Saturday, 2 February 2008

The Year of Grace

The Year of Grace started in style.

At 6pm Mass started with the blessing of candles and procession. We carried the light inviting him who is the Light to illuminate our Year of Grace.

Our Preacher and guest of Honour, Dr Colin Podmore spoke to us about being torch bearers, holding the light of Christ by keeping the faith and proclaiming Jesus in our lives. His words filled us with courage as we knelt at the altar to open the Year of Grace, here is the rite that was used.

Inauguration of the Year of Grace.

Two cantors sang:
O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Most Holy God, God of our fathers, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, rich in mercy and love. In order to reconcile us to yourself you have sent your only begotten Son Jesus Christ the only door for your sheep: a door of grace and mercy always open for us sinners, a door that offers salvation and rich pastures beyond all telling for those who enter it.
Look with favour on us, on this night filled with the resplendent light of your Son as he opens the door of the temple to all your people. Fill us with his light as he opens for us the door of this Year of Grace, that we may be a holy people, a learning people and a loving people.
This we ask in the name of your Son the Key of David who opens for us the spring of salvation to set us free from sin and the shadow of death, to him alone be all blessing and honour and glory and power now and for ever. Amen.

Beloved in Christ, let us again claim for ourselves the covenant which God has made with his people, and take upon us the yoke of Christ. Let us give ourselves to him, trusting in his promises and relying on his grace.
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Let us now offer to God for the first time the prayer for our Year of Grace:

Blessed are you,
God of our fathers
who in Jesus Christ and
through the Holy Spirit
has formed us as your people.
Forgive our mistrust,
establish us in faith and
lead us as we journey on.
This we ask in the name of Jesus
through the Holy Spirit. Amen

Our Lady of Greatness, pray for us.
St John the Baptist, pray for us.

Christ yesterday and today, the End and the Beginning; Christ Alpha and Omega. To him be glory through every age for ever and ever. Amen.

After the Mass all in church assembled in the Hall for a feast prepared by our choir members. The choir sang the grace for us and entertained us with music and readings from the last 150 years. All had a very good time indeed. Dr Colin Podmore kindly accepted to launch the new website (see picture above) which was greeted with a very loud applause.

This evening saw the opening of the Year of Grace and indeed promises well. May the God of all grace fill us with his blessings.

Do not forget to have a look at the web site:

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