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Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)

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Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)

20th December 2009 – Fourth Sunday of Advent THIS 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.

ADVENT CATECHESIS: Our Advent Catechesis concludes 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 us to hear the Word of God on the Sunday. All are welcome – please do come along – (23 Dec). This is a wonderful opportunity, most especially, if you are one of our readers and, particularly, if you are reading this coming Christmas. It is an opportunity to allow those readings to settle in your mind as you prepare to proclaim them. The weekly Catechesis allows us to understand what it is we are reading so as to proclaim it message with conviction. Do come along if you can. Watch this space – the weekly catechesis that has taken place in Lent and Advent this year may become a regular part of our Parish formation and prayer-life. Details in the New Year.

ADVENT CONFESSIONS: As well as the usual opportunities on a Saturday, there will be a chance after this Sunday’s 10.30am Mass as well as on Tuesday 22nd December from 7.00pm until 8.00pm to make use of the sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a chance to make room for the Lord who comes to dwell in us as we journey towards Christmas. Do make this great Sacrament a real part of your preparations. Confession may not be something you have gone to for some time. Do not be afraid! The priest is there to help you return to the Lord who simply reaches us to us in love, in mercy, in healing, and forgiveness. Let the Lord in – and he will bring peace and joy in abundance.

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 THIS 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. See below

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR JULIAN TRUST: As we have done in previous years, we are invited (children most especially) to bring in a little gift for one of the homeless guests to Julian Trust this Christmas. A box will be placed in the Lady Chapel for you to pop your gifts in. You might like to think about the gift of a hat or pair of gloves; some warm socks or a scarf; some chocolate or some sweets by way of remembering those who will be on the streets this Christmas. If you want to wrap them, please make sure they are marked M for a male or F for a female. The box and gifts will be taken down to the Night Shelter after the Crib Service.

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 to be found on the table in the narthex. Christmas is always a time to welcome ‘guests’ to Mass. It’s also an opportunity for you to bring someone along who may not have been to church for sometime. Be brave in inviting and be supportive and encouraging in the bringing along. Your invitation may be all that is needed to bring them back to the Lord this Christmas. CHURCH

CLEANING FOR CHRISTMAS: As many hands as possible, please, on Tuesday, 22nd December, from 10.00am. Refreshments will be provided. Do come along armed with duster, brush, mop, or polish. The more, the merrier.

FROM YOUR CRIBS AT HOME: Don’t forget, if you would like to bring the bambino from your crib at home to whichever Mass you come to on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you can place it around the Christ-child beneath our altar for a blessing.

VESPERS FOR THE FEAST OF HOLY FAMILY: To celebrate the Christmas Season there will be sung Vespers (Evening Prayer) for the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday next (27th December) at 4.00pm. Do come along if you can. It is a wonderful way to enter into the prayer of the Church.

NEW YEAR’S DAY: Mass on New Year’s Day will be celebrated at 10.00am. There will be sung Morning Prayer at 9.30am.

THE CHRISTMAS CRIB: The crib begins to take shape after this weekend and, once again, will occupy the Lady Chapel. The crib will remain in situ for the forty days of the Christmas Season taking us up to the Feast of Candlemas. Do go and visit the crib when you are in Church, most especially if you are with young ones. The basket next to the crib this year will go in support of the Kasisi Orphanage in Lusaka. Your offerings will support those without a family (some suffering from HIV and AIDS) in very practical ways.

THANK YOU FROM THE FLOWER LADIES for your generosity shown through the collection – £231.87 – thank you.

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