Posted on the 18th Dec 2020 in the category News
This year, working with others, we are delighted to make available two resources for Christmas: O come let us adore Him and The Wondrous Gift. Please also see the letter from the Council of Bishops.
O come let us adore Him
The simple words "O come let us adore Him" from the well known Christmas carol "O come all ye faithful" speak so powerfully to us at this time, particularly as we think of the crib sitting, as it does, at the centre of the Christmas narrative. The Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith, are delighted to release on Sunday at 4pm two resources designed to enrich our crib devotions. One is a video of a crib service aimed at worshippers of all ages which was filmed at St Thomas of Canterbury, Brentwood and features local children singing carols as well as prayers and readings from the Bishop of Richborough, the parish priest Fr Mark North and the curate Fr Matt Austen. The second resource is a prayer booklet of the same name which can equally well be used for our crib devotions at home as it can be in church. It too has prayers to be used by children and we are indebted to Clare Williams for her assistance with this aspect of the booklet. As we meditate on the words 'O come let us adore Him' we think not only of the infant Jesus in the crib but also of the Incarnation, the light of the world. When we next receive Jesus present in the Eucharist, we pray that we can say "O come let us adore him" with renewed zeal and love for Him. Amen.
It can be download it here.
The parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, Brentwood has also allowed us to share its Christingle video:
The Wondrous Gift
At 7pm on Christmas Eve, the Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith, will release its Christmas video 'The Wondrous Gift.' As part of a brief Christmas reflection, Bishop Will Hazlewood lights the fifth and final candle on the Advent wreath, while Fr Philip Barnes explores the profound theological themes of the season in his accessible talk. The video concludes with yet more wonderful music from the choir of St Stephen's Gloucester, Road. We are grateful to all those who contributed to the set of Advent and Christmas videos and we pray that this Christmas season brings you joy and peace.
Posted on the 18th Dec 2020 in the category Statements
May the light of Christ be with you and your family over this season of Christmas and throughout 2021
This Christmas letter from The Society's Council of Bishops comes with our prayers as we all prepare for the season of Christmas and beyond.
In 2020 humanity has been attacked by an invisible enemy called Covid-19 which all too often is deadly or debilitating. This invisible enemy has changed our day-to-day living in a manner which we would previously have struggled to imagine or foresee. We are unable to do the same things in the same ways.
Despite the gloom and darkness that the world is facing, we are reminded at Christmas that darkness does not have any power over light. Darkness may try to prevent the light from shining, but it never holds back the light enduringly. Ultimately, the light will shine though. God as the creator of the universe is bigger than the Covid-19 health crisis. All of this will pass. All trials do. But until then, let us trust in God; God the Father who makes His Son a daily presence in our lives. Let us hand over our fears to Him so that He can conquer them.
Against this challenging backdrop, The Society's Council of Bishops met earlier this month and will do so again in early February. The conversations we had were, as ever, wide-ranging with a particular focus not only on a full resumption of our sacramental life together but also on mission and how we can best communicate the Catholic faith to our nation.
We hope that some of us will be able to gather for Chrism Masses in, or just before, Holy Week and renew our commitment to the priestly and sacramental life. We shall write again after our February meeting, including our further thoughts on Chrism Masses.
Thank you once again for your faithfulness and dedication in Christ’s service.
This year, working with others, The Society, supported by Forward in Faith, is delighted to make available two resources for Christmas: 'O come let us adore Him' and 'The Wondrous Gift'.