Rededication of England to Mary – This Sunday 29th March

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.

Closure of Churches but open for Mission

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.

Pope Francis asks us to pray the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday

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

Prayers for this time

A General Prayer about the coronavirus situation

Sovereign God, in Your mercy please comfort and heal vulnerable patients who are ill with Covid-19. Protect all those looking after them, especially doctors, nurses and carers, and prevent this virus from seriously disrupting the everyday lives of our communities, cities and countries.

Grant great wisdom to those in authority to make effective plans and help us all to be vigilant but not give in to panic.
Amen.

A Prayer especially for the most vulnerable

Compassionate God, we pray for vulnerable people to be reassured, and supported safely and effectively to protect them from coronavirus. Please strengthen anyone who is seriously ill with it because of underlying conditions. Bring healing and comfort to them and their families.
Amen.

A Prayer for peace in uncertain times

Lord, You are the Prince of Peace and the King of Love who casts out fear. Please help us not to be anxious about Covid-19 but to seek Your wisdom and stay vigilant about taking precautions, planning ahead and showing compassion to those who may be vulnerable.
Amen.

A Prayer for Church Leaders

Heavenly Father, please grant Your faith, hope and love to church leaders as they consider the best ways to protect people from being exposed to Coronavirus. Show them any practical measures needed and inspire them by Your Spirit as they minister to their congregations.
Amen.

A Prayer for those in authority

Gracious God, please grant strategic wisdom and insight to those in government, local health authorities, and providers across the NHS as they decide how to use the funding that is available and distribute staff and other resources to meet the needs brought about by Coronavirus.
Amen.

A Prayer for those facing economic pressures and job losses

Merciful Lord, in this time of economic instability, please send your great comfort to those who are worried about their finances and carry many burdens and responsibilities. Please help us to come alongside them, and give great wisdom to the Government to know how best to provide for everyone.
Amen

Watch Mass each day at home

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!

“Seven times a day I praise you” The Divine Office

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

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.

Amen.

All Parish Meetings Cancelled

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.

Thank you.

Important News: Letter from our Archbishops suspending public worship

All Masses suspended due to Covid 19

The text of the letter from our Archbishops suspending public worship follows: Updates will be provided on our Parish Web Site. Details of when the Church will be open for private prayer will be updated.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice. Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing. However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.

Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.

We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.

You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.

The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us. During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.

“The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want.”

May God bless us all.

Vincent Cardinal Nichols
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Vice-President

Lent Groups cancelled

The Ecumenical Lent Groups at St Patrick’s and St Aldhelm’s have been cancelled.

It looks as though the Good Friday Walk of Witness will be cancelled too but a decision on that will be made next week. Please stay safe