Please consider the above carefully and come back to me with any improvements.
The discussion on books for next year was rather rushed, I am particularly not sure about the book for June; ask yourself if you would attend the meeting for that particular book/poet, if you wouldn’t, please come back with another idea.
In the November meeting our favourite books included:
“Jane Eyre” by C Bronte
“Death at La Fenice” by Donna Leon
“Going Solo” Roald Dahl
“The Power and the Glory” Graham Greene
“The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irvine Stone;
“Here’s the Story” by Mary Mac Alease.
Our usual great discussion, any of the above would be good for a future meeting.
We meet next by Zoom on the 16th December to discuss “Wildlife Poetry”
Love to all
Remember we welcome new members. If you are finding Winter and Covid hard and want to engage with new people then try us out. Go here, fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we will be in touch.
The Season of Advent has started! It is only four weeks long and can pass in the blink of an eye! So I’ve taken some time to go through some on line resources that are available for everyone to use. Please feel free to share those you find useful and let us know if you find anymore that you have found useful!
This was our last Lectio of this Liturgical Year A. It seemed to the group that it has not been so long since they started Lectio online, and it has been eight months already!
The group considered the reading for the Feast of Christ the King A Mt 25:31-46 “He will take his seat on his throne of glory, and he will separate men one from another.” Read their thoughtful observations and insights here.
Consider joining the group. A warm welcome awaits. Use the form at the bottom of this page to get in touch.
A reminder that for the meeting on the 25th November 1.30 – 3.00pm by Zoom we have a change to the programme: “My favourite book or author”.
Everyone is asked to to name their favourite book or author and be willing to say a bit about their choice. This topic replaces that previously advertised, “The Grapes of Wrath”. If your favourite is the Grapes of Wrath then we can discuss that too!
If you have not joined in Book Club before then send an email using the form at the bottom of this page. You will be made most welcome.
I hope that by the end of the meeting we will have a list of books to discuss in 2021.
It might seem strange to be talking about Advent a week before, but it is good to be prepared and not caught unaware: exactly what Advent is all about! Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus meaning arrive, approach, appearance. It was taken by the Church from the middle ages to signify the coming of Christ. It reminds us that the birth of the Saviour is an event that we need to prepare for and be reminded of.
Advent is not just about remembering the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem just over 2,000 year ago, but being prepared for the return of The Saviour. As the Catechism says: When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviours first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming (No. 524).
The Advent Wreath usually consist of five candles, three purple and one rose and one white. The purple and rose candles are set in a circular wreath (usually made of evergreen branches) with the white candle in the middle of the wreath. One candle is lit for each Sunday of Advent, with the rose candle being lit on the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin word for “rejoice”) and the white candle is lit once Christmas liturgies begin. The purple candles represent the penance and sacrifice we undertake to help us prepare for the Lord’s coming at Christmas; the rose candle represents the rejoicing of the faithful at the mid-point of Advent and the white candle represents the birth the Saviour.
Advent is not as strict as Lent, and there are no rules for fasting, but it is meant to be a period of self-preparation. The purple colour associated with Advent and it is also the colour of penance. The faithful should fast during the first two weeks in particular and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The first reading at Eucharist, both weekday and Sunday, is taken from the Prophet Isaiah and talk of the coming of the Saviour. We are to be prepared for the return of our Saviour.
The colour of the Third Sunday of Advent is rose. This colour symbolizes joy and represents the happiness we will experience when Jesus comes again. The Third Sunday is a day of anticipatory celebration. It is formerly called “Gaudete” Sunday; from gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin.
Finally, Sundays during Advent, just as during Lent, should not be given to fasting, but instead to celebration because we celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord every Sunday. It is important to remember, however, there are no particular rules for how the laity should observe Advent.
From December 17th the tone of the liturgy changes. This time is often known as “O” time. This is because the “O” Antiphons are sung or recited during the last seven days of Advent (from December 17 through December 23) as part of the Liturgy of Hours. Each hymn begins with the interjection “O” followed by a title for Christ, e.g., O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Dayspring, O King of Nations, O God-with-Us.
Another way to count down to Christmas is the Advent Calendar that begins on December 1st. Again it is a visible way to focus our attention on the coming Solemnity of Christmas. Many families will also have a nativity scene that can both teach us about the birth of the Saviour, when Jesus was incarnate as human (God becomes human) and remind us of the Gospel narratives. It was St. Francis of Assisi who arranged the first nativity scene!
These are some of the many ways that we can get ready from Christmas, but what about ourselves? What can I do not to be caught in the consumer Christmas? As stated earlier we can make a commitment to fast (and not just to make space for the huge Christmas feast!) to remind ourselves of the coming celebration. The daily readings for Advent are a huge help in getting ready for both the birth of our Saviour and for the return of our Saviour. Given current restrictions there will be fewer opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but that does not mean that we cannot review our lives and make positive changes. The same goes for Advent retreats, but there will be some on-line resources (I’ll compile some for next week!). What will I be doing? As always, I will try and find some time and space to “feeding” myself; reflecting on the daily readings, learning more about the saints of Advent and spending time with the narratives of Jesus’ birth in Gospels Matthew and Luke.
Next week, I will have some on-line Advent resources that can be shared, used and adapted to what I need and what you need. If you have any resources for Advent that you wish to share, pass them along!
Hyning Monastery is offering 2 retreat days via Zoom. Thursday 3rd December and Saturday 12th December 2020. The overall theme will be Hope, much needed at this time! Each day starts at 10:15am concluding with Vespers at 4:30pm.
The timetable is the same for both days. 10.15: Welcome and short prayer – S Elizabeth Mary 10.30 – 11am: S Michaela will give a talk on the Scriptural aspects of hope. This will be followed by 10 minutes for comments or questions. 11.10 am Break 11.30 – 12 pm: S M Stella will present “Our Lady of the Sign”. Again there will be a few moments for comments and questions. 12.15pm Midday Office, live streamed from the chapel The sisters doing the presentations in the morning will also leave you some questions to think about. These questions will be taken up in an informal and optional discussion from 2.15- 3 pm. 3.15 – 4pm: S Josephine Mary will give a talk on Hope in the monastic tradition, and she will leave you with some thoughts to take away with you at the end of the day. At 4.30 pm each day, the sisters pray silently in chapel for all those affected by the Covid crisis. Those who wish are invited to join us for that time, which will be followed by Vespers, both live streamed from Chapel, closing our day together.
We would ask you to book in for the day you would like to follow. Please contact S M Bernard on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01524 732684 or 01524 989380 before Monday 30th November if possible.
There will be a voluntary contribution of £10 for the day, but we would not want anyone who wishes to join us to be left out because of finance
A pioneering ministry for health and wellbeing based in Carlisle in Cumbria is offering online Yoga sessions. These sessions, attended by an ecumenical group from Scotland, England and France, involve 45 minutes gentle stretching, then 15 minutes meditation using the mantra “Maranatha”.
‘Maranatha’ is an Aramaic phrase meaning ‘Come Lord’.
Free or donation based on Zoom. Send an email via their website to join in.
As we come into winter and face the prospect of months of continued restrictions on our physical, mental and social lives why not try this yoga practice rooted in the Christian tradition? Who knows where it might lead you.
The Feast of All Souls is celebrated in commemoration of the faithful departed in Purgatory. The first record of this celebration took place in the Monastery of Cluny, France in 998. It was instituted by Abbot Odilo, a Benedictine, and this observance was soon adopted by other Benedictines, and by the Carthusians. Pope Sylvester II (1003) approved and recommended it. It was some time, though, before the secular clergy introduced it in the various dioceses. From the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries it gradually spread in France, Germany, England, and Spain, until finally, in the fourteenth century, Rome placed the day of the commemoration of all the faithful departed in the official books of the Western Church for November 2nd (or November 3rd if the 2nd falls on a Sunday).
One of the reasons for this could be that Autumn is a great time of year for death or being reminded of death as nature changes once again: the leaves are falling, the plants are dying and days grow shorter. Halloween was traditionally a great reminder of death, being on the eve of All Saints Day (All Hallows) and an opportunity to reflect on our own “saintliness”.
The month of November reminds us of our loved ones who have died, but also reminds us that we too face death. Forgetting the inevitability of death is not good for us. Nor is it good for those who have already died. If we do not remember death, then we will not remember to pray for the dead. And the dead desperately need our prayers. That is why we often refer to the dead in Purgatory as the Poor Souls.
The Book of Remembrance
The November Dead Lists are available for us to write the names of our family members and friends who have died and have gone before us. They may take different forms in different parishes and communities. Here, the names are collected and printed so they can be added to our Book of Remembrance. All of the souls named will be remembered daily during the prayers and Eucharist that is celebrated in the Oratory.
Prayers for the Holy Souls
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Some Scriptural References on for the Holy Souls
2 Maccabees 12:38-46 Matthew 12:31-32 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 1 Peter 3:18-22 1 Peter 4:6