Newsletter- 25th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

The past week has been for us all a time I feel sure of some sadness and loss as we come to terms with the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Her death has clearly been a momentous loss to her family and to our nation. She was a tremendous source of unity in our nation and beyond, in the Commonwealth and in the wider world too. Most of us have never known a time when she was not our monarch. Together with the rest of the nation, I personally feel a deep sense of personal sadness at the passing of the late Queen, our wonderful and revered monarch, but this is tinged with a sense of thanksgiving for a life so supremely well lived and for the fact that she was able to continue as our monarch for 70 years with all the virtues she displayed during her long life and long reign. We pray now for her successor, our new King, Charles III, as he seeks to build upon the legacy left to him by his mother, and we pray for him and for the other members of the Royal family as together they come to terms with their own personal sense of grief and loss.

HM Queen Elizabeth II State Funeral: With the very recent announcement that Queen Elizabeth’s State Funeral will take place this coming Monday 19th September, I have made a few small changes to our weekly schedule of liturgies and times of opening at St. Mary’s for this coming week. This Sunday 18th September at 6pm I will offer a simple Mass of Requiem in church, and I encourage those who feel able to come, to join me, as together we pray for the happy repose of the soul of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and as we anticipate through our prayers, and as the Catholic community here in Grantham, her Funeral the next day. Practically those who attend Mass this weekend on either Saturday evening or Sunday morning may on Sunday evening receive Holy Communion again, as this is not a Sunday Liturgy but a Vigil Mass for the Monday. On Monday 19th September there will be no Public Worship as usual, to allow people to watch the Funeral in their homes and with their families. However, the church will remain open for quiet prayer and reflection from 9 am – 2 pm. 

This coming week I need to attend the Deanery Meeting at 11 am in Spalding and so Mass on Thursday 22nd September will be celebrated a little earlier than normal at 9.30 am.

This Sunday, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time is the third Sunday in September, which was formerly called Home Mission Sunday, it is now called:  Evangelii Gaudium Sunday. Named after Pope Francis’ first (solo) Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel. This weekend at our Masses we are offered the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of our faith and our commitment to witness to the fullness of life in Christ.

In his first Apostolic Exhortation in 2013 when he became Pope, Pope Francis spoke then about the joy of the Gospel. Evangelii Gaudium is the Latin for the ‘joy of the Gospel’. And in that document, he was really inviting the Catholic Church to be joyous in proclaiming the faith – seeking new ways of understanding the faith and reaching out to others. 

Today at all the Sunday Masses there will be a second collection which goes towards the important work of the secretariat in England and Wales who support all our bishops and dioceses, firstly through evangelisation and catechesis, secondly, through the beauty of the Liturgy and our church buildings. The mission directorate ensures that the liturgical directives from Rome are acted upon, and liturgical texts are translated into English. Experts from the Directorate support dioceses to fund and maintain some our most beautiful and historic places for prayer. Thirdly, by sharing the beauty of the Catholic faith with Christian and non-Christians through outreach and dialogue.  Please do support the Mission Directorate through prayer and alms giving to the second collection this weekend. However much you feel able to give, big or small, will go directly to support these three important areas of work. 

Replacement Parish Hymn Books: As many of you will be aware the present hymn books that are currently in use are past repair and many have lost some of their pages, and all are in a very sorry state of condition. I was approached a couple of weeks ago by two of our parishioners who have very kindly, and generously, offered to replace the present hymn books with new ones. Going forward we have decided to replace the current hymn books with another hymn book also printed by Kevin Mayhew “Catholic Hymns Old and New”this is an excellent hymn book for a parish like our own as it contains a wide selection of over 936 hymns, both old and contemporary, chants, and a good selection of Mass Settings and Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations for use on all Sundays throughout the Year and all Major Feasts. The two parishioners who have kindly offered to buy new hymn books have asked that their gift to the parish remain anonymous, but I am very grateful for their generosity and thoughtful gift, as I am sure you will be as well when they come into use. We shall hopefully begin to use our new hymn books in October, once they have arrived from the Publishers.

Request for more servers: At present, we have a good and very committed group of young servers, who come weekly to serve at the altar, and I am very grateful to them for giving of their time to this important ministry within our parish. However, I am also aware that in a few years’ time some our older servers may start to think about moving on to college and university. It would be good to start now to plan for this by training up some of our younger members of the congregation, to ensure that the excellent standard of serving at St Mary’s continues into the future. If your child (girl or boy) has made their First Holy Communion, and they would like to come to learn how to serve at the altar, please in the first instance make contact with me. Serving is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and to offer service to God and to our parish community. We also try to make it an enjoyable and fun experience! 

With prayer for you and for your families during the coming week,

Your parish priest and friend,

Father Jonathan

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2022 18th September – Newsletter – Download

PRAYERS FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOUL OF HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II– Download