Newsletter for Holy Week
Here is our parish Newsletter for Holy Week and I do hope it finds you well and continuing to follow our Government’s instructions. Please stay at home, especially during this spell of fine and sunny weather. It is for the well-being of us all and our NHS service.
Please try to share the information in this Newsletter with our parishioners who do not have access to the internet. Perhaps you could give them a ring.
If you know of anyone who would like to receive future information from us by email and haven’t passed on to me their email address, please ask them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other information, including where you can turn to for spiritual support and prayer may be found on our own Diocesan website.
Please take care of yourselves and try to pray each day especially during Holy Week. Endeavour to read your bible, where you will find comfort and solace in God’s Word. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
Keep an eye out for one another in keeping with Government advice, remembering that some parishioners are self isolating.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
Bishop Robert Barron or Fr. Steve Grunow from Word on Fire, continue to celebrate daily Mass from the bishop’s private chapel which you can view here:
Please remember though that he lives in the USA so the time difference means the Mass doesn’t become available to us here until 12.30 each day. It may be accessed any time after that.
As you will see from the link above, Bishop Barron will be celebrating the Holy Week Services too but these will be at Pacific time which is 8 hours behind UK time!
Mass is being lived streamed from our Cathedral and one or two other parishes in the Diocese. I suspect they may be offering some of the Holy Week services too. You can find all the information you need on the Diocesan website.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately for you all every day. As you are unable to celebrate Mass at present, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now 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
The Opening Prayer from the Mass of Palm Sunday
Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow, caused our Saviour to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Other Liturgical Restrictions
Not only is the celebration of Mass in Church suspended at this time, but the celebration of all other Sacraments and sacramentals is suspended until such time as we are allowed to reopen our churches.
In the current situation the Bishops have announced the following instruction:
- All baptisms, confirmations, first Holy Communions and weddings are to be deferred until congregations are allowed to gather again.
- Funeral Masses and Funeral Services are not permitted in our churches. A simple funeral service may be celebrated at the graveside or at the crematorium where numbers attending are limited to 10 people. These Local Authority restrictions are made in the light of the latest guidance from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and central Government. The funeral director will guide you in this regard.
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Kathleen Falconer and Elizabeth Knock
- and Vin McCormack and Terry Boyle who have died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the souls of your servants whom you have called from this life. May they be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Amen.” Private cremation services took place for Vin and Terry last week.
Bishop Robert has written a Pastoral Letter in which he writes:-
“Without doubt we are living in challenging times but we should see this as an opportunity to have an ever-deeper faith and trust in the Lord. In these days of Holy Week, we unite ourselves more earnestly to the sufferings of the Lord on the Cross and wait with him for the glorious day of the Resurrection and new life.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has shared his thoughts on what it means for our spiritual well-being and salvation when we can’t fulfil our “Easter Duties.”
Pope Francis speaks to us
The Holy Father sends us a special message as we approach Holy week which can be viewed here:
During Holy week you can watch the Holy Week services celebrated by Pope Francis via the Vatican News YouTube channel.
Mrs Bridon and all the staff at school would like to thank our parents for their support and co-operation in these difficult times.
Please continue to give them whatever support they need in the weeks ahead.
St. Alban – pray for us.
St. Patrick – pray for us.
Holy Week at Home
Our Diocese has produced a document to help us celebrate Holy Week at Home.
Your weekly offerings
If you feel able, bearing in mind the additional financial commitments you may be currently facing, might I suggest you retain your envelopes each week and bring them along once we can reopen our churches and celebrate Mass together.
Those of you who have not collected your new envelopes will be aware that your present envelopes have run out, but I hope you will feel able to save your contribution nonetheless.
I would be grateful if more of you might consider contributing by bank transfer directly into the parish account. It will help us to meet our ongoing financial commitments. I am very grateful to those of you who have already chosen to do so. The details for bank transfers are as follows:
St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984
St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453
The Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project, which you so generously support with your donations of tinned meat and fish, has had to temporarily close its doors. No food donations can be received.
However, they are searching for ways to be able to arrange financial support for the most destitute asylum seekers.
If you feel able to offer a donation you may make a bank transfer to their account: HSBC DHN Destitute Asylum Fund Sort code: 40-34-18 Account No: 52854058
And finally, a Prayer during this time of the Pandemic
Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, and to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray that you might look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we may give glory to your holy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen