SeventhWeek of Easter (A)
GLORIA PATRI ET FILIO, ET SPIRITUI SANCTO. SICUT ERAT IN PRINCIPIO, ET NUNC, ET SEMPER, ET IN SAECULA SAECULORUM. AMEN.
Yet another great feast of the church has passed and I say mass for you but not with you. I do my best to raise heart and mind to God, to Christ whose Ascension we celebrate today and to give Him glory. This is one of those feasts when we proclaim the Glory of God and the eternal Sonship of Christ, who came amongst us and having ascended to Heaven ‘sits at the right hand of the father’ and who we worship and glorify.
The disciples who witnessed this remained in awe, looking into Heaven. But the mission had to commence and the church cannot spend all her life in awe and adoration. It’s a wonderful thing to desire this, for the praise of God is our highest calling, but even the strictest contemplative who has no greater desire than the praise of God, has to feed body and soul through human labour. And through the work of travelling and preaching, the disciples too had to share the joy of their adoration of Christ, son of God, King of Kings who had ascended into Heaven and were asked ‘men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into Heaven? They had to move on and carry on, to do the work of Christ in the world.
In the early days of the church, in the assembly and possibly even in the synagogues before Christians began worshipping separately, Christians would finish the psalms in praise of God whose very Self had been revealed to them by Jesus. And so after each psalm they sang ‘glory be to the Father and the son and the holy spirit’ : the ‘Gloria Patri’ in latin. This tradition has remained through Christian history. At the end of the reading of every psalm, we finish it with the Gloria Patri.
And then later, under Pope Damasus I, the doxology was added ‘as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen’. This was to proclaim, that it is not us who give God glory, because God is glory in his essence and glory exists with Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are eternally three in one in glory. In the short prayer of the Gloria Patri, St Francis of Assissi said to one of the brothers ‘study well the Gloria Patri, in it you will find the whole substance of the scriptures’. In this little prayer, are the basic elements of our Faith in God, and when we say it we join the saints who give glory to God in Heaven and who said this same prayer to him in their lives on earth, lives which in imitation of Christ, gave God glory in their works.
In the modern breviary, the Gloria Patri is said about six times in each office. In the old breviary it was said many times, before and during the office. In the traditional mass, the Gloria Patri is said about three times and in private devotions, such as the rosary, six times again. In all our praise of God, our body, as well as our soul, has to give its service and reverence to God. When we pray, we do so body and soul, and we do so by awareness of our posture and movements in the worship of God. To stand shows respect and gives attention. To sit, is to be at ease whilst listening; to kneel is to adore and is the ideal posture for reception of Holy Communion and adoration of the blessed sacrament; to prostrate before the altar is to show humility to God our Creator and to bow is to give respect, honour and glory to God. To bow the head when saying or hearing the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, honours his holy name by a very simple gesture on our part. And for the Gloria Patri/ Glory be?
The gesture for the Glory Be is not making the sign of the cross, but a bow. This can be witnessed in the singing of the office in monasteries or where the Gloria Patri occurs in the traditional mass. Making the sign of the cross at every Gloria Patri/Glory be in the office or rosary is not called for, but giving God glory through a simple bow in the first part of the prayer, gives Him honour and glory with our body as well as our lips and minds.
The Gloria Patri is a prayer to lift us up continually when our minds fall or a dark cloud comes over our minds. It is a prayer which unites us with the disciples who stood in awe gazing into Heaven at the Ascension of the Lord. As we bow the head or body to give God glory, our hearts and minds may ascend with Christ at the words. When this life seems burdensome, when we seem to have nowhere to go or nothing to plan for and perhaps all seems rather dreary, every time we pray and say the Glory be, our hearts and minds are lifted to Heaven and all our weariness with the daily round is lifted to ‘Him that sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour and glory, for ever and ever’ (Apoc 5.13).
And once we have contemplated Christ’s glory in Heaven we may come back to earth. For we The Church have something other than the Ascension of Christ to celebrate: it is that we are here today because he has never left us. He sent us the Holy Spirit and is present in the sacraments he left us here on earth to support us on our journey. Pope Leo the Great said ‘The visible presence of our Redeemer passed over into sacrament; so that faith might be more noble and firmer….this faith, which was increased by the Lord’s ascension and strengthened by the gift of the Holy Spirit, could not be dismayed by chains, by prison, by exile, by hunger, by fire, by the claws of wild beasts, or the cruel and ingenious torments of persecutors’. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… to God who is in Heaven, and God who is with us, his Church on earth.
Domnick Pacheco (dd 17th March 2020. Funeral be held in private 21st April 2020)
Mary Kilgannon (dd 1st April 2020. Funeral held in private 17th April 2020)
Sarah Hancock (dd 23rd March 2020). Funeral to be held in private Wednesday 20th May 2020)
Terrence James Harman (dd 31st March 2020, funeral held in private 20th April 2020)
Noah Carrano Clementi (dd 19th March age 3, Funeral held on 8th April 2020)
Josephine Mary Grimes (dd 8th April 2020. Funeral held in private Monday 27th April 2020)
Eileen Jurado (dd 8th April 2020. Funeral held in private Wednesday 6th May 2020)
Peter Lloyd Clarence (dd 13th April 2020. Funeral to be held in private Monday 11th May 2020)
Bridie Kilgannon (dd 14th April 2020, Funeral held in private Friday 15th May 2020)
Pauline Gosnell (dd 29th April 2020, Funeral held elsewhere. Requiem in private at STM Tuesday 12th May 2020)
Michael McDonagh (dd 11th April 2020. Funeral to be held in private Tuesday 2nd June 2020)
Agnello Gomes ( dd 8th May 2020 Funeral held in Wales Thursday 21st May)
Pamela Beadle (dd 9th May 2020 Funeral in private 26th May 2020)
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.
May the divine assistance remain with them always and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
NOTE ON CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR FUNERALS
All catholics in this parish are given the full rites of the church with the funeral requiem mass said in the morning before the committal at the graveside/ crematorium. Current guidelines mean that no one can attend the mass and there are severe restrictions on numbers allowed at the committal. However, some families are still producing service booklets and memorial cards which they are able to send out to the majority of family and friends who cannot attend. It is a difficult time to die as people cannot come to pay their ‘last respects’ and support each other. We may long to hug each other in condolence, but if we can even meet at all, it can be no more than a nod. There can be no tea and chat in the house to talk about the life and death of the deceased. All is done by phone. It is sad indeed. However, where possible, public requiem masses will be arranged for the deceased in the future, the hall can be booked, the social club bar open and in true catholic style, after mass we can celebrate the lives of those we love. Also on the last Sunday of the Church’s year, the Feast of Christ the King, we will pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory with our Memorial Service followed by the generous hospitality of P.L. Mulligan’s, our Funeral Directors, in our Social Club.
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK, SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER.
Sunday 24th May. SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Jose Santana R.I.P.
Monday 25th May. St. Bede the Venerable, priest & doctor of the church, memorial.
Natasha Pereira W.B.
Tuesday 26th May. St. Philip Neri, priest, memorial.
Funeral Requiem for Pamela Beadle R.I.P. with committal in private at Eltham Crematorium.
Wednesday 27th May. St. Augustine of Canterbury, bishop, apostle of England, secondary patron of Southwark Archdiocese, feast.
Fr. Harry Reynolds R.I.P.
Thursday 28th May.
The Oldroyd Family W.B.
Friday 29th May. St Paul VI, pope, memorial.
Augustinho Fernandes R.I.P.
Saturday 30th May. Vigil of Pentecost (Whitsun Eve)
Tom Brady R.I.P.
MESSAGE FOR OUR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CHILDREN
Today we have a little quiz about your local church.
St. Thomas More is the patron of our parish and this is ‘St Thomas More parish’. Who are the patrons of our neighbouring parishes in Welling, Erith, the other Bexleyheath parish, Crayford and in Bexley?
What do the patrons of our parish and the other Bexleyheath parish have in common?
The parishes named above are a group of parishes called ‘a deanery’. But we belong to an even bigger grouping of parishes called ‘a diocese’. Every diocese is led by a Bishop who takes care of his diocese from the cathedral where you can see the Bishop’s Chair.
What’s the name of our diocese? Where is the Cathedral? Who is the cathedral dedicated to? Who are the patrons of our diocese? And finally who is our bishop?
Till next week. Keep praying.
God bless you all.
In love and unity,
The Catholic Church of St Thomas More.
|Tel: 020 8303 2189|
|Parish Priest Fr. Jonathon Routh
Hall Bookings: 020 83047909
|Sunday 09:00 Readers Rota|