Proclaim 2015 – Bringing Mission Home is the English and Welsh Bishops’ initiative in response to Pope Francis’ call and reminder that we are all missionaries. We are all invited to the hall this Wednesday, 29th April, at 7pm, when we will start looking at the ideas, initiatives, challenges and chances that mission opens up and that ‘Proclaim 15’ suggests. Michelle Medina, Deputy Head at Cardinal Newman High School, has generously agreed to lead us.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, speaks about religious freedom ahead of the May 2015 General Election.
Listen to the Cardinal talk about this fundamental human right. One of the Catholic Church of England and Wales’ General Election 2015 short films.
[vimeo 124815064 w=600 h=337]
General Election 2015 – Bishops’ letter to all Catholics in England and Wales
The Bishops have released a letter addressed to Catholics across England and Wales about this year’s General Election. Over 500,000 copies of the letter have been sent to the parishes. The letter can be read in full here. It’s also available as a PDF download in English and Welsh.
After the joys and exuberance of Easter Sunday and Easter Week, we settle down into the longest Season in the Church’s Year – Eastertide. This period of fifty days is a time of sustained gladness, which comes through reading and reflecting on the Scriptures which describe the risen life of Jesus – not just his appearances to the disciples after the Resurrection, but the teachings from his ministry which reveal the risen life he now possesses. We also spend time hearing about how the Resurrection made a difference: how the timid and frightened disciples were able to leave Jerusalem and proclaim a message of life over death to the whole world, as we read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles. We also linger over the first letter of Saint John, which ties together so many of the themes of Easter: life, faith, baptism, the Spirit – all brought together in the person of the Lord Jesus, risen from the dead. On this second Sunday, we continue to track through real time, by hearing what happened in Jerusalem on the Sunday after the Resurrection, with the Lord appearing to Thomas – strengthening his faith and strengthening ours as we listen to the account.
(Psalter: Week 2)
Acts 4: 32 – 35
Response: Psalm 117
Give thanks to the Lord, he is good,
the love of the Lord knows no ending.
Sons of Israel say,
“His love has no end”.
The right hand of God raised me up,
the hand of the Lord has triumphed.
I shall not die, I shall live
telling his deeds.
The stone which the builders rejected
becomes the corner stone chosen.
Praise the work of God for this
marvel in our eyes.
1 John 5: 1 – 6
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me;
happy are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
John 20: 19 – 31
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Risen Lord, raise us also.
The word “Maundy” is from the Latin word for “command”: This night we recall Christ’s command to do what he did at the last supper: He washed the feet of his disciples, as a sign of service. If we wash feet in our liturgy it is not as play-acting or as a welcome diversion from the praying: It is a sign that we want, and are beginning, to serve all our brothers and sisters just as Christ himself did.
The second part of our celebration this night is “Eucharist”,thanksgiving. We remember that Jesus gave us bread and wine to be his Body and Blood this day. Strangely enough, the washing of the feet and the breaking of bread are inseparably linked. Only if we agree to serve each other can we share communion. Attending the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is an invitation to be nourished by the food of life. But it also involves a commitment to become part of a community that grows by loving.
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7.30 pm
Watching with Our Lord: 8.30pm – 11.45 pm
Compline: 11.45 pm
‘Good’ because Jesus Christ gave his life for us. Though innocent, by allowing himself to be the scapegoat he showed the depth of his love. His example of love unto death shows us how we are to live and give of ourselves too.
A day of fasting and abstinence, in eager anticipation of Easter But if we just felt sad that our sin put him on the cross, then ￼￼we would be missing the point.
Good Friday is not meant to make us feel bad. On ‘Good’ Friday we remember that we are sinners, but we also glory in the victory that Christ won over sin and death, to set us free. This is not a passion play, and we gather knowing that Christ rose from the dead. So even on Good Friday we rejoice in the triumph of good over evil.
We continue our fasting in exited anticipation until …The Easter Vigil, waiting and watching, starts after nightfall. This is the time, above all others, for us to recommit and dedicate ourselves again in faith. An Easter fire is lit, and lights up every thing around.
From it, we light the Easter Candle. The Candle is solemnly carried into church as the sign of the Light of Christ which overcomes the darkness of sin and death. In that light we read in the scriptures the story of what God has done for us from the dawn of creation until the New Covenant we are part of today. We all renew our faith, and our Baptism into the Risen Christ. And so we go forward together to share in the food and drink of Life.
As we make our prayers and sing our praises, our hope is that the Holy Spirit will free in our lives the full power of Christ’s Rising from the Dead.
Easter Morning Mass
For those who can’t join in the great Vigil and First Mass of Easter, the Sunday Mass in the morning ends our three- day feast, closing what is the “Great Week”., and we begin the fifty days of Easter leading us to Pentecost. So much happens in this week that it will take us another 51 weeks to even scratch the surface of what it all means. We will see the symbols of water, oil, light, bread, wine, love and life again and again at different times throughout the year, and the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising will become that pattern in our lives in the Paschal Mystery, a pattern that will keep coming back to amaze us as the weeks go by. God always promises and gives us more than we expect, so we try to put no limits on our worship and our joy.