19th March 2020
Solemnity of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46.1)
We received word from the Archbishop yesterday, 18th March, that he, along with the other Bishop’s of Scotland, has taken the difficult decision to suspended the public celebration of Holy Mass from today. There will therefore be no further public liturgy until we have received more instructions from the Archbishop. It also seems likely that we will not be able to celebrate the Triduum together, but this will depend on the advice that His Grace receives from the civil authorities.
As a result of this announcement:
1. The faithful of the Archdiocese are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays and on days of precept until further notice; myself and Fr Nicholas will celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass privately; all of you will be remembered at the altar every day;
2. Baptisms, weddings and funerals may go ahead but only in the presence of close family;
3. There will be confessions at the usual time in our parish on Saturday mornings from 10.00am in Ss John & Columba’s Church.
4. The sick and the dying will receive the Sacraments when necessary;
5. Ss John & Columba’s Church will be open every day from 8.00am to 6.00pm. I encourage you all, while we are without the Sacrifice of the Mass, to make frequent visits to Ss John & Columba’s to sustain yourselves and your families spiritually; (please use the side door from Admiralty Road)
6. Since the church is open, you will still be able to make the Station of the Cross for Lent privately in the church;
7. I ask that the households of our parish say the Rosary together on Sunday mornings at 10.00am, to replace our usual gathering before the altar to meet Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Mass. While we are unable to be together at the altar, we can still be united in our prayers;
8. If you have a missal or access to the internet, you could read the readings that we would have had at Mass; You can also access Mass on-line at St Francis Xavier’s in Falkirk. https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-francis-xavier-church-falkirk
The leaflet below, should be printed off and used to mark Sundays as a holy day.
9. If possible, try to make a private visit with your family to the church on Sundays so that, even though you will not be able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion, you can pray for a time before Him in the tabernacle. I left a copy of an act of spiritual communion that you can use for this visit at the kneeler;
10. The newsletter will still be written and published online at the parish website.
11. I hope to coordinate some outreach to those who are unable to leave their homes and who may need our help. Initially, I will speak to our parish SSVP about this. In the meantime, if you need assistance or you know of someone who may need assistance, call the parish house on 01383 412084 to let me know. In the mean time, please look out for your neighbours and anyone you know who may be in need of assistance during these days and weeks.
12. I would also encourage everyone to pray the Memorare once a day to our Lady, Health of the Sick. She will surely hear us in our time of need.
As God’s children, we abandon ourselves to His providence asking that, through the intercession of Blessed Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church, the dying will be saved, the sick will recover and that this time of privation of what is most precious to us will soon end.
The Reverend Kevin A Dow