Dear Friends in Christ,
As we rapidly approach the Birth of the Christ-child once again, I would like to take this opportunity of sending you all my annual Christmas Greetings. What a year this has been; none of us could have imagined this time last Christmas that the whole world would have had to face a Pandemic. It is totally unprecedented, and we have really nothing to compare it with. It has been challenging in so many ways, and we have had to change our mindset and our ways of life to ensure health and safety for all. Sadly, many have died throughout the world and in our own country. But hopefully there is light on the horizon with the new vaccines being produced.
For me, the hardest part of this Pandemic was the closure of our churches for formal worship. As you know I have live-streamed Holy Mass every day during the lockdowns on both occasions. But to celebrate Mass in an empty Church was heart-breaking. Thank the Lord we’ve had the technology to be able to live-stream, and this has kept many people connected. But nothing whatsoever can replace the physical presence at Holy Mass and being able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. At present the challenges continue. I really do hope and pray that we have all had the time and opportunity to access the most important values of our lives during these past nine months of Pandemic. For me, family, health & faith go hand in hand. One of the downsides of this Pandemic, even though our Churches opened last July for public worship, and again last week; many people have not returned to the weekly practice of faith. I find this really sad! Personally, I cannot live my life daily without the Lord being key and central to everything I do and strive to be.
I would like to take this opportunity to thanking so many people who have kindly volunteered their services during these difficult times. For our Stewards who have been faithful each week ensuring the safety of parishioners and the sanitation of our church after each Mass. To the Altar Society who continue to ensure cleanliness of the Altar and Sanctuary, the Sacred Vessels, and linens. To all those parishioners who have been so generous this year in providing Gifts and items for the Christmas Grand Draw. Also, to everyone for your ongoing support and upkeep of the parish financially. It’s been a tough year for all of us. May 2021 prove to be a brighter, hopefully and happier year!
With Love & Peace to You All
TIMES OF SERVICES & MASSES OVER CHRISTMAS 2020
|Monday 14th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Tuesday 15th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Wednesday 16th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Thursday 17th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Friday 18th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|HOLY HOUR||10.30am||St. Edmund’s|
|Saturday 19th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
|Saturday 19th Dec||6.00pm||St. Edmund’s|
|Sunday 20th Dec||9.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Sunday 20th Dec||10.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|Sunday 20th Dec||11.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|THURSDAY 24th December||5.00pm||St. Edmund’s|
|FRIDAY 25th December||8.00am||St. Edmund’s|
|11.00am||St. Edmund’s. (Family Mass)|
FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN
|Saturday 26th Dec||11.00am Family Mass||Enrolment into the Altar Servers Mass Guild of St. Stephen|
NEW YEAR’S DAY MASS
|Friday 1st January 2021||11.00am||Mass All welcome!|
Your Christmas Offertory is your Personal Gift to your Parish Priest and makes up the major part of his salary throughout the year! Please use your Gift Aid envelopes
ADVANCED NOTICE FOR CHRISTMAS MASSES
PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS: Due to Governmental guidelines on social distancing, at present we are only able to accommodate 125 persons maximum at each mass. Chrstimas tends to be a time of year when more people make a visit to Church. In a bid to cope with numbers, I will add some additional masses. There will be no children’s mass this year; and I would ask all parishioerns to seriously think about masses they attend. Please don’t all turn up for the first mass, because we will have to turn away parishioerns once we have reached our capacity of 125.
Christmas Eve Masses: 5.00pm, 7.00pm, 8.30pm & 10.00pm
Christmas Day Masses: 8.00am, 9.00am, 10.00am & 11.00am
For our older parishioners, those in poor health and for families, it may be useful to have some certainty about the seating at these Christmas services. Therefore, there will be some seats at each service that can be booked in advance. To do that you must send an email to Iain McLay (email@example.com) stating which mass and for how many people. Your request must be made by Sunday 20th December and will be confirmed by email.
ELECTRONIC CHRISTMAS OFFERING: This year, as always, envelopes will be available for us to make our Christmas Offering, which, as you know, is an opportunity in every Catholic Church for parishioners to make a Christmas gift to their Parish Priest, which forms the major part of their salary. This year our Christmas Offering can also be made electronically. We just need to transfer the money to the parish account with the reference ‘Xmas offering’. Any questions please ask Iain McLay (firstname.lastname@example.org). The details of the bank account are:
Sort Code: 40-13-22
Account Number: 11019651
Account Name: Catholic Church Loughton St Edmund.
St. Edmund of Canterbury
St. Thomas More