Parish Priest’s Page

From The Vicarage

Tel 01908 337936 fr.gary@btinternet.com

Dear Friends,

And so (somehow) it is Advent. Happy New Year! A new start. In our Sunday Bible readings (The Lectionary) We say goodbye to Year B, the Year of St Matthew and hello to Year C, the Year of St Luke. We are in a waiting and preparing mood. We light advent candles and, in both churches, the (knitted, you understand!) Holy Family start their journey through the village travelling from home to home. In each church they will be blessed on Advent Sunday before being sent out to bring something of the Christmas story to homes in our two parishes.

Advent is one of my favourite times of year. Whilst the secular world is in full seasonal swing we have the privilege of, in part at least, letting them get on with it whilst we wait for the real celebration yet to come. In the meantime we have some lovely seasonal hymns to sing, ‘Lo, he comes’, ‘Hills of the North Rejoice’, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ ‘Long ago, prophets knew’. I love to sing hymns albeit often you are doing the singing whilst I am busy doing other things!

Christmas and Easter both have their seasons of Preparation and Celebration. For Christmas this takes us from Advent Sunday (This year December 2nd – it is always the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the Sunday nearest St Andrew’s day) to the slightly lesser known feast of Candlemass (February 2nd) forty days and forty nights after Christmas, taking in the arrival of the three wise men at the Epiphany (January 6th). We shall be marking both of these occasions with a Sung Mass and Procession and no doubt some celebratory drinks and nibbles on the way– just one more mince pie, oh you will, you will, you will…

It is in Advent, as the world is on full throttle, that I am most aware of my need for that most precious of commodities, silence. Several points in our Sunday worship encourage us to share corporate silence – prior to the Confession, the Collect, after the Sermon, before and after we have received the Sacrament of Holy Communion. To this list I am keen that during these Sundays prior to Christmas we might all keep a few minutes prior to the service commencing so that we might pray both for our own needs as well as for our fellow worshippers. Each of us simply taking a brief moment to say to God that we are expectant as we prepare for worship, and alert to the wonderful and life transforming fact, that we are about to encounter the risen Christ in Word and in Sacrament. An old adage I once heard went along the lines of ‘Talk to God before worship, let Him talk to you during the worship and then talk to each other after the worship’, and I continue to commend this. After the success of this during Lent once again you are invited to spend 30 minutes with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in silence on Fridays at 6.00pm. Come and read, pray, contemplate or simply sit and be still in the midst of the busyness of December. We shall be meeting to do this at Hanslope Church: Fridays 30th November,7th, 14th and 21st December. There’s half an hour of shared contemplative silence on Mondays at 5pm too.

Once again this Advent we are hoping to raise funds for Bishop Matthias and his people in Ho in Ghana, so do please take a “Ho Ho Ho” collection box to enable us to bring seasonal cheer to those far less well off than ourselves. The New Year is always a very busy time for the MK Foodbank and your donations will be very much appreciated for this cause also. Please add something for someone who is in real need and bring it to church. Elsewhere, in this issue you will find all the details of our Christmas worship. We’ll be following the now well established pattern, so do encourage your friends, family and neighbours to join us. As you know, the more who come the better it is! There are also weekday services at 10.00am on each of weekdays between Christmas and New Year and at 12 noon on January 1st.

In a world which seems beset by so many examples of brokenness and political uncertainty, brought to us instantly by rolling TV news, the simple messages of Christmas seem ever more important.

May the joy of the Christ Child be yours this Christmas.

With my prayers and every blessing,     Fr Gary

Worship Diary Advent & Christmastide 2018/19

 Advent Sunday – December 2nd

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

6.00pm            Advent Reflection in Words and Music at Hanslope

2nd Sunday of Advent – December 9th

8.00am Said Eucharist at Hanslope

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

6.00pm            Evening Prayer at Castlethorpe

3rd Sunday of Advent – December 16th

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

6.00pm Christmas Carol Service at Castlethorpe

4th Sunday of Advent – December 23rd

8.00am Said Eucharist at Hanslope

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

6.00pm            Evening Prayer at Castlethorpe

 Christmas Eve – Monday 24th December

3.00pm            Crib Service with Nativity Play at Hanslope

5.00pm            Children’s Crib Service at Castlethorpe

11.30pm          Midnight Mass at Hanslope

Christmas Day

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

 

There Eucharist is celebrated every weekday from Christmas to New Year

Wednesday 26th St Stephen Said Mass at Hanslope at 10.00am

Thursday 27th      St John the Evangelist Said Mass at Hanslope at 10.00am

Friday 28th                Holy Innocents’ Day Said Mass at Castlethorpe at 10.00am Saturday 29th        St Thomas Becket Said Mass at Hanslope at 10.00am

 

Christmas 1 (Holy Family) – December 30th

9.30am Sung Mass at Castlethorpe    11.00am Sung Mass at Hanslope

 

Monday 31st    Said Mass at Hanslope at 10.00am

Tuesday 1st      Mary Mother of God   Said Mass at Hanslope at 12 noon

 

 

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