Advent is a time of waiting. In a way, we’re waiting for something that has already arrived. We are waiting for Jesus to come again, who has already inhabited our human nature, and has already been born as the son of Mary, has already come a first time in our flesh.
That’s why it can sometimes be difficult to get our heads around what the Christian faith teaches about the End of Time and our own human destiny. The point about Jesus’ first coming in Bethlehem, is that it gives us the concrete assurance that we know he will come again.
If Jesus is who he claims to be, if he rose from the dead and ascended to his Father, then his interest in us is not passing or temporary. God’s love for us is permanent and abiding. Jesus shows us what God’s love for us is like, God giving of himself to reconcile us with him. We can look forward to his coming with joy and expectation.
Fr Peter Anthony
Recording of this Sunday’s Mass
A recording of this Sunday’s Mass with a homily and organ accompaniment will be available here on our parish YouTube channel from the evening of 28th November.
The resumption of public worship
The government announced this week that once the present lockdown finishes on 2nd December, public worship will be permitted once again. This means our first public Mass at St Benet’s will be on Sunday 6th December 2020 at 11.00 am. From then on, our usual schedule of services will resume, and we hope all our plans for Christmas services will be possible.
We will provide the same sort of Sunday School children’s activities each week that we have been doing through the early autumn. This will consist principally of as many outdoor activities as are possible, and a strict preserving of social distancing during activities that have to take place indoors when weather is inclement. There will be a maximum of 15 children for each Sunday School session, and parents must not be present at Sunday School.
We will continue to upload a recording of the Sunday Mass with a homily each week to our YouTube channel, for those unable to get to church. This will be available from Saturday evenings onwards. We hope this will be of use for all those who wish to unite their prayer with that being offered at the altar of St Benet’s during this period.
Once public worship recommences at St Benet’s, you are asked to observe the now customary regulations of keeping a 2 metre distance from anyone else in the building, sanitising your hands upon entry, and always wearing a face mask.
Planning for Christmas 2020
We are able to plan our schedule of services for Christmas 2020 with a little more certainty now we know public worship is permitted again.
This year’s services will be made complicated by the need for social distancing and could be affected by regulations that may emerge closer to the time. At the very least, it will be necessary to book (entirely free) tickets for most of the main sung liturgies so we can predict how many people will be present in our building. We can fit a maximum of around 50 people in the church at the moment.
We aim to offer the following liturgies:
Christmas Carol Service on Sunday 20th December at 6.00 pm
Midnight Mass on Thursday 24th December 9.00 pm
Mass on Christmas Day at 11.00 am
There will be no congregational singing at any of our Christmas liturgies, but there will be a choir/cantor present singing for us.
Could we ask parishioners to start booking tickets NOW for the Christmas liturgies they intend to come to? Please send Fr Peter an email indicating how many tickets you need for which service, and whether those attending are from the same household or bubble.
No Masses or online theology seminar next week
Fr Peter will be taking a few days of annual leave next week before we re-open for public worship, so the online theology seminar we had planned for Thursday 3rd December is now postponed and there will be no Masses – either online or in person – until next Sunday.