MASSES, PRAYERS, OTHER EVENTS | Although these will not be open to the faithful to attend, they will happen, and will be broadcast online, live, at our parish website (hinkseyparish.org) and at churchservices.tv. For this reason, all of them will take place at Holy Rood, where we have the necessary equipment for this. We hope very soon not only to be able to broadcast, but also to record things for watching at any time: there are already people within the parish and beyond who use this service. Our two Lent Courses, on St Matthew’s Gospel, and on general catechesis in the faith, will continue. Notes will be available to view and download on the parish website (see under News for the time being). If you prefer to receive a paper copy, it may be easiest if you ask someone to print one out for you.
OPEN CHURCHES | It is very important to remember that, although we can’t come together for Mass and prayer, we can visit church as individuals or families. Holy Rood will be open every day from morning to evening, outside service times. As you know, we have CCTV cameras there.
Our Lady of the Rosary | This situation is more difficult: indeed, we had a minor break-in only this week (a broken window and some muddy footprints, but nothing taken). If possible, I would like to have Our Lady’s open at least on Sundays, for a set time, so that those who wish can make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and spend a little time with the Good Lord. It will be best if this can be for a period of several hours, so that people don’t feel they need to come all at once. Ideally, someone, or a couple of people, would be in church for at least some, if not most, of this period. We will need to explore this together, so let me know if you have any bright ideas! We are also encouraged by the Bishop and the Holy Father to have some time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This cannot, of course, be public, but we might be able to arrange for a group of no more than six people, signed up in advance, to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a set amount of time. I have already had some offers to co-ordinate this, so we will see how this works.
CHILDREN | I will say a few words to children at the end of this Sunday’s 10.30am Mass, for those who are watching online. As we stress at every Baptism, it’s in the home that children are first and best taught the faith. To help with this, here are some Sunday resources for younger children:
They are free, but you may need to register. Older children and teenagers might benefit from having a copy of the YouCat https://www.ctsbooks.org/product/youcat/ to read and talk about with family.
GIVING | Cheques payable to PRCDTR North Hinksey Our Lady. Bank transfers: Account Number 00 88 33 37, Sort Code 30 93 04. Direct Debit/Standing Order forms: see parish website, or on request.
HOME ALTARS | As you pray, think about putting together a home altar. What do you need? Some space, a flat surface, small table or similar. This ought to be (semi-)permanent, a place that’s always treated as important—indeed, as holy. A candle or two to light, if you can, and a crucifix, if you’ve got one. Perhaps an image of a saint who is important to you: Our Lady of the Rosary would be good for our parish. A small number of books, not too many—a daily Missal, a Bible maybe, and perhaps some important prayers written or printed out. You could use a coloured cloth (maybe a placemat?) on the table, or pinned behind as a backdrop – purple for Lent (and if you are really up on things, change to white for the Annunciation on Wednesday!). When you pray, as an individual or a family, make time and space for God, Who made all time and space.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION | This phrase is now more widely used than it has been for a long time. The following is the Act of Spiritual Communion most widely recommended by the Bishops. When you cannot receive Holy Communion, pray this prayer:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.