Newsletter- 4th Week of Lent

Dear Parishioners

First Holy Communion Candidates and their Families: This Sunday we welcome to the 9.30 am Mass all our First Holy Communion Candidates along with their families. Today our candidates will stay for the whole of Mass. Please continue to pray for them as they prepare this coming week to make their First Confessions on Saturday 16th March in church.

This weekend we keep the 4th Sunday of Lent which is traditionally called Laetare SundayLaetare is the Latin word which means “rejoice.” Today before we enter the darker days of Holy Week, we rejoice as our Lenten observance is lifted slightly, we see this in the rose-coloured vestments warn by the clergy at Mass this weekend, and as we remember that this Sunday marks the midway point in our Lenten journey. 

We also keep this Sunday as Mothering Sunday. The celebration of Mothering Sunday in England can be traced back to around the time of the Norman Conquest when the custom developed of visiting the “mother” church where one was baptised, the local parish church or cathedral, on the 4th Sunday in Lent. In more recent times people working in domestic service and often living far away from their homes and families, were given the day off to go and visit their families and their “mother” church on 4th Sunday of Lent. This was usually something that people did as a whole family and was often one of the only chances for the family to get together. This then eventually evolved into the current tradition of giving our mothers gifts on Mothering Sunday, taking them out for lunch, and giving thanks on this day for all they do for us throughout the year.

The ancient traditions of Mothering Sunday allow us to celebrate our mothers in a special way and their important role in our lives, but today on Laetare Sunday we should also remember Mary, the Mother of Christ, who plays an important role in the plan of our salvation. Mary looks out for us her children all year round and whenever we say a Hail Mary, we are asking her to pray for us. Today on Laetare Sundaywe give praise and honour to Our Blessed Lady, our heavenly Mother as we pray for all our earthly mothers, living and dead. 

Laetare Sunday is an opportunity on many different levels for us to rejoice, and we give thanks as well for the presence of Jesus in our hearts and lives. Jesus is the light of our world, and we give thanks today for the light of his love and the gift of faith we have received from him. This week, let us pray for those who have yet to allow the light of Christ into their lives. Let us pray that we may carry Christ’s light to others as we walk beside them, sharing in their hardships, sorrows, and pain and as we give to them the precious gift of our friendship and support.

Changes to Mass Times and Lent Liturgies this week:

Thursday 14th March – Mass today is at 9.30 am

  • No Exposition and Silent Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament before Mass today
  • No Confessions for half an hour after Mass today

Friday 15th March – Mass at school – 9.30 am with a period of Confession and Reconciliation for the school afterwards – all parishioners are welcome at Mass today in the school hall. No Mass in the church today.

  • Confessions in church 6 pm – 6.45 pm
  • Stations of the Cross in church – 7 pm

Prayer for our Confirmation Candidates on Retreat: Next weekend our Confirmation Candidates will be making a short retreat together at The Briars Catholic Youth Retreat Centre in Crich, accompanied by some of our catechists. Please keep our young people in your prayers this coming week as they prepare for this important time away together on retreat in Derbyshire. Let us ask that Christ will touch their hearts and their lives afresh this coming weekend, and that their time away will deepen their personal commitment to him and to his Church. 

With prayer and best wishes for you and for your families this coming week,

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


2024 10th March – Newsletter – Download