Warm Church

The heating system has been made to work again... we still plan to replace with something greener but for now, come and warm your toes on our underfloor heating system!

Third Sunday of Easter 18th April 2021

Monday 12 April 2021

Monday of the 2nd week of Eastertide 

Liturgical Colour: White.

Acts 4:23-31; Psalm 2:1-9; John 3:1-8

What is a servant? We have a clear idea now – and for example one of the titles of the Pope, is ‘Servant of the Servants of God’. A servant is there to support and perhaps guide their mistress or master.

In the peoples of the near East, to be a servant was considered a great honour, as you would be close to your master, a confidant, in a position of trust. However – the same post in Hellenistic society was more like what we consider as a slave – not at all desirable. As the early church grew predominantly in an hellenistic culture, the notion of ‘the servant king’ as that well known song puts it, was quite early on dropped. It is perhaps a mistake to think that Christ, the servant king, is at our beck and call – the servant is so much more than that to us. Just as, the Pope is much more than our servant – as we need to listen to the papal voice to inform and guide us.

The papal succession, the handing on of the role of servant-leader, from the first apostles to Pope Francis today, is evident in his response to all issues – prayer! Peter and John are in trouble at the start of todays reading from Acts 4 – they respond by praying as the servant King David prayed (quoting his psalm 2) and their prayers were answered. Pope Francis calls us to pray – and we can be sure of an answer. The example our popes have given, of prayer at all times – should be followed.

You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus

Paul has been at work in the community, sharing the good news, and in particular explaining to the devout Jewish community how the promise made to them in their books had been fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Luke gives the example of David’s writings (Psalm 16) that his body would not be corrupted’. This could not have been in relation to David himself – as David’s tomb still intact at this time, was available for all to go to see – so David must have been prophesying about the bodily resurrection of Jesus. His arguments were persuasive – that eloquent phrase ‘they were cut to the heart’ barely does justice to the impact of Paul’s discussion with them – and they began to join this new church in great number. Meanwhile – almost – in our Liturgy today we have the scene in which Mary of Magdala recognises the risen Jesus - when he uses her name. Names are important – and also how we use them. ‘Mary’ we might say – when asking her for something. ‘Mary’ in another voice could be a reprimand. ‘Mary’ in Jesus’ voice – most certainly, expressing his undying love for us all. Listen to Jesus, calling you by your name, today.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Thursday of the 2nd week of Eastertide Acts 5:27-33; Psalm 33(34):2,9,17-20; John 3:31-36
Today we consider: Who was Jesus?
St Peter makes it clear that Jesus was divine. The title 'Saviour' (note the capital letter) is throughout the old testament one of the titles of God. God raised up Jesus - out of his people, and you raised him up on the tree - but God has now raised him above all others, into his rightful place in the Kingdom.
The evangelist John, tells us about the words of John the Baptist using a characteristic series of contrasts: above vs below, heaven vs earth, acceptance and rejection, belief and unbelief. Through the baptists' words the evangelist warns us that the witness (the way to God) will be rejected by most, but that for those who do accept Him, the full, unrestricted gifts of the holy spirit will come.
We perhaps recall why there were twelve disciples? The number is the same as that of the twelve tribes of Israel, so is an inclusive number. Seven more were chosen today. All of their names are Greek, and it turns out that there were seven known Greek areas in the ancient world. Thus, in the same way as a complete number of disciples was needed for the Jews, so a complete number of leaders were needed for the hellenist communities. Often associated with the foundation of the permanent deaconate, the seven were also a distinct hierarchy for the greek speaking jews. The term 'Deaconos' is a particular kind of servant, one who communicated between a lord and the wider community of servants. Permanent Deacons to this day are bridge builders between a Bishop and his people, alongside the Parish Priests, who as pastors have pastoral responsibility for their parish(es).

Attending Church: Guidance for Parishioners

  1. Entrance to the church will be through the St James Square doors.
  2. When arriving and leaving the church please use the hand sanitising gel provided.
  3. You will have the opportunity to light a votive candle which is located in front of the font. Please use existing candle as the source of ignition.
  4. There is no holy water within the stoups.
  5. Please only use pews with a green tick symbol on them. Once the church is at capacity, you may sit in a non-green pew, but not directly behind other people - aim for a zig-zag approach. Stewards will advise you as appropriate: please follow their advice. 
  6. At very busy times, there will be an overflow facility in the Old Priory. At A mass which is streamed, this will be relayed to the projector and speakers there.
  7. The direction of entrance into the church will be up the nave, as you depart, you are requested to leave via the side aisles, then in towards the crossing and out of the Clarence Street exit (Sundays) or the side doors (weekday Mass). Stewards will assist as required.
  8. Face coverings are mandatory other than for children under 11 years of age and for some with particular medical conditions. Signage advising seating limitations will be posted on pew ends.
  9. Those needing to make use of '2 meter social distancing' (including all those who have exemptions from wearing face masks) should use the individual chairs near to the lady chapel.
  10. The physical veneration of statues and crucifixes is not permitted.
  11. The seating areas will be cleaned following Mass when there is another service following on. Your help with this would be much appreciated - please ask the stewards on duty if they need some help.

Risk Assessment Document for Public Mass in St Gregory the Great. v9