Mass for 14th Sunday of the Year, live from 08:00 5th July (and available on demand any time thereafter.)
Public Masses in St Gregory the Great
The Church has now been given the go ahead to open for public Masses from this coming Sunday. The times of Masses will be as listed below. There will a limited number being allowed to attend any Mass. As there is currently no Sunday obligation, if you would rather attend a weekday Mass you are most welcome to do so. If you are in any of the vulnerable categories, you should stay at home and avail yourself of the Streamed Mass on the website (at any time of day).
There will be collections at Sunday and weekdays to help the parishes with the current financial situation they find themselves in. Weekday Masses will be at the usual time at 9.30 a.m. at St Gregory and in the evening at St Thomas More. Please consult the newsletter for weekday Masses and Mass intentions. There will still be a streamed Mass at 8.00 a.m. for some months to come. The church will be closed on Monday for cleaning. Guidance for attending Masses is provided below for St Gregory. Sunday Masses will be as below:
5.00 p.m. Saturday: St Thomas More
8.00 a.m. Sunday: St Gregory (Also Streamed live on line and available thereafter at any time of day)
9.30 a.m. Sunday: St Gregory
11.15 a.m. Sunday: St Gregory
6.00 p.m. Sunday: St Gregory
How we have planned for a safe re-opening of the Church
Guidance for Parishioners
1. Entrance to the church will be through the St James Street doors and exit will be via the south porch directly into Clarence Street.
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 stoops.
5. 2m social distancing floor markers are in situ.
6. The direction of entrance into the church will be down the nave, as you depart, you are requested to leave via the side aisles. Stewards will assist as required.
7. All pews are endorsed with a green tick or a red cross. Please sit in the green tick rows and avoid the benches with a red cross.
8. The physical veneration of statues and crucifixes is not permitted.
9. The maximum safe operating capacity is 120. You may wish to consider attending a weekday Mass (Sunday obligation is NOT required at this time) and Mass is streamed on the Parish Website for those unable for any reason to come to Mass in person.
10. Communion will be given silently in the hand only. Parishioners should wait in their pews until advised by a steward to move forward to receive. When approaching the priest you should do so with arms at full stretch with your hands palms upwards, one on top of the other. If possible Communicants should sit in close proximity to the nave to avoid unnecessary contact/crossing.
11. The seating areas will be cleaned following Mass. If however, you are able to assist by wiping your personal space with a disinfection wipe this would help enormously.
After Mass Socialising
Do please join with each other for virtual coffee after 08:00 and 09:30 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. Thus those able to come to church for Mass may also be with those who for whatever reason are either attending a weekday Mass or the on line streamed Mass.
Maintaining our Parish Prayer Life
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:
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.
Monday of Week 14 Per Annum (6th July): Hosea 2.16-18,21-22; Psalm 144; Matthew 9.18-26
Hosea was a native northerner who prophesied in the northern kingdom (“Israel”) for about 60 years in the 8th Century BC. At the beginning of Hosea’s career King Jeroboam II ruled Israel; following him came six kings, all but one of whom was assassinated, until in 722 the capital city Samaria was destroyed and King Hoshea (the similarity between his name and the prophet’s is coincidental) was carried off in chains by the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III.
The first three chapters of Hosea’s prophecy describe events of his personal life: his marriage to Gomer; the births of their children; Gomer’s unfaithfulness and Hosea’s divorce of her; and finally, Hosea’s taking back of Gomer to be his wife again.
Their marriage is portrayed as analogous to the relationship between God and Israel, from the time of the liberation of Israel from Egypt. “I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness” God declares, reminiscent of Israel’s years of wilderness wandering before entering into the promised land. Israel’s relationship to God is described as adulterous, and God’s promise is that despite that adultery Israel will once again be restored to the loving embrace of her God. [Hosea 2.1-3]
Tuesday of Week 14 Per Annum (7th July): Hosea 8.4-7,11-13; Psalm 113; Matthew 9.32-38
The strongest of the northern tribes was Ephraim; Jeroboam I, who led the rebellion that divided Israel from Judah, was himself an Ephraimite. Accordingly, “Ephraim” is often used as a shorthand designation for Israel. Because Jerusalem was not only the holy city but also the capital of the southern kingdom (“Judah”), Jeroboam made two golden calves and installed them in Dan, on the northern border of Israel, and Bethel, on its southern border. “Here are your gods, Israel; these brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” he declared. [I Kings 12.28; cf Exodus 32.4] These shrines were active places of worship throughout the life of the kingdom of Israel and they had their own priesthood.
Hosea declared that the political instability being felt in Israel was fundamentally caused by this apostasy; that when allegiance to God is absent, the void will be filled with dishonesty, theft, murder and violence. [Hosea 4.2] Moreover, the land itself mourns, and animals, birds and fish perish. [4.3] Hosea doesn’t see any chance for Israel to repent or change; the time has passed for that, and the overthrow of the nation by the conquering Assyrians is inevitable. Israel will have to return to “Egypt”—to subjugation and oppression. But Egypt is the place God goes to rescue his people: and “out of Egypt I called my son.” [11.1] If punishment is inevitable, so also is restoration. The Valley of Achor will become a gateway of hope. [2.17]
Wednesday of Week 14 Per Annum (8th July): Hosea 10.1-3,7-8,12; Psalm 104; Matthew 10.1-7
The melancholy preacher, Qoheleth in Hebrew, declared that “a king is in service to a field” [Ecclesiastes 5.8]; in other words, misuse of God’s gift of land will ultimately undo political structures. That is the situation Hosea addresses: an Israel whose agricultural productivity has been diverted to the enrichment of the monarchy and of a corrupt priesthood. This situation, Hosea declares, cannot endure. “Samaria” (the capital city of Israel) “has had her day.” The Assyrian king would bring people from Assyria’s colonies and settle them in the towns of Israel; “they took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns.” [II Kings 17.24]
It was too late for repentance; a storm was coming in which “the king of Israel is going to disappear for ever.” [10.15] Nonetheless the prophet urged Israel to “sow integrity for yourselves, reap a harvest of kindness. It is time to go seeking the Lord until he comes to rain salvation on you.” Israel’s political existence was at an end, but God intended to restore his people to right relationship with him.
Thursday of Week 14 Per Annum (9th July): Hosea 11.1-4,8-9; Psalm 79; Matthew 10.7-15
Credo in unum Deum we declare; and credo is the contracted form of core do, “I give my heart.” Foundationally, faith isn’t intellectual adherence to a checklist of required tenants, but relationship. Similarly, when we say in English “I believe” we use a word cognate with the German geliebt, beloved.
Relationships come in many varieties. Many involve mutual expectation; a feudal serf pledges his labour to his liege, who in return promises protection and security. The nation of Israel had made vassalage treaties in a fraught international milieu and these agreements required steep annual tribute payments to Assyria. When Israel rebelled against these arrangements and withdrew this token of “love” its overlords brutally retaliated and Israel in 722 BC was destroyed. [II Kings 17.4]
Hosea meditated deeply on these events. He recalled the covenants God had made with Israel, covenants (“I will adopt you as my own people, and I will be your God”) [Exodus 6.7] which defined both God and the people. Could such a relationship be broken? Hosea in his prophetic heart heard God declare that it could not be. “My heart recoils from it” he insisted. Political Israel had to come to an end, but God’s peace would not depart from God’s people. At the prospect of losing his people God’s fundamental compassion is enkindled. The warmth of God’s love overwhelms the heat of his anger.
St Benedict, Co-Patron of Europe (11th July): Proverbs 2.1-9; Psalm 33; Matthew 19.27-29
On the 4th of September 476 the barbarian Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last western Roman Emperor, and the Senate sent the imperial insignia to the Eastern Emperor. This upset inaugurated the Dark Ages of Europe.
St Benedict (circa 480-550) was born in Norcia, in Italy, and went to Rome to be educated. Appalled at the worldliness he encountered there he resolved at about the age of fourteen to life as a hermit and he went to mountainous Subiaco where he lived in a cave. Benedict’s fame spread and disciples began to join him, whom he organised into twelve small monastic communities. Eventually he moved to Monte Cassino where he founded an abbey and wrote his Rule which he described as “a little school for the Lord’s service.” Benedict drew on some Eastern models but his Rule steers a moderate path between individual zeal and formulaic institutionalism. Benedict is considered the founder of Western monasticism.
We give particular thanks on this day for the pastoral work of Benedictine monks in the history of this parish, and we pray for all Benedictine communities in this country and throughout the world.
Parish Calendar - please note most events are cancelled at the moment!