The Art of Celebration VII: The blessing and sprinkling of water

Living Eucharist

Again, it is fortuitous that we consider this optional feature of Sunday Mass during the Easter season – for this season is the particular time singled out in the Roman Missal for this blessing and sprinkling to especially but occasionally substitute for the Penitential Act.

This optional rite echoes the rite which is a required part of the Easter Vigil when after those to be baptised have been baptised and confirmed, the faithful present are invited to renew their promise of of baptismal faith (although they can also be invited to renew this promise during the baptismal liturgy iteself (Roman Missal, The Easter Vigil, 49).

On Easter Day the renewal of promises and the sprinkling follows the homily and takes the place of the Creed.

Dear brethren (brothers and sisters), through the Paschal Mystery
we have been buried with Christ in Baptism,
so that we may walk with him in…

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Gospel reading for Saturday, 17th April

Living Eucharist

John 6:16-21

In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them.

The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough.

They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat.

This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.

Acknowledgements

Translation of Scriptures:The Jerusalem Bible © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photograph: (c) 2015, Allen Morris. Moulding, St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow.

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Local COVID news

Surge testing to be deployed to control the spread of the COVID-19 variant

Extensive surveillance of COVID-19 has identified a small number of cases of the COVID-19 variant first discovered in South Africa, including one within the Ladywood, Jewellery Quarter & Soho Wards. 

The council is working closely with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace to support measures to curb any potential spread of this variant; this will include significantly increasing the testing offer in a targeted and intelligence-led way.

Residents over the age of 16 who are living or working in Ladywood, Jewellery Quarter & Soho wards are strongly encouraged to take part in the door to door testing when offered, even if they are not showing symptoms.

For further information click here.

Lateral flow devise (LFD) testing is fast and simple

Taking a test 2 or 3 times a week is a really easy way to keep your family, friends and workmates safe. You may not have symptoms of COVID 19 but could still be spreading the virus.  

See how the test is done here – https://youtu.be/ypSQhhYPa5g

Click here to find your nearest testing location

Or alternatively order here – https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Please feedback in this survey –  https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ctib

A message from the World Development Group

In November, the St Nicholas World Development group sent a shipment quality second-hand shoes, clothes and toys to the Feed My Lamb school in Uganda. The shipment has arrived and Claire Dorcus sent this message:

Thank you so much for all the work you are doing collecting shoes and clothes. Can you imagine how much money we would be spending to buy these? Thank you everyone.

When Covid restrictions ease, the World Development Group will be shipping again. Please start saving items for the school’s boys & girls:

  • School shoes/trainers/flipflops particularly sizes adult 6-10
  • Clothes age 12-15yrs
  • Toys & games (these were brilliant during lockdown) – THANK YOU!

A Politics Rooted in the People

Links to talks and reflections from a recent Conference on this theme, including a presentation from Pope Francis are available here.

To be clear: this is not the Church “organizing” the people. These are organizations that already exist—some Christian, some not.

I would like the Church to open its doors more widely to these movements; I hope every diocese in the world has an ongoing collaboration with them, as some already do.

But my role and that of the Church is to accompany, not paternalize them. That means offering teaching and guidance, but never imposing doctrine or trying to control them.

The Church illuminates with the light of the Gospel, awakening the peoples to their own dignity, but it is the people who have the instinct to organize themselves.

Pope Francis, Let Us Dream

Gospel reading for Friday, 16th April

Living Eucharist

John 6:1-15

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.

Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down.’

There was plenty of…

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Gospel reading for Thursday, 15th April

Living Eucharist

John 3:31-36

John the Baptist said to his disciples:

‘He who comes from above is above all others;
he who is born of the earth is earthly himself
and speaks in an earthly way.
He who comes from heaven
bears witness to the things he has seen and heard,
even if his testimony is not accepted;
though all who do accept his testimony
are attesting the truthfulness of God,
since he whom God has sent
speaks God’s own words:
God gives him the Spirit without reserve.
The Father loves the Son
and has entrusted everything to him.
Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life:
the anger of God stays on him.’

Acknowledgements

Translation of Scriptures:The Jerusalem Bible © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of…

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Gospel reading for Wednesday, 14th April

Living Eucharist

John 3:16-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,
so that…

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Gospel reading for Tuesday, 13th April

Living Eucharist

John 3:7-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘Do not be surprised when I say:
You must be born from above.
The wind blows wherever it pleases;
you hear its sound,
but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

‘How can that be possible?’ asked Nicodemus.
‘You, a teacher in Israel, and you do not know these things!’ replied Jesus.

‘I tell you most solemnly,
we speak only about what we know
and witness only to what we have seen
and yet you people reject our evidence.
If you do not believe me when I speak about things in this world,
how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of…

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