With a couple of pressing matters to share, I'm sending this week's update a few days early. Some things will therefore not be quite up to date for the weekend, but the Mass will still be available online in the usual places for those who do not feel safe coming to Church in person, and the newsletter link will update some time on Saturday afternoon at the link given below.
For this Advent it was agreed by the parish Hope in the Future Committee that we would just have just one special Advent service - a Service of Reconciliation, and this takes place this evening, (Friday), at 6.00pm at Holy Cross Church. There will be the opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer with Confessions available for those who wish. Do come along if you can find, or better still make, the time. Our Advent plans for spiritual preparation and hopeful expectation are so easily derailed by the hustle and bustle of the world around us. Perhaps just this one hour of prayer, readings and quiet music might help us back on course.
Change in Covid rules
You will have heard of the implementation of the Government's "Plan B" in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the virus. However, maybe the small print has not been noticed by everyone relating to places of worship, which are specifically listed amongst indoor venues in which mask wearing now becomes compulsory once more. (Of course, all the exemptions still remain in place).
Applications continue to be received from families of children in Year Three (and upwards for any who have missed out in recent years). The closing date for applications is this coming Sunday, 12th December, with the introductory meetings taking place on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th December, 6.00pm at Holy Cross Church. (These will be meetings for parents and carers - please attend either date).
I am also pleased to be able to report that a group of about 5 or 6 older children, aged 9-13, who have decided for themselves (with the support of their parents) that they wish to be received into the Catholic Church and receive Holy Communion with us, will be joining us at the 11.15 Mass on Sunday for reception of the Sacraments. Please keep them, and their families, in your prayers.
For now the newsletter link will still bring you to this week's copy, but on Saturday afternoon at some stage it will update to the new edition HERE. However, the children's activity sheet "Look" for this coming Sunday can already be found HERE.
Again, the Sunday Mass page of the website currently shows Mass from last Sunday, but it will update during Saturday evening HERE, and then next Sunday's Mass will also become available on Facebook and YouTube. This Sunday's Advent theme is rejoicing, as we celebrate "Gaudete" Sunday. Let's see if we can find it in our hearts to rejoice in the good news that is never far from us even in the most challenging or painful of times. The Good News is Christ, the love which is God himself who was born into the world that first Christmas. In Advent we pray that this same love can be brought to birth in us and in our homes in the forthcoming Christmas of 2021.