School visits and sunrise!

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As part of St Mary’s Primary School’s Lenten journey two classes attend the Monday morning Mass at St Mary’s.

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Today it was the turn of Reception class and Year 5 to attend Mass.

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On a slightly different note… This Photo was taken yesterday before the 8:30am Mass at The Good Shepherd. Early morning sunlight shining down on the Altar and the Cross!

The Offertory of the Mass

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Following the Offertory Procession at the 10:30am Mass this morning at St Mary’s, the Children’s Liturgy group presented their gifts.

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The offering of the Chalice.

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The Priest washes his hands once the offferings are put aside.

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The Priest then invites the entire congregation to stand and pray that this Sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

Sacramental Preparation begins!

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At the start of the 10:30am Mass at St Mary’s yesterday Canon Cooper invited all the children to the front so the congregation could see this year’s Sacramental Preparation class.

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Please pray for the children who are preparing to recieve the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. It is also important to pray for the Catechists whose job it is to teach and instruct the children.

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Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body, which will be given up for you.

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Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.

Our Lady of Lourdes

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Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes who is Patroness of the Lancaster Diocese. Even though it is Lent, flowers are aloud on the Altar on feast days and solemnities.

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‘The big six’ – the six candlesticks on the Altar symbolise a Solemn occasion, for example a major feast day in the Church.

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The proclamation of the Gospel – if we listen attentively to it, we can learn a lot from the Holy Gospel.

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But that extra help from the Priest really does make a difference as the scriptures are opened up to us even more!

Ash Wednesday

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Today is Ash Wednesday which begins the Lenten Season in the Church. During Mass ashes are blessed and then everyone recieves the blessed ashes on their foreheads.

‘Ashes are a plea to God for mercy and compassion, pardon and forgiveness’.

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The Priest extends his arms whilst saying the Prayer of Blessing.

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The blessed ashes are then sprinkled with Holy Water.

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As well as 3 Masses for Ash Wednesday, there was also a Requiem Mass at St Mary’s today. Afterwards there was a great opportunity for a picture, thanks to the sun shining through the window and plenty of incense!

They left everything and followed him.

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Pictured above is the Gospel being proclaimed at the 10:30am Mass on Sunday Morning at St Mary’s.

Here is a short passage from Sunday’s Gospel Reading of St Luke 5:1-11:

Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and said “Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” For he and his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch”. Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and followed him.  

How the Parish relies on paper!

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This blog post is something a little bit different! During the week a delivery of paper arrived at St Mary’s for the Parish office.

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After the boxes were taken to the office this is what remained in the Sacristy. A simple pile of cardboard for recycling!

The blessing of throats

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Today is the Memorial of St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr. It is traditional that the blessing of throats takes place at the end of Mass. This is because:

According to the Acts, while Blaise was being taken into custody, a distraught mother, whose only child was choking on a fishbone, threw herself at his feet and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, he offered up his prayers, and the child was cured. Consequently, Saint Blaise is invoked for protection against injuries and illnesses of the throat.

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How is the blessing of throats given?

The Priest holds the candles so that they touch the throat whilst saying:

Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr,
may God keep you free from all harm to your throat,
and from all other harm besides.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, +
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Here is a close up photo of the prayer card.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

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Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. At the beginning of Mass the blessing of candles took place.

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Some of the candles which will be used throughout the coming year are blessed at this Mass.

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The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) which you can see above is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.