Deuteronomy 6:2-6 Psalm 17
Hebrews 7:23-28 Mark 12:28-34
In our society, very often, death is something people prefer not to think about. For previous generations it was much more part of their daily experience. Infant mortality was high, life expectancy was much lower than it is now, working conditions were often much more dangerous. This meant that they had to cope, much more frequently than we do, with the death of family members. The rituals surrounding death were, therefore, much more important to them. In an age of faith, they also had a much clearer understanding of death and of life after death.
As a priest working in a parish death is much more part of my experience than it is for most people. I seem to have spent quite a lot of my time recently working with people who have experienced the death of family members. I think one of the things the Church has to offer is an understanding of death and a ritual to go with it. Many of our contemporaries do not have this. They are at a loss to know how to deal with this experience and often have some strange ideas, which may give a superficial comfort but to our eyes are missing the point. For example, the idea that those who have died become angels.
The funeral liturgy tells us that for us, at death, “life is changed not ended”. We approach death in the knowledge and confidence of being called to share in the resurrection of Christ. This is not to deny the reality of our loss. Loss of a loved one can be devastating. Even when somebody’s death is expected, when we might be grateful they are no longer suffering and when we can approach it in faith, we keep on discovering a whole variety of ways we miss the person concerned. However, we have the consolation of knowing the person is in the hands of a loving and merciful God. Above all we have the consolation of knowing that Christ has been there before us. Through his death on the cross he overcame death and enable us to share in his life in glory. St Francis of Assisi, in his famous canticle, thanks God for “sister death”. For it is through death that we come to eternal life in Christ.
There is, however, another aspect to the way we as Catholics approach death. Before my own mother died earlier this year we had talked a little bit about what she wanted at her funeral. She was very clear she did not want a eulogy with somebody talking about how wonderful she had been (wonderful person though she was). No, what she said was, “pray for me”. We all of us come before God as sinners facing the merciful judgement of God. As Catholics, particularly, we recognise that it is appropriate to pray for the dead. This is what we do particularly in the month of November. So, let us take this opportunity to place those who have died into the hands of God and pray that we may be able to face death, both our own and of those close to us, with Christian faith.
Fr Chris Pedley, S.J.
MONTH OF HOLY SOULS
For the month of November, Jesuits in Britain have made it possible to light a virtual candle in memory of those you remember and submit their names for prayer on their website. To light a virtual candle in memory of your loved ones, send us their names using the link below.
The names will be added to the book of remembrance in church where they will be prayed for during Masses throughout November.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
Our RCIA programme for this year is beginning. If you are an adult seeking baptism, a Christian of another tradition wanting to be received into the Catholic Church or an adult Catholic who has not yet been confirmed please contact Fr Chris Pedley as soon as possible.
Confirmation Programme 2019
The programme is for teenagers aged 14+ who want to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2019 and will begin in January 2019. To register, collect a registration form at the parish reception. For more information, contact Leninha Assis at email@example.com
SLAVES IN OUR CITY
Caritas Westminster is hosting an evening raising awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery in our communities. Speakers include the Metropolitan Police, the Santa Marta Group, the Medaille Trust, and Caritas Bakhita House. The event will take place on Thursday 22nd November, from 6.30pm-8.30pm, at Farm Street Church. Refreshments will be available from 6.00pm. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call on 0207 798 9030 for your free ticket. Alternatively, you can register your attendance on Eventbrite, by searching for ‘Slaves in our City’.
The new book of our Stations of the Cross, in full colour, is on sale at the bookshop and Reception for a £10 donation. 2019 diaries are also available for a £1 donation.
Kristallnacht Remembrance Service
“A Service of Solemn Remembrance and Hope on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht will be held at Westminster Abbey at 6.30pm on Thursday 8th November 2018. The service will commemorate the events of Kristallnacht (‘Night of the Broken Glass’), the massacre against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on the night of 9th–10th November 1938.
COLLECTION COUNT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Volunteers are needed to assist with the parish collection count on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact the Parish Accountant, Patricia Morgan, on 020 7529 4801 or at email@example.com. Her office days are Tuesday to Thursday.
PORTRAITS OF SYRIA
‘Portraits of Syria’, an exhibition of paintings by Syrian artist Farid Georges evoking the emotional realities of the Syrian conflict including the martyrdom of Fr Frans van der Lugt, SJ , will be held on our Ground Floor Gallery, November 1st – 29th, to coincide with the Aid to the Church in Need/ Christian Solidarity Worldwide initiative #Red Wednesday (Nov 28th) when buildings, including Farm Street Church, will be illuminated red to highlight the persecution of Christians and religious freedom. Please do visit.
CAFOD Memorial Mass
You are warmly invited to the CAFOD Memorial Mass, in memory of all our Supporters and Volunteers, at the Church of Christ the King, 29 Bramley Road, Oakwood, London N14 4HE at 11am on Wednesday 7 November. Refreshments will be served after the Mass.
If you would like someone to be included in our Book of Remembrance, please send us their name by calling CAFOD Westminster on 020 8449 6970 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
EASY WAY TO DONATE
You can now use your mobile phone to make donations to our Weekly Offering: just text FARM02 £[enter your donation amount] to 70070
You will receive a reply text immediately, with an invitation to register the donations from your phone for Gift Aid.
REDEMPTION: MUSIC ALBUM
“REDEMPTION”, a bilingual English/French music album by Armel Yoro is now available here at Farm Street in the bookshops, Sacristy and at Reception. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is already played on national television and radios. Please visit Armel Paul Marie on Facebook or YouTube to watch his stunning video and rediscover familiar places in London. Thank you for supporting his evangelisation project.
CD: BOTH GOD’S & MARY’S SON
A musical portrait of Farm Street Church celebrating fifty years as a Parish. The album includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances. Compact Discs available in the BOOKSHOP and at RECEPTION
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
Our Regular Events
• Guided Prayer
Every Monday 6.30-7pm
• Lunchtime Lectio
Every Tuesday 1.40-2pm
• Wednesdays at the Well – Come to Rest & Be Refreshed
3rd Wednesday of each month 11.30am-3.30pm (Next meeting: 20th November, 2018)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm
(Next meeting: 8th November, 2018)
• Something on a Sunday
1st Sunday of each month 2-5pm (Next meeting: 1st December, 2018)
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team
Saturday 10th November 11am-4pm
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
SCRIPTURE IN COLOUR – PRAYING WITH ICONS
Facilitated by Audrey Hamilton and Liz Waldy
Saturday 17th November 11am-4pm
“These selfless images that we call icons have one function only, to put us in touch with the world of grace. We are taken out of our own world as we contemplate, and are drawn into this holy world where God is free to love us as he desires” Sr Wendy Becket
St John Damascene (675-749) taught that icons tell us in pictures what the Gospel tells us in words.
We will explore this in our workshop as we briefly consider the history and theology of icons and, more importantly, let them lead us into prayer and silence, “a window on the kingdom” which “does not just open onto the world beyond, but lets in that vital air which refreshes our hearts” (Michel Quenot).
CHRISTIAN YOGA – PRAYING WITH YOUR BODY
Facilitated by Róisín McGrogan
Saturday 24th November 11am-4pm
This workshop will include breathwork, an exploration of physical representation of Christian prayer and scripture, a strong energetic yoga practice and a final Ignatian contemplation exercise on the Gospel. Bring water, bring a mat (and any other yoga props you usually use) and wear comfortable clothes you can move and stretch in.
THE 12 STEPS AND THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST IGNATIUS
Facilitated by Mary Warner & Michael O’Halloran
Saturday 1st December 11am-4pm
The workshop aims to facilitate learning and discussion about how the 12 Steps of addiction recovery can interact with and complement Ignatian spirituality. There will be some teaching as well as opportunities for participants to share their experiences and discuss some of these ideas.
THE COMING OF OUR GOD –PRAYER AND REFLECTION WITH THE GOSPEl OF LUKE
Facilitated by Brian Purfield
Saturday 1st December 11am-4pm repeated as a course 2 Tuesdays, December 4th & 11th, 11am-1pm
Prayer and reflection in preparation for Advent and Christmas with the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel.
BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS GROUP
Facilitated by Maria Shapero
Thursday 6th December 11.30-1pm
Grief is a particularly isolating experience that can affect all aspects of your life physically, emotionally and socially. There are many kinds of grieving…
You are welcome to just come along or contact Maria Shapero Mariashapero@hotmail.com or 0755 324 2322 for more details.