Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day on which Catholics traditionally observe fasting and abstinence. This means resisting eating between meals (fasting) and avoiding eating meat (abstaining). Many Catholics also attend Mass or have special prayer liturgies when they receive ashes on their foreheads. This year you may be celebrating a liturgy with your family at home.
Please follow the service by opening (downloading) the Ash Wednesday Service or even printing it off.
St. Helen’s streams Mass on Saturday at 6.30 pm and Sundays at 10:30am and on other days, please refer to the Newsletter for details, dates and times.
First, please be minded that there is no obligation to watch a streamed Mass given the restrictions associated with COVID-19; however, watching and praying with us is a wonderful way to stay connected to your Catholic community here in Caerphilly and the surrounding area.
A word of caution: Attending Mass online is really hard since we are not in our usual sacred space and without all of its beautiful elements. So be patient with yourself; it is worth the effort!
How to prepare to have the best possible experience
Dress as you normally would for Mass. Try to distinguish between your normal about the house/odd job clothes as this will help identify this time as a special time.
Prepare a special place on which to set your phone, tablet, or computer
Set out a crucifix or other religious imagery.
Light a candle or two if you have one.
Spread a little tablecloth on which to set your device.
It might be helpful to sit on something more like a dining room chair rather than dad’s recliner or the family couch.
Create a still and quiet environment as much as possible.
Mind and heart
Use a service book if you have one or an app like Magnificat or iBreviary to follow along with the readings. Or simply google “catholic mass readings.”
Whilst challenging, avoid distractions as best as you can just as you would do at Mass in the chapel.
Switch off all radios, TVs and block incoming calls to mobile phones, maybe consider taking the landline phone “off the hook.”
Participate just as you would when attending Mass (stand, sit, kneel, repeat the proper responses, etc.)
Instead of receiving Holy Communion, make an act of spiritual communion such as this one composed by the 18th century saint, St. Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Once Mass is completed, spend a few moments in silence trying to recall something from the scripture readings or the homily, something you can take with you and even share with others.
The Family Life Worker and the Family Life Commission for the Archdiocese of Cardiff have created a booklet booklet to inspire you to celebrate the full season of Advent and that this in turn brings you joy whilst creating shared memories that your family will treasure.
Advent means ‘arrival’ or ‘presence’. In the season of Advent we prepare to celebrate not only Jesus’ birth but his presence in the family, in the love we share.
We recall the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future with hope. We await the coming of the light that will shine in the darkness, shining light on our path of peace.
In prepration for Advent
In preparation for Advent
These activities could form a family fun weekend to ‘kick start’ Advent, whilst creating some shared family memories; though you can also dip in and out of these during Advent…. Whatever suits your family.
The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide – now a major film starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton To give them hope she must tell their story It’s 1946.
The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer’s block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book – she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books – and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.
We will be reviewing this book at our next Book Club on October 6th. Everyone is welcome to join the book club. All you need do is head over to our Facebook Events page and click the Zoom link. Once one Zoom you are invited to register [once] and the follow instructions to add the dates to your calendar. If you have any problems, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can buy this book from Waterstones, WHSmith or other bookshops in Cardiff
It can be purchased quite cheaply on Kindle (around 99p I believe)
You may be able to order it from the library
If you type the title in to Google and click the Shopping tab, you can find quite a few sellers (New and used)
If you wish to buy the book through Amazon, please click on this link: https://amzn.to/2YXvb4yhttps://amzn.to/2YXvb4y. The church receives a small commission of each sale.
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