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First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent

30 November 2014 – First Sunday of Advent – Year B

THIS SUNDAY: Advent opens with a great cry, and a great promise: ‘Oh that you would tear the heavens open and come down!’ is the cry, of a people who need God. ‘…The master is coming’ is the promise, not to breed fear, but to answer our cry. Advent begins, not with thoughts of the past, with the coming of the Lord we celebrate at Christmas, but with the future, and the promise that He is coming back. We are encouraged to treat every day as the day the Lord will come; we do not do this out of fear for a Master who beats his servants, but out of love of a Master who always treats us with love and mercy. Nevertheless we must always be watchful, because we can grow sleepy and complacent, saying that we can leave this prayer or that confession or the other change in the way we live to tomorrow. Even as we look forward to the tomorrow of the Lord’s coming, we must remember that it might be today!

CONFIRMATION 2015: We need to keep our youngster in our prayers. They prepare to come before the bishop in January to present themselves for Confirmation. Let’s pray that the Lord will guide them in the decision they make, in their discernment and in the praying: Jessica O’Toole, Isabel Nicholls, Iracy Hemming, Venecia Leoncio, Lemia Leoncio, Charley O’Toole, Yasmin McDonald, Jeanne Pangilinan, Alyssa Virata, Gonzalo Borrallo Barragan, Ruben Borrallo Barragan, Ana Alonso, Bradley Cox, Oskar Kleszcz, Michal Komada, Benedict McGovern, Niamh Baber, Bebhinn Baber, Ellena Trickey, Luiza Bureta, and Ricco Russo. They continue their formation Wednesday 10 December  at 5.45pm.

EVENING PRAYER: There will be Evening Prayer at 4pm in the Church THIS Sunday as we start this new liturgical year. Do come along if you can.

FIRST COMMUNION: Preparation has begun and continues this coming Saturday at 8.45am in our parish hall. The first of the Presentation Masses takes place on Sunday 7 December (next Sunday) at 10.30am. You’ll find the details of the dates of the children’s sessions, under ‘your parish’ on the website.

A GOSPEL FOR EVERY HOUSEHOLD: Our parish website now features a monthly reflection written by Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB to accompany our reading of St Mark’s Gospel given out last weekend. Do keep that little edition close to you across this year. With Pope Francis, read it as a couple, as a family, to your children, or on your own. Keep it near to you so that find yourself continually immersed in the Good news that Mark proclaims. Fr Henry’s feature will appear on the first of each month.

ADVENT WREATHS: if you bring the wreath from home to Mass this weekend for blessing, just place it near to the wreath on the sanctuary.

MONTHLY CHURCH CLEAN takes place after the morning mass this coming Wednesday. Its always a quick flick round with duster and hoover. The more, the merrier. Please come along and lend a hand if you can.

CATHEDRAL CALENDARS: One of the initiatives the cathedral has taken is to produce a fundraising calendar featuring some of the churches around the diocese. Please do consider buying one – £10 – as our way of supporting the cathedral in their fundraising. They are beautifully produced. You’ll find them in the narthex. Pop the money in with the newspaper money. We took 20… but there are only 5 left.

DIOCESAN DIRECTORIES 2015 AND LITURGICAL YEARBOOKS are available from the table in the narthex.

ADVENT CALENDARS AND CHRISTMAS CARDS are available from the narthex.

FIRST FRIDAY EXPOSITION AND SOUP LUNCH: Friday 5 December. Exposition follows the morning Mass until 12.15pm and that is followed by our regular first Friday soup lunch in the hall. Please do come along.

A CHRISTMAS SUPPORTING THE NEEDY: Every year we seek to reach out to those who are on the streets at Christmas. This year, thinking of the folk around the city centre, you are invited to think about giving a small gift of chocolate, toiletries, gloves, a scarf, a warm hat, or some socks… wrapped for M or F and placed in the box in the Lady Chapel. Do think about what small gift you can give this year! It means so much to so many.

SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAIR in our Primary School on Saturday 6 December from 11am until 2pm. Full details in the narthex on the notice board.

FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: Once again we gather with families as a parish family to look forward to the celebration of Christmas, just pondering the beauty and the simplicity of the Christmas narrative. Everyone is invited…there’s no one excluded. The youngsters (and the brave) are asked to come dressed as a nativity character and we will be accompanied this year, once again, by two special guests in the shape and form of donkeys! We’ll begin at 4.00pm in the Church and there will be refreshments in the hall afterwards.

REFRESHMENTS: Don’t forget there’s a cuppa in the hall after Mass this Sunday morning.

NEW MASS SETTING: We will start learning the Mass of Christ the Saviour during Advent. Sheets provided. You will see that the Sunday Mass sheets contain the new setting. We’ll persevere in the same way as we learned the new settings we sing so familiarly following the new translation three years ago.

200 CLUB DRAW: The November £25 draw takes place after Mass this Sunday.

WREATH MAKING: Interested in making your own decorations, centre pieces and arrangements? Come along to the hall this Tuesday evening from 7-9pm for a quick demonstration. All you need to bring is the greenery and any flowers and decorations you like. Local expert on hand to help. Oasis and pots supplied…and the tea!

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