Pope Francis has said he will grant a plenary indulgence to the faithful who watch or listen to his extraordinary blessing “urbi et orbi” later today. In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, will give the extraordinary blessing to the city and the world at 6pm Rome time, 5pm GMT.
Vatican News reported that the extraordinary moment of prayer in time of pandemic will last about an hour. The “Salus Populi Romani” icon and the crucifix of St Marcellus will be placed in front of the central door of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar in the atrium of the Vatican Basilica.
The formal blessing, usually given only immediately after a new pope’s election and on Christmas and Easter, carries with it a plenary indulgence for all who follow by television, internet or radio, are sorry for their sins, recite a few prescribed prayers and promise to go to confession and to receive the Eucharist as soon as possible.
With the public joining him only by television, internet or radio, “we will listen to the word of God, raise our prayer (and) adore the Blessed Sacrament,” he said. “At the end, I will give the benediction ‘urbi et orbi,’ to which will be connected the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence.”
Watch and join the Urbi et Orbi.
An indulgence is an ancient practice of prayer and penance for the remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven. In Catholic teaching, a person can draw on the merits of Jesus and the saints to claim the indulgence for themselves or offer it on behalf of someone who has died. “To the pandemic of the virus we want to respond with the universality of prayer, compassion and tenderness,” he said. “Let’s stay united. Let us make those who are alone and tested feel our closeness,” as well as doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and volunteers.
Pope Francis also expressed concern for “authorities who have to take strong measures for our good” and the police and soldiers maintaining public order and enforcing the lockdown.
Many parishioners are asking how they can continue to support the parish financially in the absence of the weekly offering.
At this difficult time parish income and cash flow is obviously going to suffer. Whilst expenses will also reduce, it is necessary to think about how the financial impact on our community can be minimised.
There are several ways you might choose to help:
Standing Orders, Bank Payments & Cheques
- Set-up a Standing Order to the parish (both Gift Aid and non-Gift Aid forms are available from Graeme.Bell@Cliftondiocese.com).
- For those who use internet banking, non-Gift Aid Standing Orders can be setup online without the need for a paper form, provided the parishioner has the parish’s bank account details. Please contact the Parish Office for bank details via the phone or email.
- If preferred, parishioners can send a cheque to the parish or make an electronic payment directly to the parish bank account. (See above)
If parishioners normally donate using a Gift Aid envelope, no matter which of the above methods they use, if they quote their name and GA Envelope No. (or it is possible to link a donation to a parishioner who has an existing Gift Aid Declaration) we should still be able to reclaim the tax paid on the donation.
Please use the link on our home page.
Thank you for your ongoing support at this time of crisis.
You are invited to take part in this rededication from home. It is an incredible opportunity for us to join together in prayer during this temporary time away from our parish community. During this time of fear and anxiety it is of greatest importance for us to place ourselves under the protection and guidance of Christ through Mary, Our Mother. Prayers and further details can be found on line at www.behold.com.
Walsingham, the National Shrine of Our Lady, ‘England’s Nazareth’ will focus on the Rededication on Sunday. The Rededication Prayers will follow the Homily during the midday Mass livestreamed from the Shrine on Sunday 29th March. You can download the Angelus Promise and Act of Entrustment and then join the livestream at www.walsingham.org.uk/livestream. The shrine is also streaming daily Mass at 9.30am (English) & 6pm (Latin). The livestream also offers the Rosary, Adoration, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline.
The photograph is an image of Our Lady of Walsingham set up in St Patrick’s Church on the Solemnity of the Annunciation in readiness for the Act of Rededication which will be made by Father Michael in our Church as he celebrates Mass for the parish privately on Sunday. Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
Bishop Declan has contacted all Parishes to say that It is now clear from the last Government communication that churches must be closed.
This is a change from the original notification that churches could remain open for private prayer. The Government now considers that with the church door open it could be an occasion for people to gather and not observe social distancing.
Although the Church building is closed to keep us all safe, the mission of the Church is still very much open.
Please do call the Parish Office if you need practical help or spiritual guidance at this time. Please leave a message if no one is available to take your call and we will get back to you. We have a group of volunteers who are ready to help in any way possible with food and pharmacy deliveries if you are elderly or self-isolating and have no support.
At this time of uncertainty and anxiety with our churches closed for public worship, Pope Francis has called on the world’s Christians and people of goodwill to join together to pray the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday, 25 March at 11am UK time (midday in Rome).
The ‘Our Father’ is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples and the first prayer many of us learned to pray. Pope Francis asks that we join together to uphold the universality of prayer, compassion and tenderness. He encourages us to “remain united and make our closeness felt – especially with healthcare professionals and those who serve.”
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil
At this time when we cannot gather for the Eucharist you may like to watch Mass on Sundays and Weekdays from home and make a Spiritual Communion.
Our Cathedral at Clifton is streaming Mass live each day at 9.30am. Simply go to www.cliftoncathedral.org and press ‘Live Stream.’ Alternatively you may go to www.churchservices.tv/whats-on-now/ This will give you a menu of all live services within the next two hours.
Fr Michael continues to offer Mass privately each day and you are all remembered at the altar at this time. Keep Safe!
The Divine Office / Liturgy of the Hours is a good way to unite with the Church throughout the world as we sanctify the day that God gives to us.
Perhaps you might like to pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer or Night Prayer in union with the Church at this time when we are unable to gather in our Churches.
We are still the Church at home and we are still able to unite our prayers with those of our brothers and sisters in Christ. These prayers are available each day, together with the daily readings of the Mass at Universalis.com. A great resource!
Spiritual Communion is the practice of desiring union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion, particularly during this time of crisis when we are unable to gather for Mass.
Our Sunday obligation to attend Mass is now removed until further notice. Bishop Declan has decreed that the faithful may choose an alternative to attending Mass: Either watching Sunday Mass on line or TV, thus receiving Holy Communion spiritually or reflecting on the Sunday Liturgical Text (in the Missal), reading the Bible or saying the Rosary.
Below is a traditional prayer of spiritual communion that many saints have prayed over the years. The ultimate goal of our lives should be communion with God and an act of spiritual communion can help a person draw closer to that goal.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
From today, sadly all our Parish gatherings are cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
This includes First Communion Catechesis, Lent Groups, Seniors Teas, Music Group and our Preparing for Holy Week Evenings. Please see the on line bulletin for full details.