News for Advent 3 and beyond

We welcome you this coming Sunday December 19th to our Parish Mass at 9:00AM.

Fr Paul is our celebrant and preacher.    Sunday School takes place in the Hall. Please join us for Coffee after Mass in the Hall.

Today at 3:00PM is our Christingle Service. Meet at 3:00PM to make the Christingles and worship at 3:45PM.

Gaudete Sunday 2021

Gaudete Sunday is celebrated on December 12, 2021. It is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church, including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and other mainline Protestant churches. It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December. The day takes its common name from the Latin word Gaudete (“Rejoice”), the first word of the introit of this day’s Mass.

On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet, (or in the Anglican tradition and some Lutheran traditions, Sarum blue) which is otherwise prescribed for every day in the season of Advent. This tradition, previously informally observed in the Anglican Church, was formally noted as an option in the Church of England in the Common Worship liturgical renewal.

In churches which have an Advent wreath, the rose coloured candle is lit in addition to two of the violet (or blue) coloured candles, which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. Despite the otherwise somber readings of the season of Advent, which has as a secondary theme the need for penitence, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.

Some thoughts on today’s scripture:  For all the austerity of his life, John the Baptist spoke to people in words they could grasp. It was his austerity that drew people’s respect and trust. Here was a man who cared nothing for comfort, money or fame, who could not be bought, and who could only speak the truth without fear.

John gives us some practical examples. People should share clothing and food with those who have none as basic expressions of faith. To tax collectors he says, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also ask him, “And we, what should we do?” John replies, “Do not extort money from anyone with threats or false accusations, and be satisfied with your wages.”

What does your lifestyle say about your faith in Christ? Do we hoard or share what we have with others, especially those who are poor and on the margins of society?

Why, on the Third Sunday of Advent, are the priest’s vestments Rose pink, and the third candle in the Advent wreath as well? That brighter colour signifies joy in the midst of what is otherwise traditionally considered a somber penitential season

All the rest of the Advent season, of course, features purple as the liturgical color, because its dark hue symbolizes both penance and the royal status of Jesus Christ, the King. But the Third Sunday in Advent is symbolized by rose instead, because it’s known as Gaudete Sunday, “Rejoice Sunday.”   Gaudete comes from the first word of the Introit (Entrance Antiphon) in the Liturgy of the Mass for that day, which reads from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. … Indeed, the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4–5).

Due to the increase of cases of Corona Virus within our congregation, we are gently encouraging the use a face covering if possible.

Fr Paul and the Churchwardens are deeply concerned about the rise in Covid cases with the new variant. Despite the UK’s amazing vaccination programme, there is still concern among scientists about the challenge of a new, potentially more transmissible variant just a month before Christmas. We are still awaiting advice from the Church of England as to how best we proceed, but we urge the immediate use of face coverings in Church, and we may have to resort to some form of social distancing within the pews again. We are also aware that with the potential for larger than normal numbers at special Christmas services, a decision will need to be taken following official advice as to how we proceed safely. Your safety and health and wellbeing are paramount to us as Rector and Churchwardens.

Can you help us support two very worthwhile charity initiatives? We are asking for toiletries or feminine hygiene products. There is a large container in the hall for your donations. Also, there is now a regular container in Church every week for you to make Food Bank donations which will go direct to our local Food Bank in Ramsgate.

   Christmas Services 2021

December 12th   Christingle Service preceded by Workshop to make the Christingles at 3:00PM and Service at 3:45PM. At this service Fr Paul will tell the Christmas story with Chocolate!

Sunday, December 19th. Festival of Lessons and Carols 3:00PM followed by Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

Christmas Eve: The First Mass of Christmas at 9:00pm. (There is a Midnight Mass at St Andrew’s in Deal for those who want the later Mass).

Christmas Day.  Sung Mass of Christmas Day with Carols at 10:00am.

December 26th Boxing Day  The Feast of the Holy Family  9:00AM  Parish Mass.

December 28th The Holy Innocents  Mass at  6:00PM

December 29th St Stephen (trans) Mass at 6:00PM

January 2nd    Sunday   The Epiphany of the Lord  9:00AM Parish Mass.

Fr Paul off duty until Saturday 8th January.