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Pentecost Novena – Day 2

DAY 2 – INTERCESSION FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE CHURCH

pentecost_novena-2

Prayer

Begin by invoking the Holy Spirit using Pope John XXIII’s ‘invocation’ prayer:

Renew your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost.

Grant to your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of Blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, in your power and might to renew the face of the earth.

 

Scripture

‘In the days to come – it is the Lord who speaks – I will pour out my Spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on my slaves, men and women, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. I will display portents in heaven above and signs on the earth below. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great day of the Lord dawns. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Joel 3: 1-5).

 

Prayer Intention

Pray for the ‘Spirituality of Pentecost’ to renew the Church throughout the world – especially in your continent, nation, diocese, parish and in your own life.

 

Pentecost Sequence

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height.
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come, with treasures which endure;
Come, thou Light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend.
Give us comfort when we die;
Give us life with thee on high;
Give us joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.

Ascribed to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury (1228)


Pentecost Novena – Day 1

DAY 1 – INTERCESSION FOR A GROWTH IN TRUST

pentecost_novena-1

Prayer

Begin by invoking the Holy Spirit using Pope John XXIII’s ‘invocation’ prayer:

Renew your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost.

Grant to your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of Blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, in your power and might to renew the face of the earth.

 

Scripture

Holy Spirit, awaken the whole human race and help us to build bridges of trust that open our hearts to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

‘See now, he is the God of my salvation. I have trust and no fear, for the Lord is my strength, my song, he is my salvation’ (Isaiah 12: 2).

 

Prayer Intention

Pray for a growth in trust that enables those we love, those we care about and those we know to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, who is the first evangeliser.

 

Pentecost Sequence

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height.
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come, with treasures which endure;
Come, thou Light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend.
Give us comfort when we die;
Give us life with thee on high;
Give us joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.

Ascribed to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury (1228)

 


Terror Attack in Manchester

manchester-arena-incident

Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing condolences to the victims of Monday night’s bombing of Manchester Arena:

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. He commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel, and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died. Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.”

Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford, has issued the following statement:

“The citizens of Manchester and the members of the Catholic community are united in condemning the attack on the crowds at the Manchester Arena. Such an attack can have no justification. I thank the emergency services for their prompt and speedy response which saved lives. We join in prayer for all those who have died and for the injured and their families and all affected by this tragedy. We must all commit ourselves to working together, in every way, to help the victims and their families and to build and strengthen our community solidarity.”

The Anglican Bishop of Manchester offers this prayer:

God of all goodness,
receive into your loving arms all those who have died,
hold in your loving care all those who are injured
and those who grieve;
give insight and wisdom to those investigating;
and give strength and courage to us all
to work together to rebuild our common good
and find your good future for us all.
Through Christ our Lord.


Pentecost Novena

pentecost_opening

Nine days of intercessory prayer for evangelisation, beginning on Thursday 25 May, leading towards Pentecost

What is a Novena?

A novena is nine days of prayer that usually encourages us to pray for a particular intention as we prepare for a feast day.

Praying for an intention, particularly praying for other people, is known as the prayer of intercession. It is a form of prayer that takes us beyond ourselves as we ask our loving Father to bless someone else.

‘We can say that God’s heart is touched by our intercession, yet in reality he is always there first. What our intercession achieves is that his power, his love and his faithfulness are shown ever more clearly in the midst of the people’ (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 283).

Background to the Pentecost Novena

In the 19th Century, Blessed Elena Guerra, the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, felt it was important that the Church be renewed to the passion of the first Christians at Pentecost and petitioned Pope Leo XXIII in the following manner:

‘Pentecost is not over. In fact it is continuously going on in every time and in every place because the Holy Spirit desired to give Himself to all men and all who want Him can always receive Him, so we do not envy the apostles and the first believers; we only have to dispose ourselves like them to receive Him well, and He will come to us as He did to them.’

As a result of her promptings, the Pope issued several important documents about the Holy Spirit. He also asked the Church to celebrate a novena (nine days of prayer) every year between the Ascension and Pentecost.

We are therefore invited to pray the Pentecost Novena for this fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, especially since it is through the Holy Spirit that a person can encounter Jesus Christ and experience the love of God our Father. While this is something that each of us needs, the novena challenges us to go beyond our own needs by asking for this incredible blessing for others.

come-holy-spirit-copy

Before you start

  • Be ready to start the novena nine days before Pentecost. The prayers for the novena will be posted here on the website each day.
  • Set a time each day when you will take a moment of prayer. You only need about 10 minutes.
  • Put a reminder on your phone, a note on your fridge or something to prompt you to pray each day.

What is the Church?

gone-fishin

Simon Peter said to the other disciples, “I am going fishing.”

Simon Peter, the passionate. “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

Simon Peter, the spokesman. “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Simon Peter, the failure. “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

I have heard many commentaries on this passage that point out that Peter, in his despair, went back to his previous way of life. That is one way of reading the passage, but I expect that for Peter, there was no way back, even in his imagination.

In these moments, when the resurrection has come to pass but is not yet visible to us, what else can we do? Peter, in his failure, returned to the place where he first fell in love, where he first heard the call.

Even before the resurrection comes to be revealed, there is a vast difference between life before and after Jesus: the disciples were together. They were together! Because of this, Peter speaks to his friends, the ones who have heard his promise and his failure! “I am going fishing.”

And his friends, the only ones in the world who can understand his despair, respond, “’We also will come with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat” (John 21:3). This boat, the new ark, the church, is where the resurrection will be revealed, not only the first time but once again and every time God’s people lose heart. But what is the church?

The first fruit of the resurrection, coming even before faith, is the church: the love of these friends in the boat. In the face of failure, against the victory of death, this love answers, “We will come with you.” Jesus has called them friends, and friends they remain, in despair as in triumph.

Simon Peter, who was the first to recognize that the Lord alone has the words of eternal life, returns with his friends to the place where he first heard the call, “Follow me.” They followed Jesus on the road to the cross; now Jesus follows them to the sea. Jesus’ love called them together; now that they are together, he calls them back to hope.

When Peter preaches the Resurrection, he knows exactly what he is talking about. “He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” From builders, we too must be willing to become stones, held together in the church. For faith begins, at least in some stories, not with a clear vision but with a stubborn adherence to one another as we attempt to follow someone who has passed beyond the horizon we can see.

What is the church? It is not a command of Peter to his subordinates, not yet even a shared faith, though it will come to be that. Right now, the church is Simon Peter’s need for his friends and their desire to be with him. It is the blood and water pouring forth from Christ’s wounds, the love that has been through Peter’s failure, just as it sees through us and our failures. It goes beyond affirmation, beyond denial, beyond comfort, beyond success or failure. “We also will come with you.” No matter what.

Kimberly Hope Belcher, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

 


The Easter Triduum (Part 3)

Some photographs from this year’s Easter Vigil at St Oswald’s

Procession into church

procession-into-church

The Easter Candles for St Benedict’s and St Oswald’s

two-parish-easter-candles

Listening to the Word of God in candlelight

vigil-in-candlelight

First Baptism – baby Callum

baptism

Many thanks to Kevin Holt for the photographs

 

 

 


The Easter Triduum (Part 2)

Some pictures from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday at St Benedict’s

The Holy Oils, blessed by the Archbishop at the Chrism Mass, are carried forward by two children who are preparing for First Communion

reception-of-the-oils

Just as at Passover, a child asks:  “Why does this night differ from all other nights?”

child-asks-questions

The Washing of the Feet

washing-of-the-feet

Procession to the Altar of Repose

procession-to-altar-of-repose

At the Altar of Repose – watching with Jesus while he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane

altar-of-repose

 

Many thanks to Kevin Holt for the photographs


The Easter Triduum

Some pictures from this year’s Good Friday Celebration at St Oswald’s

The Gospel of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed

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Young people carry the large wooden Cross into church

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Adoration of the Cross

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People come forward to venerate the Cross

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Silence at the end of the service

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Many thanks to Tim Wright for the photographs

 

 


Easter Sunday

easter

Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał!

Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

Le Christ est ressuscité! En verité il est ressuscité!

Tá Críost éirithe! Go deimhin, tá sé éirithe!

Atgyfododd Crist! Yn wir atgyfododd!

the-women-at-the-empty-tomb-he-lives-julie-rodriguez-jones

Scripture Reading

After the sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. And all at once there was a violent earthquake, for the angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. The guards were so shaken, so frightened of him, that they were like dead men. But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him.” Now I have told you.’ Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell the disciples.

And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings’ he said. And the women came up to him and, falling down before him, clasped his feet. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; they will see me there.’

(Matthew 28: 1-10)

easter

Prayer

On this most holy day, Lord God,
through the triumph of your only-begotten Son
you have shattered the gates of death
and opened the way to everlasting life.
Grant, we beseech you,
that we who celebrate the festival of the Lord’s resurrection
may rise to a new and glorious life
through the quickening power of your Spirit.
Through Christ our Lord.Amen.

© 1997 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.

happy-easter-wishes1

 


Holy Saturday

THE KING SLEEPS

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday

holy-saturday

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

(From the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday)


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