Dear Friends in Christ
What is the ‘New Normal?’ If any of you have been out this week, you would have noticed that life is trying to return to some semblance of normality. I’ve seen many people making their way to the Gym next door, the swimming pool is open; restaurants and coffee shops are open, pubs are open; most shops are now open. I see groups of young people walking along the street together; parents out with their children; museums and places of interest are opening. Many parishioners are going away on holiday, both home and abroad; but sadly, very few families have returned to Sunday Mass. The hardest thing during the lockdown was to walk into an empty church every day; I have celebrated Holy Mass every day since 23rd March, even when I had Covid 19 myself. And now that all places of worship have opened, it is mainly our middle-aged and older parishioners that have returned to Sunday Mass. As I stated a couple of weeks ago, it’s very easy to get out of the habit of attending Church. Please think seriously about this. If you have started to do many of the other things I listed above. I would strongly recommend you also return to Church.
Here at St. Edmund’s, we have taken all Governmental & Diocesan recommendations and guidelines very seriously. Your Health & Safety are our prime concern. Procedures are in place when you attend Church to protect you. (You’re probably safer here than going to the Supermarket). It goes unsaid, that before you leave home that you should thoroughly wash your hands. Hand sanitiser is available as you enter the Church. It is now mandatory that you wear a face covering. A one-way system enables you to take your seats from the outside aisles. Alternate benches are closed facilitating social distancing. There is no ‘sign of peace’; no physical contact with another person, excluding the ‘family bubble’.
If you still feel insecure or unsure about attending one of our Sunday Masses, why not attend one of the Weekday Masses at 10.00am, Monday – Saturday. Returning to normal is the goal of everyone. But we must also make the effort to achieve this ourselves!
SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR BLESSED LADY:
Today we celebrate the great Doctrine of Faith, that at the end of her natural life here on each God assume Our Blessed Lady body and soul into heaven. This doctrine was dogmatically defined by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950, in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by exercising papal infallibility. We proclaim and define it to be a dogma revealed by God that the immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever virgin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.
Munificentissimus Deus emphasised Mary’s unity with her divine son and as his mother, she is the mother of his church which is his body; she is the “new Eve” (the term is used three times), paralleling Christ as the new Adam; and by her assumption she has attained the final bodily resurrection promised to all Christians, and the Church has reached its ultimate salvation. These three plus the Perpetual Virginity of Mary make up the four Marian dogmas of the Catholic church.
The dogma of the Assumption followed from the 1854 definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (her freedom from original sin), and both developed from the recognition of her status as the Mother of God, meaning that she, like Jesus, was without sin, preserved from corruption, resurrected, received into heaven, and a recipient of corporeal glory.