THE PARISH PRIEST WRITES:
Today’s Mass: Pentecost Sunday (Year B)
The Pentecost Vigil (6:00pm Mass)
Note: the readings and prayers at this Mass are not those on p6 of Newsletter. The Pentecost Vigil is as normal until the
Kyrie. The Celebrant then says a prayer and an address. Four Old Testament Readings follow, each followed by a short period of silence and a prayer. The Gloria is then recited, followed by the Reading from Romans. Mass continues from the Gospel onwards as normal, except for the double ‘Alleluia’ at the Dismissal.
The First Reading, from Genesis,, is the story of the tower of Babel, which was undone by Pentecost. The
Second Reading tells of the Sinai covenant (which the Jewish feast of Pentecost commemorated). The Third Reading is Ezekiel’s prophecy of the dry bones and God’s spirit. The Fourth Reading is from Joel and is about the outpouring of the Spirit. After the Epistle Reading from Romans which describes the work of the Spirit, the Gospel describes Jesus - speaking at the Feast of Tabernacles - predicting the coming of the Spirit, using a traditional Hebrew image of water to represent spirit.
Mass during the Day
First Reading: the famous account of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles on Pentecost Day. The Psalm recalls the role of the Spirit in creation and in ongoing renewal. The Second Reading contrasts the
results of self-indulgence with the fruits of the Spirit.
There then follows the Sequence (‘Holy Spirit, Lord of light’), which we should try to sing, referring to the
seven gifts of the Spirit. In the Gospel Jesus promises that after His Ascension He will send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. The opening verse inspired the belief that the Spirit ‘proceeds from the Father’, as we say in the Nicene Creed.
Today we welcome Mgr Matthew Dickens, VG for the Mass at Otford and Fr Mark Odion, MSP for the Mass at Borough Green.
The Traditional Choir leads our music today.
Pentecost is the last day of the Easter season. Tomorrow we revert to Ordinary Time. The readings and prayers are from the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, the readings are from year 2 in the Lectionary, and the psalms at offices are from Week 3.
Changes to the Liturgical Calendar
Two changes to the Calendar, both occurring this week, were recently announced in Rome.
Bereavement Support Group
- Monday: Obligatory Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Pope Francis has added this Memoria, to fall on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday. The prayers and antiphons are in the Missal on pp 1411 – 1415;
the readings are in the Lectionary Vol III, p 841.
The decree from Rome can be read at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20180211_decreto-mater-ecclesiae_en.html.
- Thursday: Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest
At the request of our Bishops this Feast has been added by Rome to the Calendar for England & Wales, to be celebrated on the Thursday after Pentecost.
The texts can be found online at http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Calendar/Sanctoral/May.shtml#OLJC.
In the Parish Room, 10:30am – 12:00 noon. Anyone who has been bereaved – whether recently or a while ago – is most welcome to attend this support group.
St Thomas’s School
The Year 6 class attends the 9:30am Mass on Tuesday.
‘The Four Dimensions of the Christian Life’
Sebastian Morello from the diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation will be giving a talk on Tuesday, 8:00pm in the Parish Room. Although especially arranged for our catechists, all parishioners are invited to come and listen to this inspiring and challenging speaker.
Marie Authers RIP
Marie’s body will be Received into St Thomas’s Church on Thursday at 7:00pm. Her Funeral Mass is on Friday at 12:00 noon, followed by Interment at the Greatness Cemetery.
First Holy Communion Mass
The second of this year’s First Holy Communion Masses is on Saturday, at 11:00am. There will therefore not be Adoration after the 9:30am Mass.
Otford Annual Procession & Crowning of Our Lady
Next Sunday at 3:00pm at Holy Trinity. This is a very suitable devotion for all the family, including children. Marie Authers was very keen on this devotion, so let us have a good turnout in her memory!
EMoHC Visiting Policy
Civil law requires those who regularly visit the housebound and other vulnerable people to have obtained a DBS clearance. Having taken advice from the diocesan Safeguarding Office, Isabelle Parsons - the Parish Safeguarding Officer - and Fr David as Parish Priest have drawn up a parish policy that only those Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who have such a Clearance may take Holy Communion to those at home or in institutions such as old people’s homes. Currently 27 of our 70 Ministers have this Clearance. Those who administer Holy Communion at Mass, or who repose the Blessed Sacrament after Adoration, do not have to have this Clearance.
Any Ministers who wish to undertake the ministry of taking Holy Communion beyond the Church must contact Isabelle before commencing to do so.
Advance Notice – Otford Consecration Anniversary
The Solemnity of the Anniversary of the Consecration of Holy Trinity falls on Thursday 31st May. Mass at 8:00pm, followed by refreshments. The parishioners at Otford invite all who worship in the other churches to come and join them for their annual festival.
Advance Notice – Corpus Christi
This great Solemnity is on Sunday 3rd June. There will be the usual Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction after both the 9:15am and 11:15am Masses at St Thomas’s. Those who will just have made their First Holy Communion are invited to wear their
First Communion outfits and to sprinkle the rose petals in the procession.
The new communicants are also invited to the annual Corpus Christi Procession in Westerham on the same day, beginning at 3:00pm in the church and processing along the A25 to the village green.
Parish Bottle Stall
If you make your own jam, bottle your own fruit or make your own wine, we would be delighted to sample it for the Parish Party Bottle Stall. Greatly appreciated would be bottles of fine brandy, whiskey, champagne, port or wine. Please deliver to the Presbytery in good time before 17th June. Thanks.
Lenten Alms giving collection - thank you
This raised £320.65, divided between the Bridge Trust and the Catholic Housing Aid Society. Please see noticeboard for thank you letter. Many thanks.
An International Exhibition: The Eucharistic Miracles of the World This exhibition is currently taking place - until 3rd June - at St. Anselm’s Church, Dartford, DA1 2HJ. Visitors can enter the Church during the day to pray and see the exhibition. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed from Monday to Friday until 9:00pm for Adoration. There will be a number of events during the month to promote devotion and love of the Eucharist. Please visit the website for information: www.miracolieucaristici.org.
The Right Reverend Paul Mason will be coming to St Thomas’s on Sunday 25th November for the annual Confirmation Mass. The church teaches us that “the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1285). Confirmation is the third and final stage of Christian initiation, and so “the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time, for without Confirmation … Christian initiation remains incomplete” (Catechism 1306).
All those currently in Year 9 or above who have not yet been Confirmed should apply to complete the preparation programme. If you missed the meeting held last week please email Fr David - email@example.com, as soon as possible.
Catenian Event - Thursday 7th June, 7pm
The Sevenoaks Catenians are undertaking a tour of Westerham Brewery involving sampling of outputs and quality assurance! Cost is £10/head. All (over 18s) welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org, 07971 570359.
Prayer for the Church in Southwark
In connection with the Eucharistic Pilgrimage & Congress this year, we are asked to say this Prayer for the Church in Southwark. Please take a prayer card, which you can find with the Newsletters.
Loving God, help us to be open to the freshness of your Spirit. Fill us with enthusiasm for the Good News. Invite us into a deeper relationship with your Son, Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. Make us more aware of where there is need for new life. Help us to reach out to those who feel lost or abandoned, those who are searching and questioning, those who have walked away from you and those who are eager to know your love. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
New St George's Cathedral Choir CD
Under their Director, Norman Harper, the St George's Cathedral Choir have recorded their first CD: O Sacrum Convivium. The CD features various Mass settings and motets, including a number that were written specifically for the Choir. The music on this video features a sample of two tracks: unaccompanied plainsong: Venite benedicti Patris mei ('Come blessed of my Father' - A Gospel Introit from the Easter Season) and The Lord's Prayer setting by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, which was recorded at the request of Archbishop Peter Smith.
The CD is on Priory Records can be purchased online from the Cathedral's website for £12 plus P&P, then click on Add to Cart