News items added on Saturday, April 30, 2011

Divine Mercy indulgence

Pope John Paul named this Sunday, as “Divine Mercy Sunday.” A plenary indulgence may be gained on the usual conditions for all those who say the Our Father and the Creed in a Church, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”)

To gain a plenary indulgence, it is necessary to receive Holy Communion and to make a sacramental confession. These may be done within two weeks before or after the indulgenced prayers. In addition, we must pray for the intentions of the Holy Father (e.g. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.) and be free from attachment to sin by conceiving a detestation of sin and a firm resolution not to sin in the future.

You may also wish to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet which was promoted by St Faustina. There is further information about the devotion at the Divine Mercy website.

First Communion Masses

Our first Holy Communion Masses at Blackfen will be on Saturdays 7, 14, and 21 May.

The Mass on 7 May will be a Latin Missa Cantata and will begin at 10.30am.

The Masses on 14 and 21 May will begin at 12.30pm. All are welcome to the Masses. Please be seated in the Church a quarter of an hour before Mass begins. The Rosary will be said from 1210 in preparation for Mass, so please join us for that if you can.

Many thanks indeed to our team of catechists who have worked so hard to prepare the children for this very special occasion. Please remember the children and their families in your prayers.

UCM Day at Aylesford

The Blackfen Branch of the Union of Catholic Mothers will be joining the annual UCM Day at Aylesford, on Tuesday 31 May. A coach will leave from the Church at 9.30am, returning at approximately 4.15pm. If you would like a place on the coach, please give your name and £12 fare to Hilda as soon as possible.

News items added on Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pope John Paul II film

On 30 April, the eve of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, we will be showing a film of his life in the Small Hall at 7pm. This would be a good preparation for your spiritual participation in the Church’s joy at solemn recognition of this great Pope’ holiness.

There will be a refreshment break in the middle, including an opportunity to buy popcorn. The showing will finish at about 10.20pm. Children are welcome.

A collection will be taken for the educational work of the Maryvale Institute.

Eddie Reid RIP

Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Eddie Reid who died recently. Eddie was received into the Catholic Church a few days before he died, and therefore went to Our Lord fortified by the sacraments of the Church.

The Requiem Mass will be at 10.30am on Wednesday 4 May, followed by committal at Eltham Crematorium. (This will be our parish Mass for the day and there will be no 10am Mass.)

Many thanks to all our volunteers

Many thanks to all those who helped to prepare our Easter ceremonies and especially to those who prepared the Church, the music, and the ceremonies. All have worked very hard during this week to make our liturgy a prayerful and beautiful celebration of the mysteries of our faith.

(Do not forget our Church Choir blog.)

News items added on Friday, April 22, 2011

Father Tony Pyle RIP

Father Tony Pyle, Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen from 1983 to 1997, died on the evening of Maundy Thursday (21 April 2011) fortified by all the rites of our Holy Mother the Church. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at Blackfen. The date will be announced as soon as the Archdiocese has been able to make the arrangements.

Please remember Father Tony in your prayers.
Requiescat in pace.

News items added on Saturday, April 09, 2011

Passiontide: veiling of the statues

By ancient custom, the crucifixes and statues in the Church are veiled during Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent.

As with many of our ancient liturgical customs, this has various meanings. Before his Passion, Jesus hid himself and no longer went openly among the Jews. At his passion, the divinity of Jesus was hidden by his humiliation and sufferings for our sake. The statues of Our Lady and the saints are covered because it is not fitting for the servants to be honoured when their Master is hidden.

The veiling of the statues gives a striking austerity to the Church, reminding us of the solemn and mournful time of the suffering and death of the Lord as we approach the liturgical celebration of his Passion.

We adore Thee, O Christ and we praise Thee.
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Holy Week and Easter services

You can download a sheet giving times of services for Holy Week and Easter. (Copies are also available at the back of the Church.)

From Mon 18 to Wed 20 April, there will be two Masses each day, one in English, and the other in Latin. Confessions will be heard after all these Masses.

On Maundy Thursday our Mass is the 8pm evening Mass (Latin) of the Lord’s Supper. (There is no 10am Mass.)

Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence on which we are bound to abstain from meat and to deny ourselves some food. All are encouraged to come to the Stations of the Cross in the morning and/or the Liturgy of the Passion in the afternoon with the veneration of the Cross.

On Holy Saturday evening, the Easter Vigil begins at 8.30pm. There is no 6pm Mass on Holy Saturday. Masses on Easter Sunday are as usual.

The 10.30am Latin Mass on Palm Sunday will be celebrated as a High Mass with the solemn procession and sung Passion. Although the Mass will be significantly longer than usual, it is a very good way to begin Holy Week by participating in the Roman Liturgy celebrated with the greatest solemnity. Dr Hemming and Fr McNally will be assisting as Sacred Ministers.

Gregorian Chant Course

On Saturday 7 May, Dom Yves-Marie Lelievre OSB, Choirmaster of Solesmes, and one of the world’s finest exponents of Gregorian Chant, will be giving a workshop at Spanish Place for ordinary parish singers who are learning chant. There are further details at the Church Choir blog.

A small group from the parish will be travelling up from Sidcup Station at 8.30am. We need to notify numbers of those coming; if you are interested, please contact Julia Jones after 10.30am Mass on Sunday or by email:

Mass for Special Anniversaries

The Archbishop is celebrating Mass in the afternoon of Saturday 18 June at St George’s Cathedral, to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage. Those celebrating significant wedding anniversaries. (1st, 10th, 25th, 40th, or 60th+) are especially invited.

To receive a special invitation, please fill in one of the forms available at the back of the Church and send it to the address given. (Closing date 15 May)

News items added on Saturday, April 02, 2011

First Communion Parents evening this Thursday

Parents of children making their first Holy Communion are asked to come to the Church this Thursday 7 April at 8pm.

There will be Rosary and Benediction, followed by a short talk from Fr Finigan about the final stage of preparation for the children to receive Our Lord sacramentally in Holy Communion for the first time.

Laetare Sunday

Today is known as Laetare Sunday after the Introit for the Mass which reads as follows (in both older and newer forms:
Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. (Psalm) Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Gloria Patri.

Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father
Halfway through Lent there is a note of rejoicing, and the use of rose coloured vestments. Many thanks to Maria and the Sacristy Team for making the lovely new altar frontal for this Sunday.

Receiving Holy Communion: a reminder of Catholic practice

We should be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion. Anyone who is conscious of grave (mortal) sin may not receive Holy Communion without first having been to confession. We must abstain from food and drink (with the exception of water) for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion.

Those who are married outside the Church or are living together as a couple without being married, may not receive Holy Communion. They should make a spiritual communion at Mass and seek any way that there may be to rectify the situation.

A person who has received Holy Communion may receive it again on the same day, provided that, on the second occasion, they have attended Mass.

Catholics are not permitted to receive Holy Communion at a non-Catholic service (even if invited) but may take part in any prayers that are not contrary to Catholic faith.

We should prepare prayerfully for Holy Communion and spend some time in thanksgiving afterwards. Holy Communion should always be received with reverence and care.