Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 16th July 2017
At the recent Liturgy Committee meeting we were discussing the Memorial Acclamation – you know – The Mystery of Faith and the fact that it can often seem like a bit of a “damp squib.” Which is to say that not a lot of “acclamation” goes on sometimes! According to the Miriam-Webster online dictionary an acclamation is “a loud eager expression of approval, praise, or assent.”
Often our acclamation is neither loud nor eager! I wonder whether we could do something about that?
As you will know the Acclamation comes after the priest has just consecrated the bread and wine of the Eucharist – a very solemn moment in one sense but in another sense a repeated and joyfully mysterious moment which is appreciated, most of all, in the heart as what was “mere” bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Joyful, because when we do this “in memory” of Him, as Jesus commanded us to do, then he, faithful God that he is, always responds to our faithfulness with generosity.
In one sense this moment is the moment, par excellence, of the Mass and it is faith, as such, that is able to comprehend it. It is, then, a “mystery of faith” that we recognise Jesus, our Lord in this gift – the same Lord who died on the cross, was buried, and who rose again and who now allows us, or better, wills us to share in this divine life. Is this not cause for deep joy and eager approval, praise and assent?
There are these “moments” of supreme “contact” we might say with the mysterious in the Mass and each of them asks for our full and active participation – that is to say – our taking part in the celebration. To briefly list them they are: The Gloria, the Gospel Acclamation (which you are all very good at!), the Holy Holy (likewise) and the Memorial Acclamation (not so much) and finally the poignant song for the breaking of the bread – the Lamb of God. All these ask for our full participation and concentrated effort of voice, mind and heart.
What I suppose we might draw from all this – and the Second Vatican Council was really trying to impress upon us was that the Mass is a celebration in which every member of God’s people takes a part. There are no spectators! One priest put it to me like this.
It is often supposed that the Priest, during mass, is the Actor (on a stage). The congregation is an audience and God is a kind of “off-stage prompt” to make sure proceedings move along with dignity and the right words and intentions. However, the play is very repetitive and boring. But this view couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, it is more helpful to think of God as the audience (for our praise), the priest and congregation as the Actors together with the priest doing a bit of the prompting as and when necessary. The play is a play of many parts in which we are all actors taking on many different roles.
So today, and forever, can we make an extra effort to make our acclamations as “per the book” – a loud eager expression of approval, praise, and assent?
With my love, your priest, Fr David
THIS SUNDAY 16TH JULY
Picnic on the Common
from 12 noon opposite the Baptist Church.
All the Churches in Cranleigh are getting together for a picnic in the park on the common on Sunday 16th July. Please support this event and come and meet our brothers and sisters in the Methodist, Baptist, and Anglican churches of our village. Hopefully a lovely day, please bring food and drink for your own family and friends and be prepared to share! Also, some games might be an idea.
There will be reduced Parish Office Hours during School Holidays. Messages can be left on email or voicemail.
The office will be open as follows:
Thurs 27th July 8.45-4.45 and Fri 28th July 8.45-11.45
Thurs 3rd August 8.45-4.45 and Fri 4th Aug 8.45-11.45
Thurs 10th Aug 8.45-4.45 and Fri 11th Aug 8.45-11.45
Thurs 17th Aug 8.45-4.45 and Fri 18th Aug 8.45-11.45
The Office will be closed weeks beginning
21st and 28th August
and will reopen on Tuesday 5th September with full hours
There is an opportunity to choose hymns for the services. In both porches of the churches are Hymn Preference sheets. We would love to hear from the congregation about their choice of hymns. Please let us know.
Saturday 22nd July 11.00-4.00
You are warmly welcome to a mini-retreat day (or morning/afternoon) of spiritual refreshment and renewal, focussing on the Charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit, at Alton Convent, Anstey Lane, Alton GU34 2NG. 11.00am Rosary; 11.30am Mass celebrated by Fr Laurence Brassill; 12.15 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; 1.00pm Shared lunch; 2.00pm Praise & Worship; 2.30 Talk “Gifts of Healings” by Pauline Edwards and Fr Laurence Brassill 3.30 Prayer for healing. We end about 4pm. There is no need to register in advance, and no charge (though a collection will be taken to cover costs).
For more information and directions, see poster or website: www.altonrenewal.com
Or telephone Deacon John Foley on 07769 251747.
The following month, on Saturday 19th August, our guest speaker will be Deacon John Foley talking about the Gift of Miracles.
On September the 8th we will travel to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the great church and to celebrate mass in the Undercroft Chapel of Our Lady.
This is an enormous privilege made possible by the kindness of the Dean, the Very Rev’d Dr Robert Willis who has permitted us to celebrate mass in the Chapel of Our Lady on her birthday, the 8th September.
We will travel by coach to Canterbury and, after mass we can join in one of the guided tours of the Cathedral, or wander around as we wish to take a long look at the Church of St Augustine whom Pope Gregory the Great sent to England in 597AD.
The Cathedral is often described as ‘England in stone’ as its history is intrinsically linked to the country’s history. From its first Archbishop, Augustine, who established Christianity in England to Archbishop Langton’s role in the Magna Carta negotiations and the power struggle be-tween King Henry II and Archbishop Thomas Becket, Canterbury Cathedral’s history is as rich as it comes.
After we have looked around the cathedral we can walk into the town nearby for lunch and some shopping returning home that later that same evening.
Why not join us for a wonderful parish day – out together? You can sign up online at our parish website where full details and itinerary can be found.
Costs will be finalised once we know how many people are interested.