of the gift of marriage is taking place on Saturday 8 February at 12noon. All are welcome. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary in 2014 (silver, pearl, ruby, golden, diamond… or platinum), would you please let FrC know so that he can arrange a particular invitation? Poster in narthex.


DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI: Bishop Declan is leading a week’s pilgrimage to Assisi, walking in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. The pilgrimage is set to take place from 22 – 29 September 2014 and full details of the itinerary are on the notice board. FrC has further copies and booking forms. Details are also on the diocesan website.


A CHRISTMAS WELCOME: There are still some postcards in the narthex with details of Mass times over the Christmas celebrations. Take one for yourselves as a reminder but, more importantly, pass one or two around to people who may just need that little encouragement to come back to Mass. Take as many as you need and pass them on.


MEDITATION GROUP breaks for Christmas and comes together again on Thursday 9 January after the morning Mass.


FUNDRAISING BAGS: These fantastic canvas bags are available at a price of £5. The money raised goes into our parish funds and you are contributing, bit by bit, to the next stage of our development project.

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