Newsletter- 6th Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners

Changes to Mass Schedule this coming week:

Ash Wednesday 14th February. We shall offer two Masses that day at which there will be the Imposition of Ashes. A simple said Mass at 9.30 am in the morning and in the evening a Sung Mass at 7pm.

Friday 16th February – Requiem Funeral Mass at 11am replacing the 9.30 am parish Mass that day.

The theme of today’s readings at Mass for 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B is God’s loving compassion and healing. We, too, are called to be loving, as well as to try to live lives that are pure and holy. Two of the readings speak of leprosy: a disease that can now be cured, but at the time was seen as a punishment for human sin. The belief was that either the leper or one of their family had offended God in some way. The First Reading reveals the requirements imposed on lepers. They were to make themselves physically unattractive, so that people would know they were unclean, and to live apart, outside the city walls. They were thus sentenced to indefinite exile from their community and excluded from worship. The leper we meet in the Gospel breaks the law because of his faith. He approaches Jesus, pleading to be made clean. We see Jesus’s compassion, mercy, and healing power in curing him. The leper can be readmitted to his community once he has seen the priest, though conversely, Jesus now becomes the outcast. In the Responsorial Psalm we hear the joy of the psalmist who, in acknowledging and repenting of his sins, is confident of the Lord’s forgiveness. The Second Reading calls us to be witnesses to Christ’s teaching in everything we do, whilst always being sensitive to others.

This Wednesday, Ash Wednesday (14th February) Lent begins. In these next few days just before the start of lent let us pray for the courage, humility, and faith of the leper in the Gospel today to bring our own desires and needs to Jesus and let us ask for the grace to journey more closely with Christ over these next 40 days. As we prepare for Lent again this year let us seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help us to see the areas of our lives which may need to change and then the courage to put those changes into action!

Walk with Me – Lent 2024 Prayer Booklets are available again this year on the table as you come into church and on the ledge just inside the double doors. This handy little pocket-sized prayer booklet offers us all the chance to pause and reflect and to pray each day during Lent, following the Lent Scripture Readings. Please do consider buying a copy at just £1, for yourselves and maybe too buying some extra copies to share with your families and your friend’s.

Details of the Lent Schedule and Liturgies for Holy Week can be found within the Bulletin. The Lent Schedule begins from Tuesday 20thFebruary

Communion under both Kinds: From the First Sunday of Lent, we shall resume offering the Precious Blood from the chalice at the Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the Sunday morning Mass. I am grateful to Ann Walker and our team of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for making this possible. Whilst the Covid -19 pandemic may have past, covid is as we all know still very much present within our society and so I would like to stress from the outset that parishioners should feel under no obligation to “have to receive” from the chalice. Historically, receiving under both kinds at Mass or in one kind only is always left up to individual choice. A reminder too that should you have a heavy cold or be sick in any way you should as a courtesy to the priest, minister of Holy communion and to the other members of the congregation refrain from receiving Holy Communion from the chalice whilst you are sick and receive only the Precious Body of Christ, to avoid the transference of germs and viruses to others. In addition, there may be occasions going forward when we are only able for practical reasons, to offer Holy Communion under one kind only, namely as now, the Precious Body of Christ from the ciborium. During the week at Mass Holy communion will continue to be given under one kind only, namely that of the Precious Body of Christ. 

Intinction at Holy Communion and receiving Holy Communion: when we resume offering Holy Communion under both kinds, we shall not be offering Communion by Intinction I have had a couple of parishioners ask me about Intinction. I thought it might be helpful therefore to highlight for you the directives from the Liturgical Commission for the Dioceses of England and Wales regarding Intinction and why it is not possible for Intinction to be offered when Holy Communion is given in both kinds at Mass in our parish. I also highlight the directives on receiving Holy Communion from the chalice and our local practice on the reception of the Host at Holy Communion.

Local Practice on Ministering the Host

The communicant genuflects or bows as they move from their place in church processing reverently down the central aisle of the church towards the altar. After receiving the host from the priest or the minister of Holy Communion either on the togue or in the hand (personal choice) the communicant if they so desire may receive from the chalice. Those not wishing to do so pass before the altar either going left or right to return to their place in church. Those wishing to receive in both kinds move reverently to the left or the right of the altar to receive from the chalice from the minister of Holy Communion positioned on the bottom step of the sanctuary at either the far lefthand or righthand side of the altar. 

Ministering the Precious Blood

The minister standing before the communicant raises the chalice just a little and shows it to the communicant saying: The Blood of Christ. The communicant answers: Amen. The minister hands the chalice to the communicant who then drinks from it and returns the chalice to the minister of Holy Communion who then wipes the rim of the chalice with the purificator. 

Intinction at Holy Communion

Ministering Holy Communion by intinction is not recommended within the Dioceses of England and Wales.

  • However, should communion be distributed by Intinction under exceptional circumstances the minister or priest should be accompanied by a server holding a communion plate and another minister holding the chalice. The priest or the minister of Holy Communion takes a host, dips it themselves partly into the chalice and showing it to the communicant says: The Body of Christthe communicant responds: Amen. He or she receive the Sacrament on the tongue from the priest or the minister of Holy Communion and then withdraw back to their place in church.
  • When intinction is offered, all members of the congregation should be invited to receive Holy Communion under this form. However individual communicants can choose to receive the Host alone.
  • Holy Communion by intinction can only be administered by a priest or minister of Holy Communion and may not be self-administered by the communicant.  

Taken from The Directives Regarding Intinction and Ministering the Precious Body and Blood at Holy Communion.  Liturgical Commission for the Dioceses of England and Wales

CAFOD – FAMILY FAST DAY – Friday 23rd February – CAFOD Family Fast Day envelopes are now available in church for you to put your donations in. These can be put in the collection plate from the weekend of February 24th /25th and all donations received will be forwarded directly to CAFOD at the end of February.

With my prayers for you and for your families as we prepare again for Lent this year,

Your Parish Priest and friend,

Fr Jonathan


2024 11th February – Newsletter – Download