This Sunday is known as 'Gaudete' Sunday (from the Latin for 'Rejoice'), taken from the prophet Zephaniah 'Rejoice, greatly, daughter of Zion...exult with all your heart'. St Paul echoes this: 'I want you to be happy, always happy'. For that reason, the priest wears rose-coloured (pink really!) vestments (and the advent candle for today is also rose) the liturgical colour for joy). In deep winter, in Covid times, it can be hard to find reasons to rejoice or to be happy. But we have all the reason we need; Jesus Christ, God-with-us, who gives meaning to all our lives and all our experiences, who blesses every aspect of our lives.
RECENTLY DECEASED Please remember in your prayers all who have died recently, especially;
Mary Carr (Funeral, 6 January, 11.00 am) Irene Deegan (Burial, 21 December) Diana Klein (Funeral, 23 December, time TBA) Dave Stannard (Funeral; 15 December, 12.30 pm)
and all those who have died during this time of pandemic. We continue to remember in our prayers all those who are sick and those who care for them.
COVID PRECAUTIONS Bishop John has circulated a letter concerning Covid precautions, emphasising;
the use of hand sanitizer and the wearing of masks (covering both mouth and nose)
good ventilation...therefore, you will need to wrap up warmly at this time!
People with any symptoms should stay at home and participate virtually.
We continue to have the church professionally cleaned during the week and this is extra to the advice we received.
CAROL SERVICE A reminder that, all going well, we will have our carol service in the Church on 21st December at 7.30 pm. It will also be live-streamed. CHRISTMAS MASSES Booking for the Christmas Masses will be on-line (sacredheartmillhill.com) from Monday 13th, We are booking, so that no one will be turned away and we will have to be strict about numbers. Seating will be both in the Church and in the Hall. If you have difficulty booking on-line, please contact the Parish Office and we will do it for you. Christmas Eve Masses will be at 6.00, 8.00 and 10 pm. On Christmas Day, Masses will be at 9.00 and 11 am. As Boxing Day falls on Sunday, 26th, we will have Mass at 9 am and 11 am. There will NO evening Masses on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Monday, 27th December. APPRECIATION FOR YOUR GENEROSITY We have received a letter from CAFOD to thank us for the contribution of £509 from the parish. Our own accountants tell us that, over the year, you also contributed: £355.20 for Racial Justice Sunday; £505.58 for The Cardinal's Lenten Appeal; £225 for the Holy Places; £130 for the Priests' Training Fund;£351.95 for Peter's Pence; £87.11 for Home Mission; £449.70 for the Apostleship of the Sea; and £995.62 for Sick and Retired Priests. Besides this, we have, just today, transferred £7,137.45 to the Ambo Deaf Project in Ethiopia. Fr Stephen says that the funding will be used towards extra tutoring, and to sponsor sign language classes for the parents and siblings of the children. Furthermore, you have also continued to contribute to the Food Bank and many people have given us money for our needier brothers and sisters who call at the Presbytery for support. And I know that many of you donated directly, often on-line, to these, and other, collections. In these challenging times, we greatly appreciate your generosity. FORTHCOMING CONCERTS & CAROL SERVICES
St Roses, 160, Anson Road, Cricklewood, NW2 6BH. On Sunday, 19th December from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm there will be an Open Air Carol Service at St. Roses Garden in celebration of our Synodal Journey so far and as part of our preparation for Christmas. Wrap up well!
There will be a carol concert in Holy Trinity Church, Finchley N2 0TH, at 6 pm on 15 December. Contact email@example.com
Harpist, Sioned Williams, will play at St Margaret's United Reform Church, Finchley N3 1BD. To book a place, contact 07384 466840 or
MARY'S MEALS A great many charities are looking for support at this time. Until 31 January, any donations made to Mary's Meals will be matched: thanks to this, £15.90 will feed two children for a full year. If you wish to donate of learn more, visit their websitemarysmeals.org.uk CHURCHES TOGETHER IN MILL HILL; CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH A reminder that volunteers are still needed to help pack the meals and deliver them. Please contact Maggi Lamb if you are able to help (020 8959 7918).
This coming Monday, 13th, is St Lucy's day. Her name, from the Latin lux, means light. In Scandinavian countries, young girls wear candles on their heads to honour her. May we all, in our own way, be light-bearers to those we meet, especially to those most in need. Rev Eugene Curran CM