First Sunday in Advent– Year C – 2nd December 2018


Jeremiah 33:14-16         Psalm 24

I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2       Luke 21:25-36


Advent means coming or arrival. So Advent is a period of waiting for someone to come, for the coming of the Lord. It’s a time of anticipation and preparation. Waiting is a part of our daily lives. We wait at traffic lights. We wait for loved ones at airports and train stations, often looking at information screens and our watch, or texting. We wait for someone to answer the phone as we are put on hold. We wait for hospital appointments. We wait for the birth of a child in our family, or for someone to die. Elsewhere in our world, people wait for a war to cease, for food to arrive. Waiting stirs a wide range of emotions. We can be frustrated, impatient or angry. We can become excited or hopeful. Much depends on what or whom we are waiting for. Waiting increases our awareness that we are not in control, that we are dependent, that we are poor. Because of this, waiting has enormous potential for growth in Christian discipleship.


In Advent we wait at three levels. Firstly, in the Old Testament readings at Mass, we are caught up in the longing, hoping and waiting of the people of Israel for the coming of the Messiah, the one God would send to bring them forgiveness and freedom, peace, joy and prosperity. We live with them the unfolding of their dreams as, through the great prophets, they voice their yearnings. Many of those yearnings and dreams echo in us, for they are the basic yearnings and needs of us all. As we listen and ponder, we are drawn into their hopes, their trust in God’s faithful love and that God will be true to God’s promises.


Secondly, as Christians we know this waiting and anticipation was historically fulfilled in the coming of Jesus: his birth in Bethlehem, his life among us, his death, resurrection and the outpouring of his Spirit. So we look back, we remember in wonder and thanksgiving. But we also look forward. We are awaiting, anticipating and preparing for our liturgical celebration of that coming and all that it means – preparing for Christmas. We believe that in our liturgy that past moment is made present again. Christmas is a graced moment, a strong yet gentle experience of God’s presence, his being with us, our Emmanuel. Liturgy is a re-presentation, a making present again. There is the external preparation in its many forms, and the preparation of our hearts for that coming. This is a very special waiting.

In the third place, our looking to the past whilst celebrating in the present points us to the future again, but this time from our current perspective. In the Advent Sunday readings there is a sense of waiting, anticipating, preparing for that other coming of Jesus the Lord at the end of life, at the end of the world. The latter is sometimes referred to as the second coming or Parousia. There is a different feel to this kind of waiting, linked with the element of his coming in judgement as well as his coming for salvation. This helps us keep the other dimensions in perspective. The best way to prepare for the second coming is to prepare well for Christmas, and allow that coming of Jesus to transform our hearts and our lives. Even if we aren’t quite as youthful as we used to be, there is still a magic in the three levels of the Advent season.

Brian Purfield

Adult Faith Formation,

Mount Street Jesuit Centre


Due to recording in the church, there will be no 6pm Mass in the church on Tuesday 11th December. The church will also be closed early. Apologies for any inconvenience that may result from this.


On Wednesday 12th December, prize-winning author Ian Thomson will give a talk on ‘Dante as a Catholic Thinker’ to coincide with the publication of his latest book, Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Journey Without End. This will take place in the parish hall at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be available and signed copies of his book will be available for purchase.


The vigil of our patronal feast will be celebrated with a solemn sung Mass at 7pm on Friday 7th December. This will also mark the formal farewell by the parish to Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat. Please note that Cardinal Nichols will now not be able to attend.


  1. Children’s Christmas Play (6pm Mass on Christmas Eve):If you wish your child(ren) to take part in the Christmas play, which is an integral part of the 6pm Christmas Vigil Mass,  please fill the form ( available at the back of the church)  and submit it to either Leninha or Fr. Chris Pedley by the 1st December. The rehearsal dates for the play are: 23rd December from 10.30-11.30am and 24th December at 5pm leading into the 6pm Mass.


2) Christmas Gifts:  The offering of the gifts for children at Christmas last year was a great success. If you would like to join us in a gesture of generosity towards poor children at Christmas, please donate a new, or in good condition, wrapped gift. These will be collected during the offertory at the 9.30 Mass on 16th December.


3) Christmas Choir: All the children are invited to join the First Holy Communion group to sing Christmas songs in the Hall on 16th December after the 9.30am Mass.


We invite you to fill in the anonymous online survey ‘Being a Christian in the UK today’ led by the all-party parliamentary group Christians in Parliament. The questionnaire seeks views on the contribution Christians make to society, the freedoms we enjoy, and any barriers that might exist. The survey is open until 16 December, at:


Farm Street Church will be hosting a number of Advent carol services in the upcoming weeks:

*Sunday 2nd December – 4pm – Extracts from Handel’s Messiah

*Monday 3rd December – 7pm – Jesuit Refugee Service Carol Service

* Tuesday 4th December – 7pm – Knights of the Holy Sepulchre Carol Service

* Thursday 6th December – 6.30pm – Stonyhurst Carol Service

* Thursday 13th December – 7pm – Aid to the Church in Need Carol Service

*Monday 17th December – 7pm- Young Adult Ministries Carol Service

As these services, with the exception of Messiah, are being organized by outside charities, a collection will be taken at each service for the work of the charities. Please contact the relevant charity for more information.


The Mass times for the Christmas period will be as follows:

*Christmas Eve – 6pm, Children’s Mass

–11:30pm, Carols

– Midnight Mass

*Christmas Day – 8am, Low Mass

9.30am, Family Mass

11am, Solemn Latin Mass

12.30pm, Low Mass

* Boxing Day to

   Friday 28th    –1.05pm Mass only

* Saturday 29th

& Sunday 30th Normal Mass schedule

* Monday 31st –           1.05pm Mass only

Tuesday 1st      12 noon Mass only



Your donation could be worth 25% more to us and it won’t cost you an extra penny. If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider using the Gift Aid donation envelopes available on the pews for your weekly offering. Farm Street Church can reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 donation. This is hugely beneficial to the parish.



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: 19th December, 2018)


• Book Club

2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm

(Next meeting: 13th December, 2018)


• Something on a Sunday

1st Sunday of each month 2-5pm (Next meeting: 2nd December, 2018)


Facilitated by Brian Purfield

2 Tuesdays, December 4th & 11th, 11am-1pm

Prayer and reflection in preparation for Advent and Christmas with the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel.



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 or 0755 324 2322 for more details.


There will be no meeting on Thursday 3rd January 2019.



Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team

Saturday 8th December 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.



Facilitated by Lynne Galloway

Saturday 5th January 11am-4pm

Take time to pause for prayerful reflection on the road you travelled in 2018, becoming more aware of God’s presence within all the ups and downs of life. And to prayerfully consider what God might be inviting you to at this time of a new beginning.

There will be input, times of guided prayer, and silent prayer and sharing and listening in small groups.



Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team

Saturday 12th January 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.



Facilitated by Lynne Galloway

6 Wednesdays, January 16th – February 20th, 11.30am-1pm

For those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background.  During each session you will be introduced to a different aspect of Ignatian spirituality or prayer, guided through a prayer exercise, invited to share your reflections in a small group and at the end of the session gathered together again in the larger group. You will be invited to pray the prayer exercise during the week, for just like physical exercise the more you ‘practice’ the more benefits you will feel.



Facilitated by Brian Purfield

Saturday 19th January 11am-4pm

All through his letters, Paul encourages his converts to imitate him; for in him they have a model of what it was to follow Christ. As we enter Christian Unity Week and prepare to celebrate the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, we will look at the model of the Christian life that Paul presents and what grounds his spirituality. The way Paul lived his life in Christ can provide us, even today, with a model for growing in the spiritual life.