Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
God became man; He came to live among us. God is never far away, He is ‘Emmanuel’, God-with-us. God is not a stranger, He has a face and this is the face of Jesus.
God is faithful, He does not change. The event of the Incarnation occurred in history but at the same time transcends history. Belief in the God who desired to share our human history continually encourages us in our own commitment to the history, in spite of its contradictions.
May the light of Christmas shine forth afresh this year and may the Infant of Bethlehem bless each of you.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Friday, 2 December 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Green: Ordinary Time
White/Gold: Feasts; Christmas, Easter, Weddings, Baptisms etc.
Red: Feasts of the Lord’s Passion, Blood and Cross; Martyrs;
Holy Spirit (Pentecost, Confirmation)
Purple: Advent, Lent, Penitence, Funerals
White with blue: Feasts of Our Lady
Rose: Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) &
Laetare Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent)
Friday, 18 November 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
Here's a little follow-up to my last post on the Sanctuary lamp:
The altar is one of the most important parts of a church and is frequently situated on an elevated area called the sanctuary or ‘holy place’. Of course the sanctuary had a more clearly defined area before the removal of the altar rails. It is in this ‘sacred place’ on the altar where the ‘sacrament of sacraments’ is celebrated, the holy sacrifice of the Mass. The altar is also the table of the Lord to which all are invited, as one family around the family table (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1182).
This is also holy because the Lord who is present in the Blessed Sacrament is kept here to foster adoration of the faithful. (CCC 1183)
The Chair of the Bishop or Priest should express his office of presiding over the assembly and of directing prayer. (CCC 1184)
The dignity of the Word of God requires the church to have a suitable place for announcing this message so that the attention of the people may be easily directed to that place during the Liturgy of the Word.
I hope some readers find these little snippets of information helpful. It's easy to assume that everyone is familiar with the terminology of the Church and understands the meaning of the signs and symbols that some of us take for granted.
Monday, 17 October 2011
In the Old Testament we read in Exodus (27: 20-21) that God commanded that a lamp filled with the purest oil of olives should always burn in the Tabernacle.
“You are to order the sons of Israel to bring you pure olive oil for the light, and to keep a flame burning there perpetually. Aaron and his sons are to set this flame in the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil that is before the Testimony. It must burn there before the Lord from evening to morning perpetually. This is an irrevocable ordinance for their descendants, to be kept by the sons of Israel.”
In Judaism, the sanctuary lamp is known by its Hebrew name, ner tamid (נר תמיד), which means "eternal flame or light".It is to be found in front of the ark in every Jewish synagogue. It represents the menorah (branched candlestick) of the Temple in Jerusalem as well as the continuously burning fire on the altar of burnt offerings in front of the Temple. It also symbolizes God's eternal presence, and is therefore never extinguished.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal in the Catholic Church, states (in 316): "In accordance with traditional custom, near the tabernacle a special lamp, fuelled by oil or wax, should be kept alight to indicate and honour the presence of Christ." The sanctuary lamp is placed near the tabernacle as a sign that the Blessed Sacrament is reserved or stored there.
It is a mark of honour to remind the faithful of the presence of Christ, and is a profession of their love and affection. It signifies Christ, as this material light represents He who is the "true light that enlightens all men" (John 1:9).
It is also used by some churches of other denominations to represent the presence of God and may also be found in Eastern Orthodox Churches. Other Christian denominations burn the lamp to show that the light of Christ always burns in a sin-darkened world.
Sanctuary lamps are usually red and may be in the form of a lamp hanging near the tabernacle or, as at St Ann’s, fixed to a bracket on the wall. The red glass container holds a candle that will burn for approximately one week and is never extinguished, the new candle being lit from the used candle it replaces.
Saturday, 1 October 2011
Here is a short piece I was prompted to write for next week's newsletter . . .
The church is a sacred place where each of us has the privilege of sharing in God’s life and where we shape our lives with God. A ‘sacred place’ means that it has been set aside for the worship of God and for the reception of the sacraments.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
Friday, 19 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Our Diocese is arranging a reunion for all of the young people in our diocese who attended one of the Papal Visit events last year, or who took part in World Youth Day this year.
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Today we celebrate the feast day of St Jean Marie Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Lord, God of our fathers,
through Saint Joachim and Saint Ann
You gave us the Mother of Your Incarnate Son.
May their prayers help us to attain the salvation
You promised to Your people. Amen.