APRIL IS THE MONTH OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the Saviour of the world!
At the mass, just by being there, we will participate in the sacrifice because at the altar of sacrifice, we are at the foot of the Cross. Last week we looked at reverence and adoration being perhaps our greatest participation in the mass and this week we give identical attention to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ through our prayer, silence and bodily gesture.
This Sunday begins Holy Week and on Good Friday, the church is stripped bare and all our attention is on the Cross which we will adore. We give the Cross the same gesture of adoration we give the Body of Christ in the Eucharist because the object of course is the same: it is God. Bishop Athanasius Schneider writes ‘In the Eucharist adoration is directed to the body and blood of Christ in the mystery of His Real Presence. In the Cross, we have a sign of our redemption, of the sacrifice of our redemption, of the central act of salvation history. We adore this sign because it brings us back to the sacrifice of our redemption. That is why, on Good Friday, we genuflect before the crucifix – a gesture also reserved for the act of adoring the Eucharist’.
The gesture of either kneeling or genuflecting before the cross is repeated several times in the Good Friday Liturgy.
1. At the start of the service when the priest lies prostrate before the altar, all are kneeling.
2. During the priest’s prayers in the Solemn Intercessions.
3. On Good Friday, when the priest proclaims ‘Ecce lignum crucis, in quo salus mundi pependit’ (behold the wood of the cross on which has hung the world’s salvation), all reply ‘Venite adoremus’ (come let us adore) and all then kneel in silence.
4. In approaching the cross for veneration, each person genuflects twice and the third time, kneels at the foot of the cross for veneration. If it is not possible for you to kneel, please make a profound bow.
5. All kneel, when the Blessed Sacrament is brought from the Altar of Repose to the High Altar and when the priest proclaims ‘Behold the Lamb of God’.
6. Communicants kneel if receiving Holy Communion the traditional way and then again after you have returned to the pew to give humble thanks to God. The reception of Holy Communion kneeling is the ancient practice which endured through the millennia until only very recently. This is still possible for anyone at St Thomas More who feels called to observe this traditional catholic practice as a good many of you gracefully do.
That’s a lot of kneeling for people these days. But for most of catholic history, we have done much more of this significant bodily gesture in church than we bother to do for Almighty God in modern times. Cardinal Ratzinger, later pope Benedict XVI observed of kneeling ‘The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core’. This is because kneeling or genuflecting signifies, according to St Thomas Aquinas, ‘our weakness in comparison with God. It is an exterior sign of our interior adoration, a sign of humility in our bodies of the submission of our souls’.
This Holy Week, come let us adore in both our bodies and souls the Holy Cross on which hung the Saviour of the world, as in like manner, we adore his Body and Blood at every mass.
(quotations from ‘The Catholic Mass: Steps to Restore the Centrality of God in the Liturgy’ 2021 by Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Recommended reading )
THE UNION OF CATHOLIC MOTHERS:
Next meeting on Sunday 1st May, 12.00 noon.
First Holy Communion 2022
Next class: 10. 30 a.m. Saturday 4th April in Church Hall.
Obligation of attendance on
1. GOOD FRIDAY, 15th April, 11.00 a.m. ‘CHILDREN’S STATIONS OF THE CROSS’ in Church.
2. EASTER SUNDAY MORNING 9.00 a.m. or 11.00 a.m.
Please read the newsletter every week and listen out for notices at the end of Sunday mass. Don’t forget to bring your mass attendance cards to Sunday mass!
Next sessions. The Sacred Triduum (Thursday 14th, Friday 15th & Saturday 16th April with practices) Parents to be emailed.
Next meeting in house: Sunday 24th April 4.00 p.m.
There will be a break for the Easter holidays.’ Children’s Liturgy’ will begin again next term. Date to be confirmed.
A DAY WITH MARY A day of instruction, devotion and intercession based on the message given at Fatima in 1917.
Saturday 30th April 2022 at Westminster Cathedral. 9.45 a.m. -5.30 p.m. Please bring own packed lunch. Tea and coffee provided.
For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)
Please pray for the souls of:
Fr Jean Icher, died in France on Friday 4th March aged 92. Fr Jean used to come to St Thomas More parish with French exchange students and said mass here. Mass will be offered for him on Friday.
Michael Gilmer RIP who died on the 17th of February just three days after his 80th birthday.
Lilian Rose Francis who died on 8th March 2022 aged 81 whose funeral will take place on Monday 11th April 2022 at Eltham Crematorium.
May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: HOLY WEEK
Saturday 9th April PALM SUNDAY (C)
6.00 p.m. Confessions
NO EVENING MASS TODAY
Sunday 10th April
The Daily Rosary at home
NO MORNING MASSES TODAY
+ 5.00 p.m. Barbara Cullen W.B. (with sincere thanks to the Friary for this provision)
7.30 p.m. Parish Social Evening in Church Hall.
Monday 11th April Monday of Holy Week.
The Daily Rosary at home.
NO MASS TODAY
Tuesday 12th April Tuesday of Holy Week
The Daily Rosary
NO MASS TODAY
Wednesday 13th April Wednesday of Holy Week.
The Daily Rosary at home.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY
Thursday 14th April MAUNDY THURSDAY
+ 7.30 p.m. THE MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER. Michael McDonagh R.I.P.
With watch at the Altar of Repose until 10.00 p.m., concluding with compline.
Friday 15th April. GOOD FRIDAY
11.00 a.m. Stations of the Cross for Children.
+ 3.00 p.m. SOLEMN LITURGY with Veneration of the Cross.
7.30 P.M. St. Alphonsus Ligouri’s traditional Stations of the Cross.
Saturday 16th April HOLY SATURDAY
9.30 a.m. Confessions
+ 8.00 p.m. THE SOLEMN EASTER VIGIL with blessing of new fire, paschal candle and font. Renewal of baptismal vows. This is the first mass of Easter.
Sunday 17h April EASTER SUNDAY
8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 9.00 a.m. The people of the parish
+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa de angelis) Ann Marshall W.B.
APRIL PRAYER OF DEVOTION TO THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST. ‘O Jesus Christ Remember’(to be said before The Most Blessed Sacrament or after receiving Holy Communion)
O Jesus Christ, remember, when you come again, upon the clouds of heaven, in glorious rays of light; when every eye shall see your deity revealed, that here at this altar in silence you’re concealed.
Remember then, O Saviour, as I submit to you, that here I bowed before you on my bended knee, that here I owned your presence, and did not you deny, and glorified your greatness, though hid from human eye.
Accept, divine Redeemer, the homage of my praise; be you the light and honour and hope for all my days. Be you my consolation when death is drawing nigh: be you my only treasure from every age to age.
(after Edward Caswell 1814 -1878)
Blessings and God’s peace to you all,