THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: SECOND SUNDAY of ADVENT (Year A)
First Reading: Isaiah predicts the coming of the Messiah – who will be of the line of David (which is what “from the stock of Jesse” means) - and lists the gifts he will have. These gifts are remarkably similar to six of the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit. He will also bring in an age of peace. Note to readers: the sc in ‘scion’ is pronounced as in ‘scientist’.
The Psalm is one of the psalms known as royal psalms, and continues the First Reading’s foretelling of the Messiah, who will be king and saviour.
Characteristically, in the Second Reading St Paul suggests a practical outcome of our belief in Christ, namely that we should treat each other as Christ has treated us. In this way will glory be given to God.
Gospel: the great Advent figure of St John the Baptist appears. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets, preaching repentance and dressing like Elijah. He is also the first New Testament saint, preparing a way for Christ. Like the Baptist we too should prepare a way for Christ, both for Him to come into our own lives and also for other people to receive the good news of Christ.
We welcome Fr Mark Odion, MSP for the Masses at Borough Green and West Kingsdown. We also extend our condolences to him and his family on the recent death of his father
The Traditional Choir leads the music today.
Confessions at Otford
In view of today’s Gospel, Fr David will be available in the Confessional at Holy Trinity after Mass today. He will also be available for Confessions after the Mass on Wednesday.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Solemnity, a principal patron of our diocese, is transferred this year to Monday. Holy Mass as usual at 8:00am. The Mass Readings emphasise the role of Mary, mother of the Saviour, in the history of our salvation.
First Holy Communion Registration
The third and final Registration meeting for parents for the 2020 First Holy Communion programme is on Monday at 7:30pm in St Thomas’s Church. This will be your last chance to register a child for next year’s programme.
Deacon Neil Philipson
We extend our congratulations to Deacon Neil, who celebrates his 10th anniversary of Ordination on Thursday. Ad multos annos!
Pilgrims & Friends Advent Festive Lunch and Afternoon Entertainment on 12th December
Please note that if you are joining us after lunch for MY LIFE IS MAGIC it begins at 2pm. Do allow time to park. Enquiries Pat 01732 453902 or Jackie 01732 450197.
Holy Trinity Church cleaning
On Saturday, 10:00am - 12:00noon. Please come and help to give the Church a Christmas clean, all welcome. One or two outdoor jobs so bring your own rubber gloves but cleaning materials will be provided. Hot drinks and mince pies will be available.
Frances Bacon (01959 523585)
There will be a collection after Mass next Sunday for Christmas flowers. If you can supply greenery, please leave it at the back of Church by Sunday 22nd December. We especially need trailing ivy and holly.
Parish Christmas Party
1:15pm - 4:00pm, in St Luke’s Hall, Eardley Road, Sevenoaks. Let’s make this a fantastic social occasion! There will NOT be an entry charge: FREE ENTRY! It will be at Lunch time; we will have a variety of (FREE) food and mulled wine, alcohol, soft drinks, children’s games, entertainment, live music, carols from Children’s choir, various stalls.
We need some volunteers and donations for the items below. PLEASE HELP.
Please try and help to make this a great parish event. If you have other ideas or queries to make this a fantastic parish event please contact Fr David or Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- BOTTLE STALL: basically anything that fits into a bottle and can be drunk: wine, spirits, juices). Bottles can be deposited in the box inside the Presbytery. Please contact Andrew: email@example.com;
- FOOD AND SOFT DRINKS: donate/make and bring food (various types, hot food, salads, cakes, mince pies, biscuits etc), make and serve soft drinks/tea/coffee/and assist in serving: Please contact Sandie: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- ALCOHOL: donate and help in running the bar: please contact Ben at email@example.com;
- ENTERTAINMENT: we want to provide some live music and other forms of entertainment: please contact Caroline: caroline.stockmann@
- CHILDREN’S GAMES: we need someone to supervise games for under 10s.
The Archbishop has announced that Canon John O’Toole is to be Episcopal Vicar for Kent, pending the appointment by Rome of a new Auxiliary Bishop. He replaces Monsignor Matthew Dickens in this role. The main effect for us is that from February Monsignor Matthew will once again be available to help out in this parish on Sundays.
The Library upstairs in the Parish Centre is in the process of change. After each Mass you are welcome to go up and select any religious, non religious, and art books you would like (except for the catechetical materials). A small donation would be welcome.
Food Bank at St Joseph’s and at St Bernadette’s
On 8th and 15th December there will be special Christmas collection for people in need. We would be grateful for any donation of tins of meat, vegetables and pasta, (no baked beans please), squash, UHT milk, coffee/tea, toiletries and laundry products, plus Christmas ‘goodies’. That’s just a sample list, any donation will be welcome and appreciated. Thank you for your generosity and continued support.
St Bernadette’s Christmas Raffle
Tickets are now on sale for the Raffle, which will be drawn on Sunday 22nd December. Prizes are also needed for this annual fund raiser. A selection of Advent and Christmas items is on sale at the back of church; please ensure you write down, on the pad provided, what you buy.
St Bernadette’s Christmas Flowers
Retiring collection for flowers on both Sunday 15th and Sunday 22nd December.
Christmas Clean at St Thomas’s
This will take place on Wednesday 18th December at 10:00am. Team C would welcome some extra help to prepare the church for the great Feast. Many thanks.
The Post Office have issued this year’s Christmas Stamps. Remember, when you buy your stamps for your Christmas Cards – ask for the religious ones. Otherwise, you will only get snow scenes and the Post Office will say there is no call for religious stamps!
St Gregory’s Catholic School, Tunbridge Wells
warmly welcomes you to attend their Carol Service on Wednesday at 7:00pm. Mince pies and mulled wine afterwards.
Advance Notice: Christmas Liturgies
- Christmas Eve (24th) Crib Service 5:30pm; Vigil Mass 6:00pm; Midnight Mass 11:30pm
- Christmas Day (25th) Holy Mass 8:00am (Latin), 9:15am, 11:15am
- Christmas Eve (24th) Crib Service 3:30pm; Vigil Mass 8:00pm (Carols 7:30pm)
- Christmas Day (25th) Mass of the Day 9:30am
- Christmas Eve (24th) Mass of the Night 10:00pm
- Christmas Day (25th) Mass of the Day 9:30am
- Christmas Day (25th) Mass of the Day 11:00am.
There will not be a Mass at Borough Green on Thursday 26th or at West Kingsdown on Friday 27th.
Crib Service with Readings and Carols
This year’s Crib Service at St Thomas’ will be at 5.30pm on Christmas Eve. Children in years 1 to 3 will take costumed roles to enact the Nativity, and children in years 4 and up are invited to participate in narration, readings and prayers. Reception children are welcome to arrive in angel/shepherd costumes and sit at the front of the Church to take part in the candlelight procession. Please note that children in year 5 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult during rehearsals. More adult helpers will be warmly welcomed! Rehearsals will take place from 3:00pm on Christmas Eve. For further details, and to take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, and no later than Friday 13th December. Please note that the Crib Service is immediately followed by the Christmas Vigil Mass at 6pm.
Advance Notice: Sunday 29th December
This will appear in your Catholic Calendar, diary or Ordo as the Feast of the Holy Family. However, in this parish we shall observe the Solemnity of our Patron, St Thomas of Canterbury, because his Solemnity outranks the Feast of the Holy Family. Interestingly, this was recently confirmed by Fr Edward McNamara, Professor of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome : https://zenit.org/articles/patronal-feast-during-christmas-season.