Saturday, 26 July 2008

Ss. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the BVM

On Thursday, after the morning Lauds and morning Mass I went to give communion to some housebound members of our congregation. Following this I went to celebrate the bi-monthly communion service at one of our residential homes. Over twenty residents assembled in the main hall for this service. It was a glorious day with the sun streaming in through the well kept gardens of this house. Many of the residents commented on the wonderful day and requested to sing All things bright and beautiful, which we did and with "gusto". It is moving to pray with and for these elderly residents, who through their suffering have so much to offer to the Church and the world. When the main service was over there were about 11 residents who have communion taken to their room. A new resident has spent many years of her life in Malta so it was a delight to spend time listening to her wonderful stories and about the Maltese people she knows - it is a small world.

Back to the Vicarage for the usual admin work after a quick lunch and also some work on the sermon. The sacristan joined me for the Office of Readings and Vespers and after we were busy setting up the banners in their new holders whilst the flower ladies decorated the church.

Friday was the day dedicated to St James the Great. The relic of the Twelve Apostles was exposed on the altar for Lauds and Mass. After Mass more home communions and the Friday visit to Sevenoaks hospital. As usual it was great to spend time with staff and patients. Going from place to place, I try to do it on foot as much as I can, I enjoyed meeting and talking to people, offering prayers for some and congratulating others. Always encouraging them to say their prayers and join us in church. More Home Communions, a delicious mediterranean lunch (one can see that my wife is now on holidays and so I am well fed and watered) and off to Church for exposition of the Most Blessed for Sacred Space. It is great to be able to spend quiet time in front of Jesus and having the opportunity of praying the Rosary slowly for the Church, our Parish and for SSC as on Friday our intention was SSC. Back to the Vicarage where Stuart was setting out the Pew Sheets. Oh no, the Parish PC broke down. We are grateful for a technician who came out to fix our problem. Back to church for Vespers and Benediction and then in the Vicarage where all the work was finally finished (Pew Sheet available on the web site).

This morning I was woken up really early by a priest friend in Malta who wanted some historical details about St Dominic's Church in Malta before being interviewed on the local TV. In Valletta, as from Sunday the festivities of the glorious St Dominic will be kept and will reach their climax on Sunday 3 August. I hope to be there for that feast and if I manage will post about it. After sending him as much details as I could I went to church for Lauds after which we celebrated Mass on the Walsingham Altar in honour of Joachim and Anne. We offered the Mass for all parents and grandparents and after Mass united ourselves spiritually with all the pilgrims in Walsingham and prayed the Angelus. After enjoying a chat with those present for Mass and with Dr Turner who every Saturday kindly folds all the bulletins in readiness for the Sunday I returned home to write some Banns certificates and update this blog. After lunch I will continue to study my sermon and finally some free time with the family while looking forward to celebrate the day of the Lord in the parish tomorrow.

As you can see life in the Parish goes on as usual, in faithfulness, prayer and renewed zeal to work for the kingdom God will show us the way forward to secure for us a solid place in which this church will continue to flourish.

My neighbour and good friend Fr Tomlinson has just started blogging, I warned him... you can find it here.

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