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The Feast of All Saints

The Feast of All Saints

31st October 2010 – The Feast of All Saints

THIS SUNDAY: “A huge number, impossible to count” – that is the picture this Solemnity creates. In every age there have been men and women who have followed the Lord faithfully, and who now rejoice in the Liturgy of Heaven, as they stand before the throne of the Lamb. These are the “anonymous” saints, whose names we don’t remember   but even though their names are not on our lips, their memory, inspiration, example and prayers are set before us today, so that we too can be encouraged in our own “journey of perfection”. What does it take to be a saint? Surely the Gospel that is appointed for today (the Beati¬tudes) shows us that it is in the small things that we triumph: gentleness, mercy, making peace, faithful mourning, purity of heart, poverty in spirit   these are not grand, public ways to sanctity. They are domestic, and homely, to be practised and perfected with those closest to us. We sometimes exalt the “named” saints to the degree that we can feel they are distant from us. Today’s feast, as well as celebrating the memory of the many whose name we do not know, also prompts us to see holiness as within our grasp.

MONTH OF THE HOLY SOULS: This month of November invites us to keep in our prayers the Holy Souls ~ those who have died and await the call to resurrection. Each day during the week, we remember all who have died at the chapel of our Lady as we commend them to her maternal prayer and intercession. It is our Christian duty and a mark of our love and concern that we keep the dead in our prayers that they may come to enjoy the peace and joy of God’s eternal kingdom. There are two Masses on All Souls day.  Whilst not a holyday of obligation, it is, nevertheless, and important one.

Sunday 31 October (this Sunday) at 4.00pm we celebrate Evening Prayer on the Feast of All Saints. We seek the prayer and the intercession of the saints for they are our examples of how to live that life of love and fidelity seeking to imitate Christ in all we do. Do come along if you can.

CONFIRMATION PREPARATION: The third session of preparation takes place on Wednesday November 10 in the Hall at 6.00pm – then, December 8, and January 12. The Bishop will be with us on Thursday 27 January.

All our ministers of Holy Communion will be commissioned over the weekend of 13 & 14 November. This will see some of our parish family commissioned for the first time to serve us in this special way. This gives us an opportunity to appreciate the generous service that is shown to us through their ministry.

Our Saturday evening Mass is the only one where communion is not offered from the chalice. From the First Sunday of Advent (27 November) and following the commissioning of ministers of Holy Communion, there will be the opportunity to receive communion from the chalice. To enable this to happen is as respectful and orderly a way possible, we will need to approach the altar from the central part of the church and not from the sides. This will enable the two ministers holding the chalices to stand at the end of the rails and those who want to receive communion from the chalice to present themselves from those side aisles. It should enable a steady flow to and from communion and facilitate an easy reception of communion from the chalice. Please just be aware of these slight adjustments over the next couple of weeks.

All fifty places have been taken which is a fantastic response. Doors open at 7.30pm and there will be ample time for you to settle in and get yourselves a little drink before the quiz starts and the food is served. Tickets cost £5 (great value) which will be taken on the night. Get a team together and swat up during this week. If you find you cannot come along having reserved yourself a place, please don’t just not turn up. Let FrC know and your seat can be re-allocated.

SOUNDS OF THE 70’s – PARISH SOCIAL – 27 NOVEMBER: Come and dance the night away to the music of “Erebus”, in a fun night with a fish and chip supper. Search your wardrobes, dig out and dust off those clothes and spend the evening reminiscing to the authentic sounds of the 70’s! Tickets will cost £10 and this will include entertainment through the night by a fantastic live band, as well as your fish and chip supper. Caroline Lovell has more details. Pop your name on this list.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: The preparation programme for First Communion 2011 will begin late January. If you have a child in year 3 and feel that they are ready to take this next step in their pilgrimage of faith, then you might think about coming along to a parents’ meeting on Thursday 18 November in the Church at 7.00pm. This is an important get together for parents (for you will have a crucial role, this year, in your children’s preparation) and this meeting will be chance for you not only to register your child on the course, but also find out something of your child’s preparation across the six months. If you have questions at this stage, please get in touch with FrC. You might also like to pass the word around just in case someone misses out on the info.

PARISH MAGAZINE: The Autumn edition of our parish magazine is still available from the narthex for you to take away. Thanks to all our contributors. There are some wonderful reflections of how members of our parish community took part in the Papal Visit. Maybe when we have read your copy, pass it on! They are free to take away; it you want to pop something by way of contribution into the paper bowl, then please feel free to do so.

SCHOOL YEAR GROUPS AT MASS: Starting after this half term, each Friday morning Mass will see us joined by one of the class groups from our primary school. This is not just a prayerful opportunity for them but also a catechetical one, too. It gives them chance to experience the celebration of Mass and to grow in their appreciation and understanding of this treasure in our lives of faith. It would be great if there were folk ready to support them on these Fridays. All are welcome. On Friday 5 November, we welcome year 6.

HOLY SOULS MASS: This annual mass at Holy Souls cemetery takes place on Saturday 6 November at 12noon. This is a special opportunity for us to join our bishop and our diocesan family at the start of this month of the Holy Souls.

NIGHT OF LIGHT: Halloween has become the third most commercial celebration after Christmas and Easter. There is an invitation to begin to reclaim this night as the eve of All Hallows (All Saints). We are invited to reflect our faith by placing a candle in our windows to reflect Christ, the Light of the World, and his presence in our hearts and homes. All Hallows reflects our hope in God’s promise, not our fear of ghosts and ghouls – it celebrates the joy of God’s presence not the anxiety and despair of death. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun… it just means that the story of faith needs to be correctly told.

A CHANGE IN TRANSLATION: As many of you know, the translation of the missal is about to change… and we need to begin to get ready for this change. Although we use the new translation fully from Advent 2011, our preparation will enable us to really think about how we celebrate Mass. There are study days for the people of our parishes to prepare for the new translation across the diocese. The first is at the Cathedral on Saturday 20 November from 10.30am. It would be good if folk from St Bernadette’s we able to be part of the day.

DIARY OF GOD: The course picks up again after the half term break this coming Wednesday in our hall after the 7.00pm Mass. Don’t forget to bring your copy of the scriptures with you.

PAPAL VISIT LEGACY: As a real way of allow the Holy Father’s visit to continue to resonate within us, every parish across our countries has been gifted with a framed copy of Holman Hunt’s ‘The Light of the World’ painting a a candle holding the papal visit logo. The gift reminds us of the light of faith that has been entrusted to each of us and the invitation from the Holy Father to allow that light of faith to touch and transform our world. The image and the candle will find a home in the Lady Chapel and will be lit to focus our prayer and reflection around allowing Christ to come into our lives and take root within our hearts, our homes, and our parish. We pray that the light of Christ may touch our own darkness, take away our fear and anxiety, and allows us to walk in the confidence and hope of his presence.

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