THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI, the beautiful Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ falls next Sunday 6th June. Weather permitting, we will celebrate our 10.30am Mass in the grounds, enabling a larger gathering and some singing for this lovely feast! There will be Mass with procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction followed by refreshments. There will also be recommissioning of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass to serve for the next 12 months. As an EMHC, ministers assist the clergy in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass, may expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and some also take communion to the sick and housebound. We thank our EMHC for their service to our community particularly those who have served during the lockdown. If you would like to continue to serve for the next year, please email Fr Michael to confirm. Thank you
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to the central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. A special feast in honour of the Most Holy Trinity was celebrated by the Benedictines in France prior to the year 1000. Pope Alexander II (d. 1073) denied a request that this celebration be extended to the Universal Church, arguing that every liturgical celebration honours the Most Holy Trinity. More than one hundred fifty years later, 1334, however, Pope John XXII (d. 1334) finally chose to add this special feast to the calendar of the Church. The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity provides us with an opportunity to look back on the Paschal Triduum and Easter Seasons to reflect on the work of salvation celebrated in these holy days in the light of the mystery of the Trinity. The liturgical readings for this solemnity contain a rich treasure of proclamation and adoration, inviting us to declare: “Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come” (Alleluia verse). Henri Nouwen in Sabbatical Journey once said, “I tried to explain the mystery of the Trinity by saying that all human relationships are reflections of the relationships within God. God is the Lover, the Beloved, and the Love that binds us in unity. God invites us to be part of that inner movement of love so that we can truly become sons and daughters of the Father, sisters and brothers of the Son, and spouses of the Holy Spirit. Thus, all our human relationships can be lived in God, and as witness to God’s divine presence in our lives.” Let us rejoice today in this great feast of the Godhead.
THE SOLEMNITY OF PENTEOST After Easter Sunday and Christmas, today’s solemnity ranks next in importance. Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Church: The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Spirit ushers in a new era in the “dispensation of the mystery” the age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of his Church, “until he comes.” (Catechism Catholic Church, #1076). Pentecost marks the culmination of the “Week of Weeks” which is the Easter Season. We mark it liturgically, singing the Pentecost Sequence (often called the “Golden Sequence”) before the Gospel and the concluding dismissal with double alleluia as this is the last day within the Easter Season. The Paschal Candle is now kept with honour in the baptistery so that from its flame the candles of the baptized may be lit during their baptism. At funerals, the Paschal Candle is paced near the coffin to signify that Christian death is a true Passover. Ordinary Time resumes tomorrow with Week 8 and Cycle 1 for the weekday mass readings. Daily Prayer of the Church: Psalter Week 4 and the Angelus resumes.
MUSIC AT MASS / ORGANIST/ KEYBOARD PLAYER We have been fortunate to have some lovely music at Mass during lockdown, albeit recorded, as we have not been able to sing at Mass. We thank Guy and Ewan for their help each week with this ministry. When lockdown ends, we will gradually move back to singing the Mass, assisted by a group of Cantors. We are looking for an Organist/keyboardist to play for the Sunday morning Mass (Mass settings, Responsorial Psalm, Hymns & Antiphons) Sunday stipend negotiable with the possibility of extra wedding and funeral fees. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Fr Michael.
PENTEOST NOVENA Bishop Declan invites us all to participate in praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit this week. Each of the days will focus on a different fruit of the Spirit. You can access the prayer resource for the Novena on the diocesan website: https://cliftondiocese.com/novena.
WORLD COMMUNICATIONS SUNDAY Today, we are celebrating World Communications Day for the 55th time. Every year the Holy Father sends a message about it, the theme for the 2021 World Day of Social Communications, chosen by Pope Francis, echoes the words of the Apostle Philip, recognizing that authentic communication leads to “encountering people as and where they are”. Taken from the Bible, John 1: 46, the words “Come and see” are central to the Gospel. Before the Gospel is proclaimed, prior to words, there are “looks, testimonies, experiences, encounters and closeness. In a word – life.” Pope Francis provides the subtitle: “Communicating, encountering people as and where they are”. The full message can be found at www.cbcew.org.uk/world-comms-2021-message
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD This Thursday 13th May, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. After Jesus’ resurrection, the time came for him to return to heaven to prepare a place for us, as his earthly ministry had been fulfilled. The Ascension serves as an ultimate demonstration of Jesus’ power over death, inaugurating his reign over heaven and earth as the Living King. But what is Significant about the Ascension? Acts 1:6-11 describes the Ascension and Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he returned to his Father: When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
But Jesus did not leave them alone in this Great Commission; not in the least. He promised to send a “helper” to strengthen and intercede for all his followers: the Holy Spirit. It was, and is, the Holy Spirit who guides the Church and fills Jesus’ followers with his power, enabling them to share the Gospel until the day Jesus returns. Pope St John Paul II wrote that when Jesus ascended into heaven, two significant events in particular happened: Jesus gave his followers instructions on how they were to live, and he left them with a promise. He directed the disciples to spread the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, declaring the good news of salvation. Let us celebrate this wonderful part of the Easter Mystery at Mass of Thursday at 12noon. Booking via Eventbrite.