28th Sunday of OT 13.10.19
Special collection for Missio next Sunday
Dear sisters and brothers
Last week I wrote about an experience I had of a mass where silence was a special feature – and welcome to this person at least.
I thought the atmosphere as we gathered for mass last week was a great deal quieter than it has been – and I wondered whether you noticed too? Many people spoke to me gratefully. One person even wrote to me anonymously to encourage me to give example. I will try.
However, I thought I’d just write a little bit about why silence is not only useful but the right thing and a good thing in itself so we can see that silence before mass, or actually, to put it a better, silence within the church building at all times is such a desirable thing.
The first reason is to enable a prayerful atmosphere. In the catholic church’s spirituality prayer is, apart from liturgically speaking, a silent, inward, mental activity. We commune with God through prayer in our souls and in our minds. We are, mostly, not accustomed to praying extempore and aloud in ways that might seem quite familiar to other Christian traditions. We organise our thoughts inwardly and direct them ‘upwards’ – that is to say Godward. So, we can sit and mentally run through our lists of the people in our hearts – ‘lifting them up’ in prayer to God and speaking to Him about their needs as we understand them. We might also dwell for a few moments on our own needs, or problems, or thanksgivings, and spend some time running over the possible solutions to those same problems or expanding on what we are grateful for and so opening our hearts to grace.
All this becomes very difficult when there is distraction all around. Only a very few people can remain focussed and concentrated on these inward thoughts and prayers when behind them, or beside them, someone is telling their neighbour loudly about their bunions, or what they saw on Eastenders last night. I did, however know of one lady who was quite advanced in the art of silent prayer and, speaking of these intrusive noises she said that she “incorporated them into the silence”. I never had the courage to ask her just how this feat was accomplished!
However, there is another reason for silence in church and perhaps this is the best, or most important of all.
In the Book of Kings Elijah is promised a vision of God, except that he won’t be able to see his face. Going up a mountain Elijah hides in a cave whilst all around the wind howls, thunder and lightning streak the sky, rocks and boulders are thrown around as the earthquakes. But we are told – God wasn’t in any of these. After these phenomena came the sound of a gentle breeze, or as some translators put it “the sound of nothing at all.” In this silence and gentleness God revealed himself.
Similarly, Job in his travails demands that God answer him as he questions him over what had happened to him. Having said his peace God demands that he be silent for “Now it is my turn to speak.”
Many, many, Christians have discovered that silence is the only proper way in which to communicate with God. Once everything has been said there can only be silence – and this is not only for the ‘professionals’ like monks and nuns – this has been found to be true for countless thousands of men and women. In the silence, when we have freed ourselves from the smartphone, radio, TV, gossip, and the need to talk about the weather comes an opportunity for God to address us. He does this wordlessly directly into our souls, bathing us in grace and helping us calm ourselves, strengthen our faith, find forgiveness, the answer to questions and perfecting our desires.
Let’s keep it up, shall we?
With my love and prayers Fr David
|Through our worship in prayer and liturgy we seek always to become a|
community of faith, hope and love, building inclusive
relationships with people of faith and none, reaching out to those in need
Parish Mission Statement
World Mission Sunday will be celebrated on Sunday 20 October 2019, which is a vitally important part of the Extraordinary Month of Mission this year. On this day, the whole Church unites in an act of universal solidarity in prayer for its missionary activity and in collecting funds to support communities globally that are poor or in need. Around 40% of Church membership falls into this category.
Missio is proud to be the Pope’s charity for world mission; this year’s World Mission Sunday theme is Together we are Mission.
This collection is one of three mandatory universal collections, the other two being for the Holy Places on Good Friday and Peter’s Pence.
Educaid: Please note we will welcome Miriam Mason as a guest speaker during the weekend of 9thand 10th November informing us about Educaid which runs an educational network comprising of free schools, teacher training , and tertiary programmes in Sierra Leone.
Dates for your diary:
19th Oct – Bereavement Mass in Cranleigh 10am
20th Oct – Family Mass for FHC – suitable for all children
5th Nov – CAMEO Quiz
12th Nov – Cranleigh Coffee Morning
8th Dec – Parish Christmas Party
Missio Red Boxes
I and the team of parish promoters would like to collect the monies from the Red Boxes during September/October. Most box holders should be contacted by their promoter direct but if you are not, could you leave your box in the Sacristy at Bramley or Cranleigh. Please ensure your name is on the bottom of your box for identification. Many thanks for your support. Fran Pickett. Tel. 01483 276614 Email email@example.com”
To enable Ministers across our Deanery to fulfil their annual obligation to attend a time of Reflection, there will in the Catholic Parish of GUILDFORD, on Saturday 19th October at St Edward’s Church Hall, Sutton Park, from 9.15 until 12.30pm such a time. Please let our Parish Secretary Sandy know if you would like to attend as numbers will be limited. (01483 562704 Email: Office@cpg.church) Fr Roy
Individual Retreats @ Worth Abbey: 11th-14th November Cost: £189 per person You are invited to book a stay (fully inclusive) for a self-led retreat. Arriving from 4pm on the first day until after lunch on the final day. At the heart of this experience is participation in the monastic daily office to which all are welcome. Then enjoy the Abbey Church, our extensive grounds for walking and a visit to the Quiet Garden for quiet contemplation. To book your place Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to welcoming you to Worth Abbey
Barbara Macey passed away Saturday 28th September peacefully. Her funeral will be held at St Nicolas Church, Cranleigh on Thursday 17th October at 11.30am. Please join the family if you would like to attend Barbaras funeral.
The Parish Bereavement Mass will take place on Saturday 19th October at 10am in Cranleigh. If you, or someone you know would like to attend this Mass to remember their loved ones please extend the invitation. All are welcome and there will be an open tea/coffee group following the Mass.
The Children Youth and Family Mission Team are investigating running a Toddler Group one morning, after school drop off, in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. If you have an interest in this, please contact the Parish Office in order that we can garner interest.
The Parish of Cranleigh & Bramley is working towards a culture of safeguarding for volunteers and parishioners.
If you volunteer in the Parish we invite you to attend an evening at which we can review, discuss and embed the principles to create a culture of safeguarding in your roles and our Parish.
Please join on Tuesday 29th October at 7.30pm in the Cranleigh Parish Meeting Room. There will be refreshments.
Please RSVP to the Parish using email email@example.com. This is a vital workshop and especially relevant if you are DBS checked and work with vulnerable children or adults. It is also useful for those wanting to learn more about safeguarding.