Dear friends in Christ
This is the final week of the liturgical calendar and it is celebrated as the Universal Kingship of Christ: all of creation, the entire cosmos, is subject to the reign of Christ. Most of all, this feast demonstrates the urgent desire of Christians to have Jesus Christ reign in our society and within our individual lives. We end the days of the year therefore, in our Parish, with the enthronement of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. From Thursday evening following the Mass (7pm) until Saturday afternoon we keep a continuous watch or vigil with Our Lord Jesus Christ. We dearly desire that He will reign over all the homes and families of our Parish, and we bring to Him in these Forty Hours all of the needs of the Church and world at this time. As your Parish Priest and Pastor, I invite you all earnestly once again, to come and spend generous time with Our Lord who waits for us in this Sacrament of His Love.
Advent begins next weekend and traditionally the inauguration of this season is marked by a special ceremony of Vespers and Advent Carols in Brentwood Cathedral at 4pm. To encourage Parishioners to attend, and as I myself shall be present, there will not be Vespers and Benediction in the Parish next Sunday (29th).
Advent will also herald the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. This will begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (8th December) and on that evening the Bishop will celebrate Mass in our Cathedral at 7pm; we are all invited to join the Bishop on that occasion and I hope many of us will travel to Brentwood for the Holy Mass.
As I have already signalled, I would very much like that the Chaplet of Divine Mercy be prayed each day in the church at three o’clock (the Hour of Mercy). As the Jubilee is initiated locally on the Sunday following the Immaculate Conception, we will begin the Devotion during the Vespers in the Parish here on the Third Sunday of Advent (13th December). From this week there will be monthly lists available in the Sacristy which I would ask you to sign if you are willing to lead this prayer on any day during the months of the Jubilee Year. It is a simple and powerful prayer and there will be small prayer cards available so that everyone can join-in easily. The image of Divine Mercy will also be venerated in the church throughout the Year.
It is always an exciting time to be a Catholic; there is so much happening in the life of the Church and despite the many negatives we may see around us, this Advent season ahead reminds us that we are people of joyful hope and optimism! God bless you as we prepare for our Forty Hours Prayer, united with and around Our Divine Saviour.
Msgr Kevin Hale