November is a busy month in the Church’s calendar.  We remember the departed, those who were known to us, and those who have died as a result of war.  At the end of the month we celebrate Christ the King, and that is swiftly followed by the beginning of Advent.  

All Saints – all of us hope to go to heaven.  There are times when we worry that our lives are going to be found wanting and that heaven may be far from our reach.  All Saints, however, is the one day of the year when the Church invites us to broaden our view and see heaven as that great place which one day we will call our home.  This is the day when we celebrate all the many great men and women who are already there and whose prayers are being offered for us.  Parish Mass 31st October 11:15 a.m.    

All Souls – in the commemoration of All Souls, we acknowledge the reality of the human condition – that sinfulness and weakness are a part of every human life.  We resist the temptation to canonise our loved ones simply because they have died – I’m sure you’ve heard the “oh they never did anyone any harm”.  Though we love them dearly, we avoid any false romantic memories of those who have died.  We remember them not because they were perfect, but because they were human.  To admit this is not to be disloyal to their memory, but it is to face the truth about God and humanity: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.  It is precisely this truth – as S. Paul tells us – which proves that God loves us.  Today we surround our loved ones with prayer. Requiem Mass 2nd November 10:30 a.m.    

Remembrance – a memorial day (also called Armistice Day, to recall the end of hostilities of the First World War, and the subsequent signing of the armistice).  We observe two minutes silence at 11:00 a.m. on this day, to remember all those who have died in the line of duty as a result of the two world wars and other conflicts.  Remembrance conveniently falls in the liturgical period of ‘Allsaintstide’.  Parish Mass & Act of Remembrance 14th November 11:00 a.m.      

Christ The King – the last Sunday of the liturgical year.  We celebrate this solemnity giving special recognition to the dominion Christ has over all aspects of our lives and creation. Parish Mass 21st November 11:15 a.m.  

Advent – when we not only prepare for the Nativity of the Lord, but awaken in our hearts the expectation of he ‘who is and who was and who is to come’.  Revelation 1:8.

Colin Woolgrove

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