Posted by The Parish

Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time 24th September 2017
Orange Book Page 131

“Let us Offer one another the sign of peace”… 

Several of The Epistles in the New Testament end with words such as “Greet one another with a kiss of love” eg. 1Pt5:14. The “Sign (or Kiss) of Peace” is part of the liturgy that nowadays we take for granted. It was not always thus. Since the Council of Trent (1545-1563) the sign had been reserved to the Sacred Ministers in the Sanctuary. It had lost something of its collective meaning. It was only reintroduced for the whole congregation to share in 1969 after the 2nd Vatican Council. By that time many people felt that it was far too disconcerting to turn to complete strangers and offer the hand of loving friendship! Nevertheless, writings from the 2nd Century onwards speak about the importance of sharing the “Kiss of Peace” during liturgical celebrations, but advise carefully “against any abuse of this salutation…”

The sign was given only by women to women and by men to men. By the 4thC, the custom of sharing The Peace was seen not only across Europe but also among the Eastern Churches and the Christian parts of Africa. Sometimes it appeared before the Consecration (as in “The Ambrosian Rite”). This calls to mind The Lord’s teaching: “When you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift… first be reconciled to your brother or sister, then come and offer your gift” Mt5v24. This is the usual custom in the CofE, but the most widespread use was the same as we see today immediately after the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster). St Augustine says that this reinforces the injunction “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.

Nevertheless there should be a sense that, at that moment, real peace is flowing from the sanctuary into the heart of the church because of Christ’s presence on the altar. In mediaeval England, before the Holy Communion, a carved wooden platter called a “PaxBread” would be passed from the priest into the congregation for each person to kiss before returning to the altar. It was intended to remind the people that every good thing flows from Christ’s love and returns to him. In the prison environment at HMP Belmarsh, security staff observed “The sign of peace” with great vigilance. This was the moment that it was believed that every form of contraband might change hands passing from one location to another (though there was never any evidence to this effect).

What better idea I thought, than to reintroduce a “PaxBread” so that open hands could be occupied. Then I was reminded of something in Eamon Duffy’s famous book “Stripping of the Altars”: On All Saints Day 1522 in the parish of Theydon-Garnon (Essex) one Master John Brown “having kissed the Paxbred at the Parish Mass, smashed it over the head of Richard Pond, the parish clerk who had tendered it to him, causing blood to run to the ground” Master Brown was enraged because the Pax had been offered to Francis Hamden (patron of the living) and his wife Margery despite the fact that the previous Sunday he had warned: “Clerke if thou hereafter givest not me the Pax first I shall break it on thy hedd”

Ah well, so much for:“Peace I leave you my own peace I give you” FrKevin 

Meanwhile here is a 16thC painting “The Farewell of Ss Peter & Paul” (via Wikimedia Commons)

Paddy (RiP) 

This letter reluctantly brings news of the death of Paddy. He has been a member of OLSS since he first came to Greenwich as a very young man some 70 years ago. “Fortified by the Rites of the Church” he died at 6.00pm at QEH on Tuesday 19th just 10 days before the First Anniversary of dear Frances. He was surrounded by ALL his family keeping a constant vigil at his bedside since Sunday!

He has been the most extraordinary, kind, exemplary and CHEERFUL Catholic throughout his life.

The funeral is Wednesday Oct 4th at 11.00am.

Please Remember 

Joe now home again.
Alice QEH following a fall
Sheila QEH kidney infection
Alan Lewisham Hospital
Adrian following surgery in Mexico
Helen a young wife who is gravely ill
Larry very poorly and grieving at home 


Mary H, Patrick O, Ruby U, Percy H, Katherine S, Adalina R, Janina O, Arthur T, Bernard D, Elsie & Tom P

May they Rest in Peace 

Alice RiP 

Alice’s funeral is arranged for Tuesday 26th at OLSS 1.15 (Cremation at Falcon Wood)

Sadly the First week of October brings a stream of further funerals to OLSS

Jane RiP A young mother aged just 42 on Tuesday 3rd at 12.00noon & Richard RiP on Friday 6th at 1.00pm

Fr John Lavery RiP Memorial Mass Wednesday 25th October at 8.00pm 

Archbishop Peter Smith will celebrate a Requiem as a Memorial for Fr John. Please notify all friends and neighbours who will want to be present for this special event.

Are you in the Gift Aid Scheme? 

If you are a UK Taxpayer the church benefits from a 25% Tax Refund on your donation at no cost to yourself, but only if you are a member of “The Gift Aid Scheme”. If you are not already a member please complete a form or email Tomás Mannion (OLSS) or speak to Sr Mary at St Joseph. You will find forms available at the back of both churches and these can be safely returned via the letterboxes that you will also see near the entrance at both churches.

OLSS History Talk Wednesday 27th 7.30 

No doubt with more enthusiasm than expertise Fr Kevin will present a history “lecture” on the story of OLSS to the Greenwich History Society meeting at James Wolf School in Royal Hill this Wednesday ably assisted by Maeve Paine on the drums.

Come and support us at 7.30 but be gentle!

Pope Francis on Love and Joy 

A meeting to explore and discuss the Pope’s views on love in the family is suitable for all adult parishioners, and will include suggestions about how to put the Pope’s message into practice. SE London: Saturday 7th October, Forest Hill Time: 2.30 – 5.30pm Booking is essential: email: or phone 07505305297

Thank You for Your Offering Sept. 17th 

OLSS £713 Cafod £6.40 HmMn’£108 HCPT £84

St J’s £309 Hm Mn’ £51

Parish Quiz Night! 

An evening of fun, trivia and prizes for ages 10 to 110! Friday, 13th October @ 7.15pm in St Ursula’s school dining hall. Ideally teams of 6-8, enter as a team (or as an individual or a couple and we’ll join you with others to make up a team) only £5 per person. All proceeds to parish funds. Limited number of tickets available! (Must be purchased in advance – on sale after weekend Masses) or reserve your tickets

Irish Community Services “Missing the Ferry” a Charity Irish Music Night
This Friday 8.00pm £5 entry on door 

Coombe Lodge 12 Charlton Rd SE37HG


Saturday 23rd Holy Baptism OLSS 12.30 Emilia, Andres & Daniel, Tobi, Tosin, Adanri 

Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Parish & People

Sunday 24th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Maggie D (WB/Thg)

25th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Pierre D

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Sr Elizabeth Campbell OSU (Diamond Jb)

Monday 25th No Mass on Monday

Tuesday 26th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Sheila P (WB)

Sung Requiem Funeral of Alice F 1.15 (Cremation at Eltham) 

Mass St J’s 7pm Int: Benefactors FSM Sisters

Wednesday 27th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Isabelle M (RiP) Consolation of Family

Thursday 28th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Grace M (RiP) & Larry (WB)

Mass St J’s 11.00 Int: Annie & James H

ArchAngels 29th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Frances C (RiP 1st Ann & Paddy)

Michael, Gabriel, Raphael Ursuline School Mass with Bishop Patrick at 2.00pm (new pupils)

Saturday 30th Mass OLSS 6.00 Int: Della O (WB)

Sunday 1st Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People

26th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Parish & People Holy Baptism 12.00 Saturday St Js  Obinalliunna

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Fr John Lavery (RiP)

OLSS First Confession and First Holy Communion Programme 2017-2018 

If you have a child or young person who has not yet completed preparation for First Holy Communion, The programme will start (at OLSS) on Saturday, the 4th of November. Children should be at least 7 years old (or in Year 3) at the start of the programme. At OLSS we break the programme into two manageable periods before and after Christmas preparing separately for First Confession and FHC. Registration forms are now available in the Church. Please return to Maggie or Tina or place in the secure letter box that you will see at the front of the church. (The course at St Joseph will commence in the New Year)

Special Ministers and Readers. Bp Patrick invites Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion & Readers to a day of reflection on Saturday 11th November. Full details and Information will be forwarded by email.

Post expires at 7:52pm on Sunday October 29th, 2017