As I’m certain you’re all aware, this time next week it will all have happened. In finding this newsletter on the website, your attention will probably have been drawn to the splendid notice about Christmas Mass times. The church at St Winefride’s will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In church, I will offer two Masses which will be streamed and available for everybody to watch and hopefully join together with me, using the links provided.
The Mass on Thursday 24th December will be at 6.30pm, and on Friday 25th December at 10.00am.
The church doors will be closed and only the technical people and Readers will be inside. I am grateful to Fergus Nugent and Denis McAllister for suggesting and arranging this, solving what for me was an impossible problem – how to cater for 500 people who want to get to Christmas Mass in a building which is only allowed to hold 30. Last year there were actually over 500 at the three Masses. This doesn’t quite provide for those who haven’t access to the Internet, I’m afraid, but you can come to Mass on Saturday 26th, or Sunday 27th, provided you book in by telephone as usual this Wednesday. Now we just have to hope that the technology on the day is as good as the planning. A word of thanks to Kristian Stock of Stockube.Digital who at present sets up these internet messages so smoothly.
The focus for the readings at mass on the fourth weekend in Advent is on Mary the Mother. One happy husband this week commented to me how that echoes what always happens just before a new baby is due. The prophet Nathan tells David the King, engaged in building a big house for the Lord, that God will give David and his descendants a ‘House’ that will stand secure for ever. Luke’s gospel tells us that the angel Gabriel comes to Mary, betrothed to Joseph ‘of the House of David’. Perhaps we can try this weekend to renew our own close relationship with Mary and ask her to help us with our preparations to celebrate the birthday of her Son.
This week I have offered Mass for the repose of the souls of Frederick Wright. James Comerford, the deceased members of the Manning family and the Clayton and Higgins families, and for a special intention (JK). The Mass intentions through to Christmas are for all the Parishioners, for Sister Catherine Joy’s intentions, for Vocations, for the repose of the soul of John Malpas, and for a private intention.
Please remember in your prayers Sean O’Cleirigh, of Bollin Close, who has died. His funeral is on Wednesday. Our sympathy goes to Beth his wife and to all his family. May he rest in peace.
Again on Wednesday there was a rush to phone and book places for Mass. Places were quickly fully booked. Sorry to those who were too late in applying. There will be the same system for booking for next weekend, the feast of the Holy Family – Wednesday between 2pm and 10pm. Next Sunday the one collection will be for the Diocesan welfare organisation Caritas, to help supply the needs of the poorer members of the diocese.
There probably won’t be another letter to you before Christmas. It is all a bit confusing.
Have a joyful time and keep safe!
Fr Tony Elder