Today is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch.
St Ignatius followed St Peter as bishop of Antioch and was thrown to wild beasts in Rome (possibly at the Colosseum) during the persecution of Trajan. He wrote 7 epistles, which give a clear picture of Christian belief and practice a century or so after Christ’s birth.
Last Sunday in Rome, Pope Francis Canonised Cardinal John Henry Newman. Therefore he is now a Saint no longer a Blessed. For us a Parish and indeed many others this is wonderful news! Now the Canonisation has taken place we have some changes to make within the Parish. Our noticeboards need updating and also our social media pages need their names changing. You can now find our updated Facebook and Twitter pages here: https://twitter.com/SJHNMorecambe https://www.facebook.com/SJHNParishMorecambe/
At the 10:30am Mass on Sunday we will be celebrating the Titular Feast of St Mary’s Church ‘Our Lady of the Seven Dolours’. We can be reminded of this by looking at the stained glass window inside the Church (see the photo above). What are the Seven Sorrows?
The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2:34, 35)
The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13, 14)
The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 2: 43-45)
The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
On Saturday a group of people (including Bishop Paul and two Priests) from different parishes in the Deanery came together to cycle around our local countryside. The route actually went beyond the Deanery border to Silverdale and Arnside before crossing back into the Deanery for a lunch stop in Kirkby Lonsdale. In total the distance cycled was around 47 miles and this is the second time the event took place… let’s hope for the return of the St Peter’s Deanery cycle tour next year!
In the Church, all crucifixes and images may be covered in veils (usually purple, the colour of vestments in Lent) starting on Passion Sunday: “The practice of covering crosses and images in the church may be observed, if the episcopal conference decides. The crosses are to be covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday. Statues and images are to remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.” (Specifically, those veils are removed during the singing of the Gloria.) The veiling was associated with Passion Sunday’s Gospel (John 8:46-59), in which Jesus “hid himself” from the people.
Most Catholic people are used to Mass being conducted in English (or their native language) and rarely think about the fact that Latin remains the official language of the Catholic Church. But occasionally, Latin terms sneak back in as in the case of Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. The date is moveable as it is dependent on the date of Easter, which changes annually based on lunar activity.
Christian Denominations Use of the Term: The term Laetare Sunday is used by most Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and by some Protestant denominations, particularly those with Latin liturgical traditions like Lutherans.
What Does Laetare Mean? Laetare means “Rejoice” in Latin. The 40 days of Lent are a time for solemnity according to Roman Catholic doctrine, so how is it possible to celebrate during a time for meditative reflection? Quite simply, the church recognized that people need a break from sorrow.
The fourth Sunday was considered a day of relaxation from the normal rigors of Lent. It was a day of hope with Easter within sight. Traditionally, weddings, which were otherwise banned during Lent, could be performed on this day.
Religious Doctrine and Biblical Reference
In both the traditional Latin Mass and even after the shortening of church rituals during Mass with the Novus Ordo, the short chant that is sung prior to the Eucharist is from is Isaiah 66:10-11, which begins Laetare, Jerusalem, which means “Rejoice, O Jerusalem.” Because the midpoint of Lent is the Thursday of the third week of Lent, Laetare Sunday has traditionally been viewed as a day of celebration, on which the austerity of Lent is briefly lessened.
The passage from Isaiah continues, “Rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow,” and on Laetare Sunday, the purple vestments and altar cloths of Lent are set aside, and rose ones are used instead. Flowers, which are normally forbidden during Lent, may be placed on the altar. Traditionally, the organ was never played during Lent, except on Laetare Sunday.