Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Great Day of Pentecost

After Mass on Friday morning I went to the usual hospital visits while Fr Mark took communion to the housebound. I had Mark with me on my visit. Mark is a potential ordinand from the Parish of St Nicholas in Sevenoaks. He is a thoughtful and prayerful young man and I wish him well in the selection process.

Another meeting with a potential ordinand in the early afternoon then in church for Vespers and Benediction. Stuart was busy doing and printing the Pew Sheets. After Vespers I had a quick chat with my gardener and the member of the French choir who is staying with us. This was followed by a meeting with Jackie, one of the Parish Pastoral Assistants. Jackie is working on a scheme for parents of babies in the congregation and is putting together an exciting plan. Dealing with some correspondence brought the day to an end.
At hospital I visited David and on my way out Mark and I met his wife. He was moved to the Kent & Sussex Hospital late on Friday evening, where he still is. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Saturday was a very glorious day indeed, the sun shone and the temperature rose. After the morning Mass Fr Mark and I prepared everything for Sunday. Back home some e-mails to answer and then preparations for the evening. The choir used the Vicarage Garden to treat the French choir for a BBQ. The afternoon was very active with chairs, tables, BBQ sets and a thousand things finding their way to the Vicarage.
(photos to the left)

At 7pm the concert started. All enjoyed the high standard of the choir and the joy they brought. During the interval all had chance to enjoy a glass of wine and a chat. The concert ended with both choirs performing together Faure’s “Cantique de Jean Racine”. The French choir enjoyed the meal afterwards.
This concert was also the launch of the appeal for the window by Carolyn Benyon depicting Pentecost. It really started in style and raised just over £300 towards the £7k we need. Donations are now being gratefully received. (Design of the proposed window above)

The glorious day of Pentecost started with the Early Mass which I have celebrated. Fr Mark was away this morning celebrating and preaching at St Barnabas Tunbridge Wells. After the recitation of the Office all was in place for the Sung Mass. Roger, our reader, gave us a very good sermon on the gospel of the day. The music was good and the attendance great. The numbers of the choir were swelled by some of the French choir for the anthem. Banns of Marriage were read during which we paused in prayer for the three couples present who will be married this summer. Following the joy of catching up with folk after Mass there was a quick and very productive standing committee meeting.

My family and I enjoyed a quick lunch in the garden – today the weather is hotter and better than in Malta!

After lunch I visited the hospital and had time to chat with some of the dedicated staff with which we are blessed. I was also blessed by meeting a couple who this coming August will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their marriage, their love and joy looks like that of a couple about to be married. I also enjoyed my chat with Betty who comes from Hull. Betty is full of life and joy, a very gentle lady. On Tuesday she will be moved to a nursing home in the Parish where she will be near to her family. Understandably Betty is hesitant about her move, can you join me in saying a prayer for her? I walked in front of David’s room and it was sad to see it empty knowing that he is at another hospital. I thought of him and his family during Mass and also at the Rosary.

The devotion of the Rosary is truly a deep and fruitful one that enables us to enter into new depths as we meditate the Mysteries of our Salvation. We had exposition at 6pm, the Rosary with sung verses at each mystery; we chanted the Salve and ended with Benediction.
Our Youth Group: BOBs, met this evening and enjoyed their games and a good video. (Photo above)

The day of Pentecost ended with a very sad note. A member of our congregation died peacefully in her home this afternoon. Fr Mark went straight away to give conditional absolution and anointing. I followed him and blessed the body. On this birthday of the Church, one of our numbers has been admitted into the Church Triumphant – may she rest in peace and may the Spirit of all consolation descend on her family.

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