All Saints Day 1st November 2020
Orange Book Page 184
This is the season when darkness closes around us. The first chills of winter beckon. Springtime is a forgotten past, and a whole lifetime in the future. This fine old Victorian Hymn resonates with the theme of All Saints & All Souls tide. It was once known by Christians throughout the UK. but can you complete the words of the last line?
Jesus, good above all other,
gentle child of gentle mother,
in a stable born our brother,
give us grace to…? PERSEVERE!
Perseverance is probably what we need most of all right now. For those “working from home”, for those who despair at the hope of working anywhere at all, and for those of us who are working to create some kind of plan for the celebration of Christmas, persevere! We are by definition social beings. Even those who are more naturally drawn to a solitary life need to have some interaction with others. Christianity by definition is something experienced as a living community forming the body of Christ. Monks & Nuns who find themselves “Alone (Monas) upon the earth (Terros/terrestrial)” still gather into communities where the life of prayer and daily domestic tasks are shared. It is with good reason that within the first generation of the church, the Letter to the Hebrews gave this advice to the early Christians:
“With so many witnesses in a great cloud all around us, we should throw off everything that weighs us down and the sin that clings so closely, and with PERSEVERANCE keep running in the race which lies ahead of us”. Hebrews 12v1
So, to help us persevere the Church gives us this luminous celebration.
Here in South London it is probably a long time since you found yourself on a dark night, in a wide-open space and realised that the light of the moon is sufficient to light up the landscape. Of course, every Christian Festival honours Christ himself: He only is; The light who shines in the darkness, and enlightens the hearts of all mankind. But now we gaze at his light reflected in the lives of the saints and they urge us to persevere! The moon has no light within itself but when it is full, on a clear night it reflects the sun and lights up even the darkest places in a way that is luminous and lovely. Such is the luminosity of the saints. Yet perhaps not quite so… Surely the light of Christ is not just reflected from the Saints back to us. Surely it has somehow permeated their personalities. The light actually shines now from somewhere within them because as St Paul says they “have become like him” Ph3v21. Occasionally in this life we might encounter somebody who already seems to shine like that. Most often, it is only looking back, when they have gone to the angels that their memory somehow sparkles. I guess that’s where the Holy Souls come in and why these remembrances are always side by side. The 12th Chapter of the Book of Daniel is the only place where we find the beginnings of a Doctrine of the Resurrection in the Hebrew Scriptures. It says this: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever”
Commemoration of All Souls
If you would like a Mass for somebody during the month of November please return a request envelope in the usual way. There are cards available this week where you can place the names of all your loved ones that we keep on the altars of the Churches throughout November. You are welcome to return these during the week. I continue to be unavailable on Mondays, so we will keep the
Commemoration Mass Nb on Tuesday 3rd this week at the 7.00pm Mass at St Joseph’s.
Inevitably we must keep our numbers within the prescribed seating arrangements at that church but we will endeavour to livestream the Mass again at that time via Facebook. Monica is preparing to come and sing some lovely things appropriate for the evening.
November – The Month of the Holy Souls
During November we commemorate all our loved ones especially those from our own families and also those who have been well known within the community of the church. Sadly, within the last year, we have lost some significant faces at both churches. It is distressing that we have been prevented from celebrating these loved ones and supporting their families with uplifting public ceremonies. Some have been conducted under the strictest conditions with just 5 people present. At some time, we still hope to celebrate appropriate memorial services with extended families and friends but for the present we still labour under these constrained circumstances. Nobody is forgotten this month among them are: Eileen, Brian, Annette, Mary & Michael all well-known faces from St Josephs. Likewise, from the Star of the Sea Jean, Zophie and most recently Agnes whose funeral is next Friday. Other funerals have been conducted at our two churches featuring local families including Frank, Gertrude, Adrian, John. Andrew, Nicolet & Helen. I am mindful too of so many within our two congregations who have unexpectedly lost loved ones, some in conjunction with the virus. Frances lost a beloved daughter. Lizzy was the Mother of Kathleen. Helen the sister of Frances. Patrick was the father of one of our recent FHC children. My own Father-in-Law Dennis died on Boxing night & Mary lost her mother Gabriella. Sr Dolores OSU was much loved as one of our own Ursuline Sisters. Meanwhile within the Archdiocese we have bid an unexpected farewell to Abp Peter Smith and numerous clergy who were well known here. These funerals have all been conducted under similar restrictive circumstances including, Canon Christopher Tuckwell, and Fr’s Gerry Flood Francis & Ed Hartley, Charles Briggs & John Macnamara. Meanwhile there are numerous additional funerals that I have conducted from personal connections all of whom I remember with affection in the month of the Holy Souls.
Sr Mary FSM Contributions are still emerging for the work of the FSM sisters, I am not yet able to total the funds. We will finalise when Bank Statements are available. It will surely clear £6000 (£2000 of which has gone already directly to the FSM’s). If you are able to Gift Aid your contribution, we will contact you. Meanwhile she has arrived home safely. If you would like to contact her (currently she remains in quarantine).
I am struggling to plan Christmas services. Christmas Day falls on a Friday. As I continue on my own, I anticipate that we will keep Celebrations at the following times: 9.00pm Christmas Eve St J’s. Midnight (11.30) OLSS. 10.00am Christmas Day St J’s, 11.00am OLSS. Boxing Day 6.00pm OLSS and Sunday 10.00am St J’s and 11.00 OLSS. We will call these ALL CHRISTMAS MASSES. Pick ONE service that you would like to attend and we will make these ticketed events. Christmas without carols will be an impoverished event. What if we gathered 100 people including Kids & Families to make a charity Carol Singing procession at 6.00pm from Crooms Hill via King George Street, and Hyde Vale?
Agnes RiP Requiem Mass Friday
Agnes’ funeral is this Friday 6th at 10.00am at OLSS. This will be a small gathering. The family welcome friends & faithful.
There will be NO 9.30. She was a cheerful soul at OLSS especially at 9.00am
Sincere Thanks to all those who now support the two churches with D/Ds. Please ask if you would like to join. For those who use Gift Aid Boxes these should have been distributed in April but are now available in either church.
CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR SERVICES AT OLSS & ST JOSEPH’S.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR OWN MASK!
We are operating with very reduced numbers and careful social distancing
MASS CALENDAR FOR Nov 1st – Nov 8th Livestream Search Facebook: Our Ladye Star of the Sea
Saturday 31st 6.00pm at OLSS Int: Teresa K (RiP)
Sunday Nov 1st 10.00am at St J’s Int:
All Saints Day 11.00am at OLSS Int: Salako Family (THG)
Tuesday 3rd Commemoration of All Souls Requiem 7.00pm St Josephs
Wednesday 4th 9.30 at OLSS Int: Holy Souls
Thursday 5th 9.30 at OLSS Int: D’csd Members O’Halloran Fmy (RiP)
11.00am at St Js Int: Samantha R (WB)
Holy Baptism Luke Thursday 5th 2.30pm OLSS
Friday 6th 10.00am Requiem Mass Agnes RiP OLSS
Saturday 7th Holy Baptism Susannah OLSS 11.00am
6.00pm at OLSS Int: M Timmons (Gift of Holy Spirit)
Sunday Nov 8th 10.00am at St J’s Int: D’csd Members Birmingham Fmy (RiP)
Remembrence Sunday 11.00am at OLSS Int: Maura M (RiP)
Post expires at 7:05pm on Saturday December 5th, 2020