COVID-19 UPDATE – NEW GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS
As you will have seen, the Scottish Government has imposed new restrictions https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-monday-4-january-2021
These details can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
The key points for us are that:-
- Our Churches must remain closed. There will be no public Masses, devotions, etc and Churches must not be left open for private prayer.
- Funerals and weddings can still go ahead in Church. Only 20 may be at a funeral and only 5 at a wedding (ie priest, couple, and two witnesses).
- Sick calls to hospitals and care homes will depend on the Institution; sick calls to private homes can go ahead in danger of death with all appropriate precautions in place.
- Confessions (Sacrament of Reconciliation) can still be celebrated outdoors since two people from two households are still allowed to meet outside.
All of these restrictions are due to last at least until the end of the month of January but may be extended further.
In the absence of Fr. Celestine, Fr. Joe McNulty is in residence with Fr. Frank and are both happy to be contacted at any time. We continue to celebrate our daily Mass for your intentions and hold you each dearly in our hearts and in our daily prayer.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION – 2021
Will be celebrated with our parish Primary 3 schoolchildren on Monday 8th (7pm) and Monday 15th March (7pm) in our parish Church.
SACRAMENT OF FIRST HOLY COMMUNION – 2021
It will be celebrated on Saturday 15th May (10.30am) and Saturday 22nd May (10.30am) for our parish Primary 4 schoolchildren.
Many thanks to all our parishioners for your generosity towards our parish and clergy, it is most appreciated.
The Christmas Quarterly collection is now due. This collection is taken up in support of Ecclesiastical students (Seminarians) – Pontifical Scots College, Rome – which presently has 21 students for the priesthood.
At the start of each new year on the Feast of the Epiphany (3rd January), we also support the work of Justice and Peace Scotland. As per previous collections, we would kindly ask that you please make any payments by going to www.rcag.org.uk and selecting Donate. You will then be given the option to select the fund you may wish to make any payment to. Many thanks.
CELEBRATING THE WORD
A key to understanding and appreciating the core sacraments in the Christian tradition is to realise that Jesus accepted the central ritual traditions of his own Jewish people and gave them a new meaning and a profoundly deeper reality. The more obvious one was when he used the Passover feast to give his disciples the gift of his body and blood and he continues that gift for us in the transformed Passover which we call the Eucharist or the Mass.
In his time also, a common ritual for expressing sorrow for sin and conversion to God was to be immersed in the waters of the River Jordan. To be baptised meant simply to be immersed. However, when Jesus sent the disciples to preach to all nations and to baptise them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he was empowering them to do much more. They were enabled to bring all who were baptised into the familial, personal relationship with God which we call grace.
Obviously, this was not what happened when Jesus was baptised by John. Jesus did not need conversion as he already and always shared fully in the divine nature with the Father and the Spirit. What happened at the Jordan on that day was that Jesus identified with the human race of which he was truly a member and he undertook to take our sins away by commitment to the Father’s will. The veil on his divinity was lifted briefly and his role as beloved Son was glimpsed as the Spirit was revealed in a new way in the person of Jesus. This is our faith.
Today is a reminder that by our baptism we are privileged children of the Father, touched by the Spirit, who is always in need of continuing conversion through the power and love of God.