UPDATED : 20.03.20
Here is a bit more news about arrangements for keeping and practicing the Catholic faith during our time “in the wilderness”.
As you know, from Saturday 21st March there will be no public celebration of mass throughout the UK. These are the arrangements for us for the next few weeks.
I will celebrate Mass privately in Church at 8:30am from Tuesday to Saturday. The mass will be live streamed through our facebook page, and a recording of the mass will remain on the facebook page for the rest of day at least. On Sunday, the mass will also be broadcast live on the parish web page at 10:30am. Mass intentions will be published in advance each week through CCL (this list), the website and facebook.
If possible watch the mass live or later in the day.
(Our Lady of Lourdes are planning to broadcast mass live in the same way at 9am each weekday except Wednesday and at 9:15am on Sundays).
The Church will be open every day (except Monday) for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I plan this to be from 9am till 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. We will keep these times under review.
Please try to visit the Church at least once a week, even if it is just for a few minutes. Come along at any time in this period. Please use the prayer sheets for Spiritual Communion, as well as to light candles, privately pray the rosary, or the stations. Music will also be played during this time - mostly recorded, and sometimes performed by our parish musicians. Please note, though, that groups should not gather in Church, and no formal worship should be arranged for set times. When in Church at the same time parishioners should sit apart, about 2 metres or more from one another.
There will be a list near the entrance to the Church where you can put your name to commit to be in Church for at least 30 minutes on a particular day. I’ll do this list for the following week or so, so each time you come you have an opportunity to put your name down for the following week.
Some items will be available in Church for you to take if you wish. These will include handouts or leaflets or forms which I will draw to your attention from time to time, and also Catholic newspapers and similar items. If these are ordered then the name of the person concerned will be on the paper or magazine.
Please do not leave money, or envelopes containing money, in the Church - post them through the front or back door of the Presbytery.
Mass cards will be available in Church which are pre-signed. These cards will have mass envelopes with them. If you wish to arrange a mass, please clearly write the intention for the Mass on the envelope. (If you don’t need a card, just use an envelope) Your name of contact details (a mobile number) are helpful. Please post the completed envelope with offering through the front or the back door of the presbytery and I will try to let you know when the mass will be said.
As there will be no mass and no gathering of people there can be no collections. Please do one of the following:
1. Please consider making out a regular standing order to the Church. There are forms in Church, or
2. Use the contactless terminal which will be in Church when you visit, or
2. Alternatively you can make individual direct payments to the Church account - we will provide the Church banking details, or
3. If you have Gift Aid envelopes you can put them through the letter box at the front or back door of the Presbytery, or
4. If your collection is in coins please use an envelope - there are many in Church - and put the envelope through the presbytery letterbox.
There are also of course many other ways out there which we can use to keep the faith. Many churches thoughout the diocese and indeed throughout the world are broadcasting masses on line (not least, the Vatican). If you need any help finding these things, just ask.
And please keep an eye out on these who can’t access these wonderful modern tools which the internet provides. Phone up the lonely, call in on those you know if it is safe to do so, pray with them if you can, find out if there is anything they need. So much good can be done often in the simplest of ways.
Well - I do realise this is a bit long and perhpas a bit dry. I’ve got some more interesting stuff to suggest … that can wait for tomorrow morning.
Mass in Church tomorrow at 9:15am - live streamed - hope to get it right this time! Stations at 7pm - I think I might try to stream that as well … we’ll see.
You can come along, but safest is to watch on facebook.
God bless you all - and keep washing your hands!
Invocation of Our Lady
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help,
or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy,
hear and answer me.
I believe that you are present
in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul
so that I may unite myself wholly to you
now and forever.