Pentecost, May 31st 2020. Introduction Music from 09:20 Mass at 09:30 Exit Hymn and Voluntary.
Apologies for the poor audio quality
We regret the poor audio quality in the Pentecost Mass Stream today. A vital piece of equipment glitched just before Mass started, and when the system was re-booted to fix that, the audio got connected up incorrectly. A replacement for the glitchy part (which only costs £10!!) has been ordered and will be in use for next weeks' Mass.
Texts for Pentecost
|Entrance Antiphon||Rm 5: 5; cf. 8: 11|
|Act of Spiritual Communion|
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment 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.
Do please join with each other for virtual coffee after Mass.
Directly after Mass finishes, click the button, which will open a zoom meeting. If you have not ever used zoom before, then it will invite you to install a piece of software for this purpose (a quick and easy install). You will then be able to see and hear each other. Chris Barrell is organising the meeting and can set you up on a virtual coffee table with 4 or 5 other people so that everyone can have a social time.
Holy Spirit, Come! By Seminarian, Joseph Meigh
Maintaining our Parish Prayer Life
Please join us by saying the following prayers as and when you can:
Fr David has recorded the Angelus for us: please join in as you listen.
(Traditionally the angelus is prayed at 06:00, Mid-day and 18:00, the start middle and end of the working day).
Every evening at 21:00, you may join in a video call, as we say night prayers together:
Night Prayer - every evening at 21:00 using 'zoom' Please join early from Sunday 31st as Zoom will require you to update your zoom software (if you had not previously done so).
Click the Parish Music Button to listen to / sing along with Seasonal music from your Parish Organise Deacon David McConkey and the Parish Music Group.
How to Participate in the Eucharist while no Public Masses are available
Streamed Masses via the internet:
https://www.cliftondiocese.com (Mass from the Cathedral)
https://mass-online.org (masses timed throughout the day)
During Streamed Masses, or indeed during times of prayer, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament, you can make an act of Spiritual Communion whereby though not physically receiving Holy Communion you can nevertheless participate in the Eucharist.
I would also encourage you to read the Gospels, pray with your families, or join your prayers to those of the Universal Church if you are in isolation. I would urge you continue your Lenten Discipline, especially as regards acts of charity and alms-giving at a time when so many people are in need. I will pray for you all when I offer Mass in private each day in the Church and I hope that you remember all those afflicted in this pandemic, the Church and her leaders, and perhaps also me in your prayers. This is not a happy time in the life of the Church, the country or the world, but if we are faithful in prayer and adhering to the word of God, good might yet come from this period of trial.
Welcome to St Gregory The Great, Cheltenham.
It is important that on admission to hospital, a patient (or his/her carers) inform the admission staff that they are Catholic. The hospital will not ask for this information, it is up to the patient to make it known and to make sure that a note is made. As of September 2018, Gloucester NHS no longer employ a catholic chaplain. In an emergency, please ask the nursing staff to contact the Chaplaincy Office at the hospital (or ring 03004 222222 and ask for the Catholic Chaplain)
One of the most evocative of traditional Orthodox icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary is called “Our Lady of the Sign.” She stands facing the observer, her arms open and raised in the gesture of prayer (the “orans” position). [cf Psalm 133.3; I Timothy 2.8] Her belly is great with her Child, who stands, fully formed, also facing the observer, his hand raised in blessing.
The “sign” of course refers to King Ahaz’s refusal to ask the Lord for a confirmatory sign as the prophet Isaiah [7.11-14] had encouraged him. The sign, as Isaiah averred, was the coming birth of a child who would be God in the midst of his people (Immanuel).
She is the mother of that child, the anointed (Christ) of God. But thereby she is also the mother of the Body of Christ, that is, the Church. [Colossians 1.18] Once, she had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit to effect his coming into the world. [Luke 1.34-35] After his return to the Father, standing with the apostles and other believers awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit [Acts 1.4-5] she joins them in prayer. We greet her (“Hail, Mary!”) and ask her prayers for us.
Tuesday of Week 9 Per Annum (2nd June): II Peter 3.11-15,17-18; Psalm 89; Mark 12.13-17
It may be doubted that the Second Epistle of St Peter is anyone’s “favourite” or most-consulted book of the Bible. From antiquity its authorship has been disputed, and though it claims to have been written shortly before Peter’s martyrdom (which probably occurred, under the Emperor Nero, in Rome in late 64) [II Peter 1.14], the situation of the epistle (St Paul’s epistles are referred to as “scripture,” a designation they didn’t enjoy until the 2nd Century) [II Peter 3.16] suggests that it was written rather later and attributed to Peter to give it greater authority. Oddly, much of the text seems directly cribbed from the short epistle of Jude.
Nevertheless, the final words of this epistle, which we read today, are apt for Christians who live in times of uncertainty and waiting. “What we await is a place where righteousness will be at home.” In effect this “place” is at once one which is given by God and one which we create by our own style of life—a lifestyle “without spot or stain” and of mutual peace. Undeterred by extremists and diversions, Christians are called on to “go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Charles Lwanga & Companions (3rd June): II Timothy 1.1-3,6-12; Psalm 122; Mark 12.18-27
Between 1885 and 1887, several groups of Christians, both Catholics and Anglicans, numbering about 45 martyrs in all, were put to death at the orders of the kabaka (ruler) of Buganda (today part of the modern nation of Uganda). The White Fathers mission had brought Catholic Christianity to the area in 1879. At first their work was tolerated by local rulers, but Mwanga II, who came to the throne in 1884 at the age of 18, began a persecution directed primarily against African converts.
A large group of young men who were pages at the royal court had become Catholics. Their catechist, St Joseph Mkasa, was beheaded on 15 November 1885. On 3 June 1886, 22 pages (whose master, St Charles Lwanga, had baptised many of them himself), all of them under the age of 25, were wrapped in reed mats and burnt alive at Namugongo, near Kampala.
The Christian pages had reproached Mwanga for debauchery, and that may have aroused his fury. Certainly the wider context of this episode was the “scramble for Africa”—the colonisation of Africa by European powers. The young martyrs, though, patently evidenced the presence in themselves of a Spirit of power and love and self-control which led them to witness triumphantly to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest (4th June): Hebrews 2.10-18; Psalm 39;
Pope Benedict XVI designated the year from the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart in 2009 to the same solemnity in 2010 as a Year for Priests, “meant to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.” This new feast, added to the calendar of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in 2018, offers an opportunity for the whole Church to pray for her priests to grow into the image of Our Lord, the Eternal High Priest. [Hebrews 2.17]
“As Mediator between God and human beings, fulfilling his Father’s will, he sacrificed himself once on the altar of the Cross as a saving Victim for the whole world. …[W]ith a brother’s kindness he chose, from among the children of Adam, men to augment the priesthood, so that, from the sacrifice continually renewed in the Church, streams of divine power might flow, whereby a new heaven and a new earth might be made, and throughout the whole universe there would be perfected what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the human heart.”
St Boniface (5th June): II Timothy 3.10-17; Psalm 118; Mark 12.35-37
Boniface (circa 672 to 5 June 754) was born in Crediton in Devon. His baptismal name was Winfred. As a very young man he came to live in a Benedictine monastery in Examchester (Exeter). He received further theological training at the minster of Nursling, near Winchester, and was ordained a priest at about age 30.
In 718 he came to Frisia (the coastal region on the north of modern-day Netherlands) to join the Northumbrian Willibrord preaching in the countryside. Their mission was interrupted by war between Frisia and the Franks. Willibrord withdrew to Echternach (modern-day Luxembourg) and Winfred to Nursling. The following year Winfred went to Rome where Pope Gregory II re-named him Boniface after a 4th Century martyr and ordained him as missionary Bishop to Germania. He enjoyed remarkable success, and in 732 Pope Gregory III made him Archbishop of all of Germany east of the Rhine. Charles Martel (Charlemagne’s grandfather) established dioceses in Salzburg, Regensburg, Freissing and Passau, giving them to Boniface. In 745 Mainz became his Archiepiscopal see, and he established further dioceses in Würzburg and Erfurt. A disciple of his established an abbey at Fulda and he appointed bishops from among its monks.
In 754 he undertook a fresh mission to Frisia. He and his companions were set upon and killed by Frisian bandits. Boniface was acclaimed as a saint immediately. He was buried first at Utrecht, then removed to Mainz; later his remains were moved to Fulda.
Saturday of Week 9 Per Annum (6th June): II Timothy 4.1-8; Psalm 70; Mark 12.38-44
“When my strength fails do not forsake me” the Psalmist prays; and the words are apt for St Paul at the close of his life. Far from enjoying obsequious honours in the marketplaces, Paul had spent his life travelling from city to city across the expanse of the Roman empire. As he wrote in another place, he suffered hardship and distress, was flogged and imprisoned. He had been shipwrecked and had known poverty and near starvation. He had been attacked by pagans and also by “so-called brothers.” [II Corinthians 6.3-10; 11.7-27] In these and countless other ways he had fought the fight and run the race for the Gospel of Christ.
In response, his prayer is that we, also, will remain steadfast in the truth, will be brave in our own ministries, will be prudent in making moral choices. God has prepared us to witness to his mighty deeds. Now, fortified with his grace, he invites us to proclaim his wonders anew, to offer ourselves for the sake of his kingdom.
Parish Calendar - please note most events are cancelled at the moment!