Times of Mass and Devotions
HA = Holy Angels Church, Ash GU12 6LU HF = Holy Family Church, Farnham GU9 0LH
|Sat 20 Dec||5.30pm||HA||First Mass – Fr. John Nuttall||Special Intentions of Rob & Marie Faul|
|Sun 21 Dec||9.15am||HF||Fourth Sunday of Advent||Special Intentions of the people of the Parish|
|11.00am||HA||Fr. Jim Martin (RIP)|
|Mon 22 Dec||NO MASS|
|Tue 23 Dec||9.30am||HF||Liturgy of the Word|
|Wed 24 Dec||5.30pm||HF||Family Mass – Children’s Tableau (Fr. John Nuttall)|
|Thu 25 Dec||9.15pm||HF||MASS of Christmas (Fr. Aidan Rossiter)|
|HA||MASS of Christmas|
|Fri 26 Dec||NO MASS|
|Sat 27 Dec||5.30pm||HA||First Mass – Fr. John Nuttall||Special Intentions of Newton & Mary Abrew|
|Sun 28 Dec||9.15am||HF||The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph||Special Intentions of the people of the Parish|
Collections for 14th December, 2014
Holy Angels Offertory: £290.14
Holy Family Offertory: £263.00
Standing Orders, November £1017.00
Car Parking at Holy Family
If you are coming to the Christmas Eve Service please remember NOT TO BLOCK NEIGHBOURS DRIVES also the pub will be open for normal business so please DO NOT USE THEIR CAR PARK. Walk if you can!
Archbishop Peter Smith has endorsed a request from Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) that parishes donate their crib box collections to help our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, specifically in and around Bethlehem and the Holy Family Parish in Gaza.
Every penny collected is distributed by FHL to named families in the greatest need to help them with their day to day living, to supply medicines and fund operations (there is no social service in this area), to repair houses of Christian families damaged in Gaza from the recent war and to support Christian children at the parish school with a special programme to overcome the trauma of the recent conflict.
For more information on the work of FHL, please visit their website www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk. FHL is an ecumenical and non-political charity seeking to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land. Thank you for your generosity.
Christmas Collection: By tradition, the offertory collections at Easter and Christmas are gifts to the parish, which then passes on the full amount to the clergy as personal income. All these donations are eligible for Gift Aid (there are slightly different rules for a salaried clergy). This year it is proposed that half of the collection will remain in the funds to offset the donations made to our supply priests. It is proposed that the remaining half is divided between Deacon John and provides a Christmas gift to our supply priests. Deacon John wishes his share to be kept on account to pay for him to attend a conference in Italy in October 2015.
Christmas Posters – Keep Christ in Christmas: These posters are available at each church courtesy of the Knights of St. Columba. Please take one and display it in your window.
Prayer Requests for the sick: Deacon David Morgan, Newton Abrew, Michael Brandon, Patrick Quinn, Maureen Cosgrove, Sean Flynn, Connie Tewkesbury, and Paul Tremlett.
We pray for all those in our two Parishes who are sick and need our prayers at this time.
Prayer Group: takes place once a month on a Tuesday at Holy Angels Church in the Parish Office: 7.30pm for 7.45pm start. Next dates are: 13th Jan, 2015 and 10th Feb, 2015.
As we approach Christmas, the peace of things speeds up, so that the spiritual side tends to get lost. Let us pause to make room in our minds and hearts so that Christ may come to us during this Eucharist.
There are people who fear, maybe even dread, the approach of Christmas. It’s not Christmas itself that causes this fear – I mean the religious side of it. The source of this fear lies elsewhere.
For some it’s the hassle and the extra work that makes them fearful. For others it’s the strain put on their already overstretched finances by the Christmas splurge. For others it’s fear of the conflicts that sometimes occur in families at Christmas time. And for others it is the fact that Christmas reawakens painful memories – the memory of a death or a tragedy that occurred around this time.
Also where there has been a loss during the year, that loss is felt again, intensely, at Christmas. The sight of others surrounded by loved ones re-opens a wound that perhaps was beginning to heal. The result is an intense loneliness. Finally, one’s fears may result from advancing age, with the infirmities and sense of mortality this brings with it.
But those who fear the approach of Christmas can take heart and hope from the story of the first Christmas. There was plenty of fear present in it too. In fact, all of the main characters in it were afraid at one time or another.
Joseph was afraid when he found that Mary was expecting a child even though they hadn’t yet lived together. But an angel appeared to him in a dream and said to him, “Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit” words we hear in today’s Gospel. Joseph, the just man, trusted God, and so overcame his fear and did what was right.
Mary was afraid on hearing the greeting of the angel Gabriel. But the angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour”. The angel went on to tell her that she was to conceive and bear a son by the power of the Holy Spirit, and she must name him Jesus. Mary trusted God, and so overcame her fear and said “Yes” to what he was asking of her.
And the shepherds were afraid. The Gospel says that when the angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, they were terrified. But the angel said, “Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of a great joy ..Today a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” And they trusted God, went to Bethlehem, saw the child, and returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God.
All of us are touched by fear. But we must not allow our fears to cripple us. What we have to do is move from fear to faith. Trust is the thing that enables us to turn fear into faith. And here is where Christmas can be a great help. Somehow it’s easier to trust in God at Christmas than at any other time, because we feel that God is very close to us and very loving towards us at this time. In Jesus, God comes to us in the form of a child. And surely no one can be afraid of a child?
Christmas challenges us to enter into an intimate relationship with God, trusting that we will receive love, and always more love.
By all means, let us do whatever we can to improve our situation. But having done that, let us leave what is outside our control in the hands of God. We must take courage. Fear can be an opportunity, even a grace. It can force us to trust in God rather than in ourselves.
Loneliness too can be a grace. So, if we should feel lonely at Christmas, let us not be alarmed. Our hearts are always longing for something more, or rather, for Someone else. In every human heart there is an empty chamber waiting for a guest. That guest is God.
Christmas awakens our deepest longings, longings which only God can fulfil. We must not allow our fears to prevent us from opening our hearts to the ‘great joy’ announced to the shepherds by the angel. (Flor McCarthy, SDB)
Welcome to Deacon Robin and his family
We would like to take this opportunity of welcoming Deacon Robin, his wife Caroline and their four daughters who will be moving into the Presbytery on Tuesday. As most of us know, moving any time of the year can be very stressful, but is made even more stressful with Christmas only a couple of days away, so we do hope that Robin and Caroline will soon settle into their new home and we wish them every happiness.
As mentioned Deacon Robin, accompanied by his Mentor, Father Terry Martin, will be at all Masses from the 3rd and 4th January until this time Robin and Caroline will be endeavouring to settle into their new surroundings and to create a home for their family.
Message from Deacon John and Rita
We wish all of our Parishioners at Holy Angels and Holy Family A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS.