First Sunday of Advent

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The liturgical season of Advent has begun!

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At the start of all weekend Masses the Advent Wreath was blessed and the first candle was lit.

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The Roman Missal with the proper texts for the Holy Mass on the First Sunday of Advent.

Advent preparations

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The Advent wreath is now in all of the Parish Church’s in preparation for the liturgical season of Advent which begins tomorrow. In the picture above you can see the Advent wreath at St Mary’s.

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The liturgical colour during the Advent season is violet which symbolises the penitential spirit.

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The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for “coming” and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas. Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event.

Chapter Meeting – Midday Prayer and Holy Mass

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On Tuesday Canon Cooper attended St Peter’s Cathedral in Lancaster for the Chapter Meeting which is followed by Midday Prayer and Holy Mass. The Cathedral Chapter meet twice a year, usually in May and November.

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The Cathedral Chapter praying Midday Prayer together in the choir stalls.

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The Holy Mass was celebrated by the Bishop with the Cathedral Chapter concelebrating. Tuesday was the Memorial of St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr hence the red vestments.

Holy Hour and Benediction – Christ the King

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On Sunday afternoon at St Mary’s there was a Holy Hour to mark the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The conclusion of the Year of Mercy and Youth Sunday.

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Canon Cooper gave a scripture reflection during the Holy Hour but for most of the time there was that beautiful silent time of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

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The Holy Hour ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This Solemnity commonly referred to as the feast of Christ the King, is a relatively recent addition to the Western liturgical calendar, having been instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI for the Roman Catholic Church.

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In 1970 its Roman Catholic observance was moved to the final Sunday of Ordinary Time. Therefore, the earliest date on which it can occur is 20th November and the latest is 27th November.

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Also on this Solemnity, Canon Cooper presented a gift on behalf of the Parish to Deacon Jim Murphy as he retires from active ministry in the Parish.

You can read his message below:

“In accordance with Canon Law, Priests and Deacons on approaching/reaching their seventy-fifth birthdays are required to offer their retirement/resignation to the Diocesan Bishop. After fifteen years of Permanent Diaconate Ministry, I have reached this milestone and Bishop Michael has accepted my resignation and has agreed that I will retire from my Parish Ministry on Sunday 20th November, the Solemnity of Christ the King. We have, however, agreed that for the time being I will continue with my Ministry as Catholic Chaplain in Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Parish for the support, encouragement and understanding offered to Margaret and I and my family in what has been an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.

May God bless you and your families”

Deacon Jim Murphy

The Annual Deanery Mass

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The Annual Deanery Mass for deceased bishops, priests and deacons was celebrated today at St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster.

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Fr Philip Conner who is Parish Priest at St Joseph’s, Skerton was the Principal Celebrant as he is the Dean of the Lancaster Deanery.

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Our Parish Priest Canon Cooper along with other priests from the Lancaster Deanery concelebrated at the Mass.

November the month of the Holy Souls

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The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St. Paul warns us that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, “even as others who have no hope … For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven … and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.

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The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought “well and religiously concerning the resurrection.” It was believed that “they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them” and that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.

Excerpted from Liturgical Meditations, The Sisters of St. Dominic

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During the month of November you are welcome to place the names of your deceased family and friends beneath the altar (there is a Holy Souls box in each Church) and they will be included especially in the Holy Mass (please do not enclose money)

Plenary Indulgences

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ALL SOULS DAY INDULGENCE:
In addition to the usual conditions, a plenary indulgence, applicaple to only one of the Holy Souls, can be gained by making a devout visit to a Church or Oratory when an Our Father& Creed are said. The Indulgence can be gained on All Souls Day , the Sunday before or after, & All Saints Day, but only once.

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CEMETERY INDULGENCE:
In addition to the usual conditions, a plenary indulgence, applicaple to only one of the Holy Souls, can be gained by a devout visit to a cemetery and praying there for the dead.

All Saints Day

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The month of November started with the Solemnity of All Saints. An Anticipated Mass was celebrated on the evening of Monday 31st October at St Patrick’s.

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All Saints Day is a Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.

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Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “Church triumphant”), and the living (the “Church militant”). In Catholic theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven.

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From the Preface of the Mass: The glory of Jerusalem, our Mother.

For today by your gift we celebrate the festival of your city,
the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother,
where the great array of our brothers and sisters
already gives you eternal praise.
Towards her, we eagerly hasten, as pilgrims advancing by faith,
rejoicing in the glory bestowed upon those exalted members of
the Church
through whom you give us, in our frailty, both strength and
good example.

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As the Solemnity of All Saints is a Holyday of Obligation; Holy Mass was offered in each Church in the Parish.

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Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of all the Saints,
at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.

Entrance Antiphon for the Solemnity of All Saints

SVP Lunch

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The Holy Mass at St Patrick’s was celebrated a little later today. This was to allow people attending Mass to stay behind if they wished, for lunch which was organised by the SVP (Saint Vincent de Paul Society).

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Potato and leek soup was on the menu today but was beaten by the tomato and lentil soup! Sandwiches, crisps and very tempting cakes were also on offer. A very big thank you to the SVP for organising and serving today’s lunch!

Upcoming SVP event:

Reflection on the Feast of Christmas-tide Friday 2nd December 11:00am to 2.30pm in St Mary’s Hall with Fr Joe and Dympna. All are welcome!