Welcome to the webpages of the Roman Catholic Church of St Anselm and St Cæcilia, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Here you will find information about us including normal Mass times as well as Parish contacts.
Our postal address is 70 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3JA. You will find us on the east side of Kingsway, a few steps from Holborn Station (LT).
You can contact us on 020 7405 0376.
Our email address is email@example.com.
GAUDETE (Rejoice) SUNDAY
14th December 2014
*REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS…..” is the opening of the Mass for this Third Sunday in Advent. We are close to celebrating the:
INCARNATION and we rejoice that the Lord is faithful to his promises and comes among us in the infant Christ. The Church is therefore, Pope Francis says, “a house of joy”: this is a keyway in which we witness to Christ. Our Lord reveals God’s love to us that we are known and infinitely loved: the more we embrace this, the more we find joy!
SADNESS comes for many reasons, but the key reason is sin. John the Baptist in today’s Gospel practiced a baptism of repentance: we have to have a change of heart (repentance) if we are to recognise God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ. The same holds true now, so a very important part of our preparation for Christmas is to make a good confession.
REMEMBER……Advent lasts till Christmas Eve, and Christmas begins with the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve. Then we have the Octave of Christmas 8 days when each day is celebrated as Christmas Day, and then we continue celebrating Christmas until January 6th (Epiphany).
Meanwhile, continuing our Advent, we want to rejoice in the Lord always, and wake up to all God wants to share with us: for this, let us pray for one another.
Fr David Barnes, PP
7th December 2014
Today is Catholic Bible Sunday and it is themed: Hear, Reflect, Proclaim.
Bible Sunday reminds us each year of the gift of the Word of God. God’s Word in human language, recorded for us in the pages of the Holy Scriptures, proclaimed in our Liturgy and available for prayer and reflection day-by-day.
We know and experience being fed by God’s Word and Sacraments at Mass. Christ the Word teaches us. Christ our Eucharist nourishes us. Catholic Bible Sunday reminds us to hear, to be attentive to God’s Word through reading and reflecting on the Scriptures in our homes daily. It reminds us too to seek ways of proclaiming that life-giving Word to everyone we meet.
How appropriate then that we begin reading the Gospel of Mark on this day! Mark’s Gospel opens with faith-statements about Jesus. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God.
The evangelist continues by pointing to the fulfilment of words from the book of Isaiah already proclaimed in our first reading. The people who lived in exile are assured of liberation and return. Those longing for the promised Messiah learn that God is preparing the way for him.
It is John the Baptist who announces the fulfilment of the promise. and the forgiveness of sin. His words are confirmed by the symbolic action of baptising people in the Jordan. A new start is announced for them and for us.
In this time of Advent, John reminds us of the need for preparation. John has prepared for his ministry by penance and by listening to God’s Word. He knows that God’s promise is soon-to-be fulfilled. He foresees the coming of one who is stronger than he is, one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.
John teaches us openness to God’s Word, and the need to be fed by the true values of the gospel. The slow process of grace works deeply in our hearts through listening and through prayer. Preparing the way for the Lord requires courage and reliance on God’s power. Yearning for His ‘new heavens and new earth’ will bring a new perspective to our lives this Advent.
Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote in a Church teaching document called Verbum Domini: We need to make every effort to share the Word of God as an openness to our problems, a response to our questions, a broadening of our values and the fulfilment of our aspirations.’ (23)
May the word of God bring peace to our world and to our hearts today. May we seek every opportunity to hear, reflect and proclaim God’s Word day-by-day.
Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, Commission for Evangelisation and Formation, Brentwood Diocese
THE MEANING OF OUR ADVENT WREATH
30th November 2014
1st Candle (purple) The Prophesy Candle or Candle of Hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. The prophet Isaiah writes: “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”
2nd Candle (purple) The Bethlehem Candle or Candle of Preparation. God kept his promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to ‘get ready’. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD! As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet ”A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:4-6)
3rd Candle (pink) The Shepherd Candle or Candle of Joy. The angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:7-15)
4th Candle (purple) The Angel Candle or Candle of Love. The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ” (John 3: I6-17)
5th Candle (white) Christ Candle. The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins. His birth was for his death; his death was for our birth!
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
23rd November 2014
This great feast of Christ the King brings to mind images of God that speak of relationships, cooperation, interdependence, rather than authority and hierarchy.
Jesus says, “My Kingdom is not of this world”. His Kingdom is not a place where tyranny reigns and opposition is put down by force – but a place where love and humility reign.
Jesus did not come to exercise temporal and social power. He came to reveal the truth of the God of love and the love of God.
This is a King who does not seek an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. His Kingdom is based on love and compassion, on peace and goodwill, on justice and integrity, on opportunities to change and a willingness to forgive. This is the King of love who wants to communicate His love in and through His weakness and vulnerability. This is a King who became – one with us, who identifies with us in our daily lives in the journey of our faith – this is a King who meets us where we are and who walks with us each stop of the way – this is a King who walked the way of humility.
Sr M. Lucina, Parish Sister
“O marvellous humility. O astonishing poverty! The King of the angels, the Lord of heaven and earth, is laid in a manger!” (St Clare)
33rd SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
16th November 2014
There was once a woman who woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did, and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw she had only two hairs on her head.”Hmmmm,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did, and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed she hail only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed’that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Good,” she exclaimed, “I don’t hive to fix my hair today!”
THOUGHT: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.
So… …Be very kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly. . . . . and leave the rest to God.
DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA
9th November 2014
Understanding who we are and our present requires undersanding our past and our history – personal, family, national and international, and indeed of the universe! Remembering is therefore essential, and in these days we remember in particular those who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom. Our gmtitude should bear fruit in how responsibly we live this freedom, wonderfully expressed in this poem from World War 1:
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
in Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grew
In Flanders fields.
REMEMBERING is a theme for this Sunday’s Feast, the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica: this Basilica is the Cathedral Church of Rome, founded around 324 by the Emperor Constantine. The main entrance has the words “The mother and teacher of all the churches of Rome and the world.” Today’s Feast is a celebration of our love for and communion with the See of Peter and the successor of Peter, Pope Francis. Our identity is formed by living as Roman Catholics, united to Christ through Baptism (reading 1 and the Gospel) and now being “God’s building the temple of God” (reading 2).
St Paul says “Everyone doing the building must work carefully.” Are we seeking to unite our life more closely to Christ and to his Church, especially through love of the successor of Peter, and working for justice and peace?
Fr David Barnes. PP
THERE WILL BE A COLLECTION FOR THE SICK AND RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND TODAY The Sick and Retired Priests’ Fund was set up in 1979 and over the years it has helped hundrcds of Sick and elderly priests. But it can only do so with our help as it depends on donations. Please give as much as you can afford and” if you pay tax, don’t forget that you can add 25p to every pound that you give (at no extra cost to you) by completing tha Gift Aid declaration on the back of the donation envelope. (You can also make a donation online at www.rcdow.org.uk/donations)
PRAYERS FOR REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 9th NOVEMBER 2014
On this remembrance Sunday when our thoughts particularly focus on all those who died as a result of modern warfare, we pray together, knowing that God alone can bring peace and heal the wounds battle.
We pray for Pope Francis and all Church leaders that they may be instrumental of a peace which is more than simply an absence of fighting and bloodshed.
We pray for all those who sense in our armed and emergency services, that they may be peacemakers, defending the defenceless.
We pray for peace in all countries where there is fighting and bloodshed. Remembering especially Iraq, Syria, the Middle East and Nigeria, that there may be an end to suffering and injustice experienced by innocent victims of the conflict.
We pray for families who, today, remember the self-sacrifice of the few who laid down their lives for the many so that others might live in peace and security. We particularly recall those who have died in modern warfare and those whom they have left behind.
ALL SAINTS and ALL SOULS
2nd November 2014
NOVEMBER focuses on the call to holiness. God calls us to find freedom from sin, because sin diminishes our humanity. If free from sin, we are holy and whole beings who reflect the love and mercy of God: here lies our greatest happiness.
THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS reminds us that this is possible! We celebrate all those who, though never formally canonised, became saints through their co-operation with God’s grace and their refusal to be mastered by sin – they found true freedom.
POPE FRANCIS also reminded us last Thursday about the Devil’s work, which is to take us away from God. “In this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the Devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the Devil exists and we must fight aginst him. . … .Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness.” The Devil’s most common tactic is to discourage us: so, never yield to discouragement, for God’s love and mercy is greater than our human weakness. We are called to persevere in the Faith!
ALL SOULS DAY (this year kept on the 3rd November) reminds us that we die as we lived-sinners. So before we can come to see God face-to-face (the Beatific Vision) we need to be “purged” of our sins hence the state of PURGATORY. We help the Holy Souls by having Mass said for them, praying for them, and doing penance for them. This November, develop a deep love of the Holy Souls: this is part of our vocation to love.
Fr David Barnes, PP
PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
Prayer by Blessed John Henry Newman
O GOD of the Spirits of all flesh, O Jesu, lover of souls, we recommend unto Thee the souls of all those thy servants, who have departed with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace. We beseech Thee, O Lord and Saviour, that, as is Thy mercy to them Thou became man, so now Thou would hasten the time, and admit them to thy presence above. Remember, O Lord, that they are Thy creatures, not made by strange gods, but by Thee, the only Living and True God; for there is no other God but Thou, and none can equal Thy works. Let their souls rejoice in Thy light, and impute not to them their former iniquities, which they committed through the violence of passion, or the corrupt habits of their fallen nature. For, although they have sinned, yet they always firmly believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and before they died, they reconciled themselves to Thee by true contrition and the Sacraments of Thy Church.
O Gracious Lord, we beseech Thee, remember not against them the sins of their youth and their ignorances; but according to Thy great mercy, be mindful of them in Thy heavenly glory. May the heavens be opened to them, and the angels rejoice with them. May the Archangel St Michael conduct them to Thee. May Thy holy angels come forth to meet them, and carry them to the city of the heavenly Jerusalem. May St Peter, to whom thou gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, receive them. May St Paul, the vessel of election, stand by them. May St John, the beloved disciple, who had the revelation of the secrets of heaven, intercede for them. May all the Holy Apostles, who received from Thee the power of binding and loosing, pray for them. May all the Saints and elect of God, who in this world suffered torments for Thy Name, befriend them; that, being freed from prison beneath, they may be admitted into the glories of that kingdom, where with the Father and the holy Ghost Thou lives and reigns one God, wotld without end.
Come to their assistance, all ye Saints of God; gain for them deliverance from their place of punishment meet them, all ye Angels; receive these holy souls, and present them before the Lord. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine on them. May they rest in Peace.
30th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
26th October 2014
SVP AWARENESS MONTH
The core work of the Saint Vincent de Paul society (SVP) is to visit and befriend people in need, providing practical and moral support through this one-to-one contact.
The SVP Society of St Anselm & St Cæcilia work amongst people in our parish area where help is required due to the poverty of loneliness, sickness, bereavement, and visits to the isolated elderly in their homes or at hospital/nursing homes.
Pope Francis has called everyone who loves God to show their love in a practical way. Concern is a great starting point but, without action, it is not enough.
Concern alone will not befriend the lonely, feed the hungry comfort the bereaved or welcome/befriend the stranger amongst us.
We ask you to support your parish SVP. There are several ways you can do this:
- Pray for our work and the people we attempt to support
- Assist us financialty with your donations whenever possible
- Join us and become a SVP member (please contact: Coral Olson: 07790-030106)
Thank You, from members of your Parish SVP Society
29th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
19th October 2014
“Be Missionaries of God’s love”says Pope Francis to us on this World Mission Sunday 2014. He writes to us as follows:
Dear brothers and sisters,
On this World Mission Sunday my thoughts turn to all the local churches. I invite you to immerse yourself in the joy of the Gospel and nurture a love that can light up your vocation and your mission. I urge each of you to recall, as if you were making an interior pilgrimage, that “first love” with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not for the sake of nostalgia but in order to persevere in joy. The Lord’s disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity.
Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent.
All the members of the Church are called to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature: she was born “to go forth”.
World Mission Sunday is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands.
Let us pray through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelisation, that the Church may become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world.
28th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
12th October 2014
CARITAS WESTMINSTER, the social action agency of the diocese, is gowing in communities by developing a series of hubs across the diocese, with a pilot hub starting in Hemel Hempstead to serve the Watford and St Alban deaneries. “The mission of Caritas Westminster is to encourage everyone in the Catholic community to reach out with practical help towards those in need. We are here to serve the good of all, especially the most vulnerable.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
CARITAS WESTMINSTER have adopted priority areas covering debt, food, poverty, social isolation, people with intellectual disabilities and the deaf community, and aim to support existing projects and initiate new ones, build expertise at parish level, and encourage volunteering.
For more information in requesting assistance with social action projects in your parish, or for volunteering opportunities and other ways to get involved, please contact John Coleby at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.rcdow.org.uk/caritas.
For more information on the pilot hub or ways to get involved, contact development workers Sue Day (email@example.com) or Edward de Quay (firstname.lastname@example.org).
27th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
5th October 2014
“Let us learn this from Mary our Mother. In England, “the Dowry of Mary”, the faithful for centuries, have made pilgrimage to her shrine at Walsingham.
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, lifts our minds to meditate on our Mother. She obeyed the will of God fearlessly and gave birth to the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Faithful at the foot of the Cross, she then waited in prayer for the Holy Spirit to descend on the infant Church. lt is Mary who will teach us how to be silent, how to listen to the voice of God in the midst of a busy and noisy world. lt is Mary who will help us find time for prayer. Through the Rosary, that great Gospel prayer, she will help us to know Christ. We need to live as she did, in the presence of God, raising our minds and hearts to him in our daily activities and worries”.
Pope St John Paul II, at Wembley 1982