Prayers and positive readings and liturgy support for Adults and children

18/11/2020

The Quarantine Quatrains  click to reveal

6/11/2020

Living Life in Full in Lock-Down

3/10/2020

The Spirituality Committee of the Bishops’ Conference has been reflecting on how best to support and sustain a person’s prayer life at this challenging time – particularly those who may not have easy access to the internet or streaming services. The Committee has looked to the psalms as the inspiration for its new resource.

Responding to the Psalms is a simple initiative that takes a Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm – an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word – and invites and encourages further reflection on each verse.

Short questions are provided to encourage deeper thought on the verse for a few days or so before the focus moves on to the psalm’s next verse. Once each verse has been considered, we arrive at the next Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm.

The aim is that this will sustain people throughout the week.

Responding to the Psalms is intended to be used by individuals and small groups. Click below for the psalms and questions.

Resp-to-Psalms-October-2020

22/6/2020

Information about what is available to support your faith and prayer life around the Diocese

Resourcing the Lockdown

17/6/2020

How to pray and re-connect with the church as places of worship re-open for private prayer

2/6/2020 Blessings – a meditative few moments

“Blessings” with Br. David Steindl-Rast

29/5/2020 Vigil prayer

The Ignatian Family in a Worldwide Prayer Vigil

On Sunday 31st of May the universal Church will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit not only transforms the lives of the disciples into apostles, it brings the Church to birth and sends it out to all nations, overcoming divisions of language, race, class. The Spirit gathers us, whatever our state or condition, into the new community of Christ. Our lives and our world are restored and renewed.

In these past months we all have experienced the devastation of COVID-19. It has shown how vulnerable we are, how precarious our systems and limited our resources. We have also seen the great generosity and courage that can fill the human heart as so many risk their own life care and save the lives of others. Even in the small acts of kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness we glimpse something greater than we had thought possible. These moments are the ‘epiphanies of the Spirit’; the candles of love that light up the darkness and guide us into hope.

What better way to seek the gift and power of the Holy Spirit than as a world-wide community of prayer? Click button below for details of how to access.

Click for Worldwide prayer vigil

29/5/2020 Preparing for Pentecost


‘Rise Within Us – The Coming Of The Spirit’ is an uplifting song for Pentecost performed by the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. It’s a ‘Sung Scripture’, which uses a well-known song as a basis, and ad lib singing of the relevant scripture in the gaps.

Performers are being creative in lockdown, as we’ve seen over the past eight weeks, and this high quality arrangement was put together using material from 25 performers singing separately into smartphones at home.

The song is dedicated to the prisoners and staff at HMP Wandsworth.

Listen https://soundcloud.com/catholicchurch/rise-within-us-the-coming-of-the-spirit

‘Rise Within Us’ lyrics and music by Aaron Lindsay and Israel Houghton, from 2004 live album “Live From Another Level”, Israel & New Breed; additional lyrics by Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, based on Acts 2, sung ad lib.

 

23/5/2020

As the important Solemnity of Pentecost approaches, the Cardinal assures you that he holds you  in his prayer. He has sent us a message. In it, he reflects on the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, particularly in the context of the circumstances in which we are living at the moment.

The video is available online at https://vimeo.com/421046273

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thy Kingdom Come 2020 – Ascension to Pentecost

“God is not in lockdown” said Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby at the live launch of Thy Kingdom Come 2020 celebrated in prayer with Archbishop Sentamu and Cardinal Vincent this morning. The video is available to view athttps://tkc.new/livelink.

Cardinal Vincent spoke of the richness of these days; a time of waiting, trusting and not-knowing that resonates with the experience of many people in these strange and difficult times. He stressed the importance of the gifts of gratitude, joy and service that hold Christians of all denominations together and prayed for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see the gifts we are given and to use them in the field of our world.

The Archbishops spoke of the importance of praying together, as families, as church communities and as inter-denominational communities. There are many excellent resources available at www.thykingdomcome.global

In Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire the Thy Kingdom Come Ecumenical Planning Group has put together a programme starting with a launch event this evening and including daily prayers from Regional Church Leaders, including our own Bishop Paul on Wednesday. There are family prayers and resources and daily evening reflections. There will be a Beacon celebration posted on Pentecost Sunday. A full programme, with YouTube links, is available at www.stalbans.anglican.org/faith/thy-kingdom-come/

‘The Prayer and Care: ideas for families’ can be found atwww.stalbans.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/Prayer_and_Care_Family_TKC2020.pdf


20/5/2020

Jesuit prayer support for Ascension and Pentecost

 We keep in prayer all those working to fight the pandemic and all those grieving the loss of loved ones. We also pray for the families you serve, as they learn new ways of living as the domestic church.

Ascension and Pentecost

Ascension and Pentecost are the two great feasts that signal the end of the Easter season. Celebrate using these ideas from Loyola Press.

Click for prayers and activities for Ascension and Pentecost

 


15/5/2020

Fr Stephen Wang is live streaming each day at the ‘Pause for Faith’ YouTube channel, where you can
also see a library of recent videos. It’s an informal look at different aspects of our Catholic faith.
Themes include how to pray, the lives of the saints, faith formation, coping with lockdown, and a
new series of talks about ‘What Christians believe in 100 objects’. Please share the link below with
anyone who might be looking for some inspiration and spiritual support during the lockdown.
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/PauseforFaith
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @pauseforfaith

13/5/2020

Please include these prayer intentions from the Churches together in Hitchin in your prayers at the appropriate times.

February to April 20 PrayerLink 97-2003

1/5/2020

A letter sent to cloistered nuns which as Cardinal Vincent says …. is reflective, sensitive, with a true ‘interiority’ in its themes. I found that it touched me quite deeply. It is simply an offering at a difficult time.’

A letter from the desert

 


24/4/2020

Emmaus Road reflection by Reverend Charmaine Sabey-Corkindale

A reflection with art. Click below

emmausroadreflection csc


24/4/2020

Pray as You Stay https://pray-as-you-go.org/

Mental Health audio prayer guides: https://pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/mental-health-awareness

Pray As You Stay mini series: https://pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/pray-as-you-stay

Kids Examen during lockdown: https://pray-as-you-go.org/player/prayer%20tools/aspecialexamenforchildren

Family Examen during lockdown: https://pray-as-you-go.org/player/prayer%20tools/anexamenforthefamily

PAYG Rosary Reflections: https://pray-as-you-go.org/article/rosary-reflections


18/4/2020

Extract from message from Cardinal Vincent to the Priests of the Diocese

With these few words I really want to thank you all for the efforts of the last two weeks. I thank all of you who have been able to live stream the regular celebration of Mass and the Holy Week ceremonies. There is widespread feedback of how much this is appreciated and how extensively taken up. Many have expressed gratitude for the consolation and encouragement they have received and how this is contributing not only to a continuing practice of the faith but also a deepening of some of its important aspects. Participation figures from churchservices.tv are remarkable! Thank you all very much!

Most importantly, I wish to thank every one of you who do not have the facility to live stream and the virtual congregation that it brings, yet remain quietly faithful to the daily celebration of Mass on your own, especially in an empty church. This is an act of our ministry and of our interior dedication which can be difficult to maintain. Yet it is of immense value. In these circumstances we miss the visible presence of the faithful and the encouragement and, often, the inspiration they give us. We know, as they do, the infinite value of the Mass itself. We cling to the knowledge that at every Mass the angels and saints are with us. By celebrating Mass we make real the great prayer of Jesus and we become part of his constant pleading for the world before the Father. How much we need that pray right now! So I thank you for your fidelity and offer you every encouragement in sustaining this life-giving daily offering.

Also the Cardinal wanted us to know about an on-line retreat which begins tomorrow evening.


Easter Sunday

Pope Francis: ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Easter Message 2020

Prayer materials for Holy week

From the Jesuits in Britain

Palm Sunday  Palm Sunday Yr A r1

Holy Week prayer with the 5 senses Holy Week 2020 Praying with our 5 senses

From Ten:Ten for children on Thursday – Mass of the Last supper gospel click below picture

The Last Supper


Easter Triduum

Worshipping with the Communion of Saints As we try to make our way through this worldwide pandemic, we’re learning new ways of being together while trying to stay physically apart. This situation affects all aspects of our lives, including the way we worship. As we approach the days of Easter Triduum,


Led by LGBT+Catholics Westminster by Zoom on Good Friday

Stations 2020 single slides


 Many Catholic newspapers are now available on line. Click here for details: http://www.churchpaper.co.uk/

For an online copy of the Westminster Record click below

Accessing live stream Masses


Resources to support your prayer life at this time

28/3/2020

Prayers in response to the Coronavirus pandemic…

Are you reeling at the moment from the impact of coronavirus? Are you wondering how you’re going to cope with months of isolation or social distancing? Are you worried about work, money or how the country is ever going to recover from the impact of this pandemic? And are you looking for some kind of spiritual solace, but struggling to find words to pray. Then this little book could be just the thing for you.

It contains 52 prayers written in response to the crisis, asking for strength, encouragement and support, as well as help for loved ones and the wider world. Honest, down-to-earth and heartfelt, it’s a resource written to help you articulate what you are feeling and bring you hope in these dark and difficult days.

Grab your FREE eBook here

8/4/2020

From St Mark’s church – ideas for craft activities for Easter

Messy St Marks DIY Easter Activities

 

 

 

 

 


28/3/2020

From TenTen  

Ten Ten has decided to make freely available our Collective Worship resources to all schools and their families. We have created a new series of resources called Prayers for Home, which include:
Sunday Liturgy for Families

Daily Prayers for Home

We will continue to create original resources for families throughout the Easter holidays and beyond during this uncertain time for teachers, children and their families. Click below the picture for the Last Supper.

The Last Supper

 


From the Diocese

https://rcdow.org.uk/faith/catechesis/resources-now/

Resources: https://rcdow.org.uk/news/resources-during-mass-suspension/


Westminster Diocese has resources for families to use related to the liturgy.
The Wednesday Word website that most parishes and schools are familiar with: http://www.wednesdayword.org/   

 CAFOD have downloadable children’s liturgy resources available for most Sundays throughout the year.

CAFOD are hosting a live online children’s liturgy for families, on Sundays at 10am.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

There are websites to support you in prayer. The Jesuit website Pray As You Go is wonderfulhttps://pray-as-you-go.org/Sacred Space, the website of the Irish Jesuits is also beautiful and offers currently a Lent retreat.

Prayers and positive readings

3/4/2020

This beautiful prayer was written by an Italian priest who is self-isolating at the moment and very sadly lost his own brother a few days ago to Covid-19…

I’m staying at home, Lord!

I’m staying at home, Lord! And today, I realise, you taught me this, remaining obedient to the Father, for thirty years in the house of Nazareth, waiting for the great mission.

I stay at home, Lord, and in Joseph’s studio, your keeper and mine, I learn to work, to obey, to round the corners of my life and prepare you a work of art.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I know that I am not alone because Mary, like any mother, is in the next room, doing chores and preparing lunch for all of us, God’s family.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I do it responsibly for my own good, for the health of my city, for my loved ones, and for the good of my brother, whom you have put beside me, asking me to take care of him in the garden of life.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the silence of Nazareth, I pledge to pray, to read, study, meditate, be useful for small jobs, in order to make our home more beautiful and more welcoming.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the morning, I thank you for the new day you give me, trying not to spoil it and welcome it with wonder, as a gift and an Easter surprise.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And at noon I will receive the greeting of the angel, I will make myself useful for love, in communion with you who have made you flesh to live among us; and, tired of the journey, thirsty, I will meet you at Jacob’s well, and thirsty for love on the Cross.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And if the evening takes me melancholy, I will invoke you like the disciples of Emmaus: stay with us, the evening has arrived and the sun sets.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And in the night, in communion of prayer with the many sick, the lonely and all the caregivers, I will wait for the dawn to sing your mercy again and tell everyone that, in the storms, you have been my refuge.

I’m staying at home, Lord! And I don’t feel alone and abandoned, because you told me: I’m with you every day. yes, and especially in these days of confusion, O Lord, in which, if my presence is not necessary, I will reach everyone, only with the wings of prayer.

Amen

Pope Francis
Urbi et Orbi Blessing
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves. In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all.
Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.

27/3/2020

Churches Together in England have released the following statement

As our nation faces the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, Churches Together in England (CTE) is encouraging Christians across our nations to continue uniting in prayer, praying #PrayersOfHope in their homes at 7.00 pm each Sunday evening.

Following the overwhelming response which the National Call to Prayer and Action received on Mothering Sunday, CTE has prepared a candle poster for those who would like to place a permanent symbol in their front windows of Christ’s light shining in the darkness. Visit www.cte.org.uk/prayersofhope

This poster has been made available due to our awareness of the potential fire risk posed by lighting live candles, particularly on windowsills. We are keen to avoid adding any pressure to our emergency service personnel, particularly at this difficult time.

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:5

Please join us prayer at this challenging time.


26/3/2020 From Jonathan Bryan author of EYE CAN WRITE

Cerebral Palsy, Coronavirus and Me

by eyecantalk

Finding words to describe the condition that has had the most impact on my life is difficult, so when CP Teens asked me to be one of their faces for cerebral palsy month I decided to portray cerebral palsy as a monster.

At the moment we are facing a monster as a nation with this insidious virus and I am aware that for those already living with the occupying forces of cerebral palsy our defences are weakened to further attacks. I am praying for all my friends.

But I am also praying for everyone who is gripped by fear, because fear is far more dangerous. Fear doesn’t just threaten our physical health, it monopolizes our mental health and paths the way to selfishness. Perfect love drives out fear. So every day I pray to Love Himself and am filled with gratitude – there is so much to be thankful for. Every day I will post on Twitter what I am thankful for.

25/3/2020  Thank you to Caroline for sharing this prayer with us

Prayer for Healing
Heavenly Father, I call on you right now in a special way.
It is through your power that I was created.
Every breath I take, every morning I wake,
and every moment of every hour I live under your power.
Father, I ask you to touch me with that same Holy Power.
For if you created me from nothing,
you can certainly recreate me.
Fill me with the healing power of your Holy Spirit.
Cast out anything that should not be in me, dear God.
Mend what is broken. Root out any unproductive cells.
Open any blocked arteries or veins.
Rebuild any damaged areas.
Remove any inflammations and cleanse any infections.
Let the warmth of your healing love pass through my body
to make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will
function the way you created it to function.
And, Father, restore me to full health in mind and body
so that I may serve you for the rest of my life.
Amen.

A prayer from Cheryl, our parish administrator’s granddaughter.

Click here for Prayer when confined to your home


Prayer at the time of a pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who have no work.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close,
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market,
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Lockdown by Richard Hendrick  (Brother Richard), a Capuchin Franciscan priest-friar in Ireland

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing