The Parish of S Michael and All Angels
SUNDAY 17 May 2020
THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
At this time we are not allowed to offer public worship in church. However, Mass is offered for you ever day, as is the Daily Office. Even if you cannot be with us you will be in our prayers.
We are producing this sheet each week instead of our usual notice sheet, to keep everyone in touch and to provide some things to help you to join us in prayer. Please pass sheets or information on to those for whom we don’t have an email address.
THIS WEEKS GOSPEL READING.
I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever,
that Spirit of truth
whom the world can never receive
since it neither sees nor knows him;
but you know him,
because he is with you, he is in you.
I will not leave you orphans;
I will come back to you.
In a short time the world will no longer see me;
but you will see me,
because I live and you will live.
On that day you will understand that I am in my Father
and you in me and I in you.
Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them
will be one who loves me;
and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I shall love him and show myself to him.’
MAKING A SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.
Even if we cannot be at mass and receive Holy Communion, we can always make a Spiritual Communion. God will always fill our hearts with his grace if we ask.
If you want us to bring someone or something to our Lord in prayer, please let Fr David know. Prayer is one of the most important things that we can do at this time.
Please remember these people in your prayers
MAY the month of MARY.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe,
to you be glory and praise for ever!
In the greatness of your mercy you chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of your only Son, In her obedience the day of our redemption dawned when by the overshadowing of your Holy Spirit he took our flesh and dwelt in the darkness of her womb. In her your glory shines as in the burning bush, and so we call her blessed with every generation. With her we rejoice in your salvation and ponder in our hearts the mystery of your love.
May we bear with her the piercing sword of sorrow, in hope that we like her may share the joy of heaven.
As now we join our praise with hers, blessed among all women, create in us a heart of love obedient to your will, for you are Lord and you are our God for ever. Amen
GATHERING FOR THE FESTIVAL
"But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole Church of first-born sons, enrolled as citizens of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and to the spirits of the upright who have been made perfect;.and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to purifying blood which pleads more insistently than Abel's." Hb 12:22-
I once went on a pilgrimage to the shrine at Fatima in Portugal for the great day of pilgrimage there, 13 May. We flew to Lisbon and arrived in Fatima a day or so before. But where was everybody? There were just a few pilgrims around. Then slowly a day before, the hotels, began to fill up and the cafes and bars had more people in them, and then we noticed people had started camping outside the town, then just as everything was about to begin we saw people were camping even on the grass verges by the carpark. When the Pilgrimage Mass began, we looked out from the altar platform over a crowd of half a million people. But once the day was over everyone just disappeared, they went home and we were left, just a few pilgrims scatted around the huge shrine.
The scripture passage from the Letter to the Hebrews, sees a gathering for a pilgrimage, a festival. The people of Jesus time were used to gathering for festivals, we know that even when he was a boy Jesus would travel up with his neighbours and family to festivals in Jerusalem. There is something important in the idea of gathering for a festival or pilgrimage, they don’t just happen, people have to come from different places and they come at different times, because they have different journey to make.
In our Sunday Mass at S. Michel’s we have a sense of that gathering. Although some people get annoyed that not everyone is there at the stroke of ten, the way in which our congregation grows in numbers and diversity as it goes on gives us an insight into that idea of gathering. It is something that has reminded us of the traditions of the worship of Eastern Christians and what was probably the norms of worship in Western Europe up to the 16th Century.
We are beginning at this time, a period of re-gathering for worship. We can’t all begin to worship back in church at once. At the moment it can only be the clergy, hopefully soon small numbers of people may be able to join them. As time goes on we will be able to open our doors for Sunday services, but even then there will be people who won’t be able to come until later – perhaps because they still need to isolate. But we will all gather again, coming from our different journey to join in the festival that is worship.
The passage from Hebrews, reminds us of a key aspect of worship. It is the Angels who have gathered for the Festival, it is to that that we are invited. Invited what ever our human status to be Firstborn Sons. Whenever we gather for worship we join with the Angels and Saints in the worship of heaven. - a festival that never ceases and which even now is going on.
But as much as soon we want to gather in church, we must also like those Portuguese pilgrims in Fatima, disappear. We must go home, go into our world, go on our journeys, to live the new life we have glimpsed in worship. That is as important as gathering again. Over the coming months and years our communities will need more than ever that vision of life, that see in our worship and formed by become its presence in the world.
© Fr D Sherratt April 2020. Fr David exerts his right as author of this piece and to its Intellectual Property
OUR PARIS H LIFE
We are now able to use the church buildings for limited activities including the celebration of mass without a congregation. However, restrictions are in place as to who may enter the building and for what purpose. We ae expected to act responsibly and safely. No one is to enter the church building unless Fr David has given them permission, if you have permission you must follow the appropriate guidance on hygiene and distancing. You must inform Fr David whenever you have been in church, so we have an accurate record and can if necessary; trace any contacts if someone has a risk of having been in contact with the Virus. To minimise contact with frequently touched surfaces, the doors from the Sacristy to the church and the Parish Room should remain open at all times. These rules are for everybody’s safety and to stop people dying.
If they are not fully adhered to, we will sadly be unable to continue to use the church building at all!
ASCENSION DAY. This Thursday is Ascension Day. This is one the most important days of the Church Year. Normal of course when we would all attend mass. But please try and keep it.
WEEKLY OFFERINGS. We know that this will be a time of financial hardship for many. But if those who are able can keep up their regular giving to our Parish, it will enable us to keep operating as normally as we can. We cannot have collections, but there are still bills to pay. The best way to do this will by Internet banking. The details are Sort Code 30-99-88, Account No 00160771, Account Name is PCC Saint Michael and All Angels Abbey Wood. In the reference section please put your name followed by; ‘Offering’.
PARISH MAGAZINE. We are unable to print and deliver this at the moment, but we have placed some of the articles from the May Magazine on the Parish Website.
FUNERALS. If you know of anyone who has to arrange a Funeral over the coming weeks, please advise them that if they want a member of the clergy to take the service, they will have to tell this to the undertaker, otherwise they will be given a Civil Celebrant. If you would like Fr David to conduct a funeral please give the undertakers the contact details on this sheet.
THIS WEEKS SAINTS Among the saints that we remember this week are: S Bernadine of Siena Franciscan Friar who was renowned as a preacher and promoted devotion to the holy name of Jesus. S. Rita, who after the death of her husband became an Augustinian nun, renowned for her life of Prayer. S. William of Rochester, a baker from Perth, who was very generous to the poor, and on his way on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, spent the hight at the priory at Rochester. The next day as he set off again on his journey he was killed by the young boy he had adpted,immediately his tomb in Rochester Cathedral became a place of prayer, pilgrimage and miracles.
HOPEFUL NEWS. As we are preparing this sheet, we are is in the process of giving permission to our builders to go ahead with the restoration work on our church. This was scheduled to start in April but obviously had to be postponed. We hope that we will be able to give details of the new start date by next week. The work will of course be carried out in a way that is fully observant of the appropriate health and distancing recommendations. Moving forward in this way is a sign of our belief in the value of our church building both as a sacred space for our community and as a structure that by its very nature proclaims the Gospel.
We follow the Safeguarding provisions of the Diocese of Southwark. If you have any Parish safeguarding questions or concerns, please contact one of our Parish Clergy or Susan Robinson our Safeguarding Officer.
These are stressful times in the community and if you know of a situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger call the emergency services on 999. The following helplines are also available
Child-line: 0800 1111
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Samaritans : 116 123
Our worship this week
Mon 18 Saint John I, Pope, Martyr
Tue 19 Tuesday of the 6th week of Eastertide
Wed 20 Saint Bernardine of siena, priest
Thu 21 THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD Solemnity
Fri 22 Saint Rita of Cascia
Sat 23 S. William of Rochester.
PARISH PRIEST. Fr David Sherratt. Tel. 0779432357
Assistant Priest Fr Derek Robinson
Churchwardens Mr Peter Ludlow, Mr Christopher Harper
Safeguarding Officer Mrs Susan Robinson