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First Sunday of Advent (C)

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First Sunday of Advent (C)

29th November 2009 – First Sunday of Advent THIS SUNDAY: As usual, the great Season of Advent begins, not by talking about Christmas, but about the Second Coming. We’ve had this theme already for the past two weeks, but there is a slight change of emphasis in the Scripture readings offered for this Sunday: here the tone is positive: it is the “promise” of what is to come that we contemplate. Even in the Gospel, though it talks of the dreadful signs that mark the end times, we hear of a promise – “liberation”. For this we should stand erect and hold our heads high. The central theme is that we welcome the coming of a person – Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, and this is what links this Sunday to the coming feast of his birth: we are now preparing to celebrate how he once came: may these preparations also help us to prepare for him when he comes again. Our Advent Wreath will be blessed at Mass this weekend. Our wreath reminds us of the passing of time, God’s everlasting love for us, and the light that is God’s Son, entering our human history.  As the light of our wreath grows as we journey through Advent, may our hearts open in readiness to receive Christ anew.

THIS SUNDAY there will be the retiring collection for the Poor Parishes of our Diocese.

200 CLUB GRAND DRAW:  The November Grand Draw will take place during the Fish & Chip Supper and Quiz Night taking place next Saturday, 5th December (albeit a little delayed) beginning at 7.30pm in the Hall. Do put the dates in your diaries and keep it free. This is an evening for all the family – so the more, the merrier. Renewal notices are being sent out. Please do consider renewing your 200 Club membership. Your contribution and membership is much appreciated and valued. Sign up for the F&C supper on the list in the narthex. £10 a head with reduction for the youngsters… and this price does include your drinks!

FIRST COMMUNION 2010: Those parents with children in present year 3 with children due to make their First Communion next June are invited along to a get together on Tuesday 8th December at 6.30pm in the Church. This will be an information and registration meeting, so please do come along if this involves one of your children. This year the children from both St Gerard’s and St Bernadette’s will be prepared together whilst each parish still celebrating First Communion next summer. It is important that your child is represented at that meeting as the programme begins early on in January.

ADVENT 2009:  Do think about how you will be marking Advent as a family this year. Advent calendars are available from the Repository.

VESPERS will be celebrated THIS Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent (29th November) at 4.00pm. Do come along if you can. ADVENT

CATECHESIS: Our Advent Catechesis kicked off last Wednesday as we began our journey through the Advent Sunday readings. We continue this coming Wednesday. The Catechesis will take place in the hall following the 7.00pm Mass. This is a wonderful way of growing in our familiarity with the scriptures as well as preparing to hear the Word of God on the Sunday. All are welcome – please do come along.  (2 Dec; 9 Dec; 16 Dec; 23 Dec)

ADVENT CONFESSIONS: As well as the usual opportunities on a Saturday, there will be a chance on Tuesday 22nd December from 7.00pm until 8.00pm to make use of the sacrament of Reconciliation. There will be a number of priests available to hear confessions… and a chance to make room for the Lord who comes to dwell in us as we journey towards Christmas. There will also be two priests to hear confessions on Saturday 19th December at 10.45am onwards and 5.00pm onwards. Do make this great Sacrament a real part of your preparations.

FAMILY CRIB SERVICE: One again, as part of our preparation for Christmas and our journeying through Advent, our children and families are invited to come together on Sunday 20th December. Children are encouraged to come as one of the nativity characters. The Crib Service begins at 3.30pm with refreshments afterwards in the hall. Children & families are invited to bring along their gifts for the homeless as last year. More details next week.

WALK WITH ME: The little Advent reflect books are available from the table in the Narthex. They cost £1 and will offer you a reflection for the days of Advent and Christmas – a simple guide to accompany you through this lovely season of preparation and hope.

CHRISTMAS MASSES: There will be three Masses to celebrate the Feast of Christmas – Midnight Mass (24th December) will begin with a half hour of carols and readings to prepare us for Mass. This will begin at 11.30pm with Mass at Midnight. On Christmas Day, mass will be celebrated at 8.00am and 10.30am. Full Christmas schedule out next weekend.

CAFOD ADVENT GATHERING: Bishop Declan is leading the Advent CAFOD service on Friday 4th December at St Teresa’s, Filton, starting at 7.30pm. Details on the notice board.

DIOCESAN DIRECTORIES & LITURGICAL YEAR BOOK are still available from the narthex.

CALLED TO BE A PEOPLE OF HOPE – PARISH CONSULTATION DOCUMENT: if you want to see the draft consultation document and how it affects us as a Parish community and our deanery, log onto the Diocesan website and see: www.cliftondiocese.com/assets/files/pdf/2009/october/DraftReport28Oct2009.pdf You will see that the proposal has been put forward that we should be ‘twinned’ with Keynsham. However, FrC does think that our parish would best be clustered with St Gerard’s and with Christ the King as the three priests and parishes do work closely together already and we do cluster quite naturally around our schools. It would seem that Keynsham would be best linked up towards Bath and Fr Fountaine feels that this would best suit Keynsham, pastorally. It is important that we realise the document is not about the closing of churches. It is simply about how we can best pastorally ‘manage’ and serve our communities with fewer priests in five years time. If you have any input into the discussion, please see FrC before the 8th December.

AMPLIUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Friday, December 4th at the secondary school – 7.30pm. All welcome.

CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME to Joseph Adrian Trickey who was baptised here at St Bernadette’s this last Sunday.

DAY OF PRAYER: Don’t forget that this coming Friday, the first Friday of the Month, is one of our Days of Prayer during this Year for Priests. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed after the 9.30am Mass and will remain upon the altar until Evening Prayer at 6.00pm. Please sign up for one of the half hour slots on the notice in the porch.

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