Zephaniah 3:14-18 Isaiah 12
Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:10-18
“ARE WE THERE YET?”
Waiting is such a common human activity that we may rarely think of it as a phenomenon in itself. Yet Advent is all about waiting and our Advent reflections should bear this in mind. What then is waiting? I would say it is that condition we find ourselves in when our mind is focused on a future event which concerns us to the extent that our mind will not be “back to normal” until the event is past. There is “negative” waiting: the waiting that gives rise to irritability (the check-out queue) or anger (the traffic jam). There is the waiting that produces anxiety and stress: waiting for a school exam result or the results of medical tests. There is “positive” waiting: counting the weeks till the holidays or a birthday, or the eager anticipation of a child in mid-journey, “Are we there yet?”
There is a very special kind of waiting during pregnancy. As we accompany Mary on her journey to Bethlehem, we are invited to reflect on what it means to have a life within one’s own body and to carry that life in all its fragility. Mary had the assurance of an angel that her child would be born, but for most mothers throughout history the chances of a safe and successful delivery have not been good. Pregnancy itself has often been treated as a variety of being “unwell”, and the “delicate condition” has been adorned with many euphemisms. Mary’s journey was rough; our Saviour’s birth was less than antiseptic. Only a woman can know what this kind of waiting involves.
Waiting for Christmas surely falls under the heading of “positive” waiting. At least one hopes so. We approach the celebration of Christ’s birth with a preparatory season of serious (but not penitential) reflection and prayer. Advent reminds us that Time itself has been redeemed. Human time is no longer a futile succession of endlessly recurring events but a purpose-filled history – “salvation history” – whose centre is the Incarnation. We are in God’s time. The Lord of all human history enters into our personal history too and our lives are filled with purpose. The Lord of history is the Lord of our hearts. This knowledge gives us the confidence to live in the joy which we express today on this “Gaudete” Sunday: “Rejoice in the Lord always!”
And we rejoice above all because “the Lord is near”. He came to us two thousand years ago; He will come again in glory; He comes to us throughout our lives in a thousand ways.. The Church invites us to be “ready to greet Him when He comes again.” At every Mass we pray to God, “protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Let this be our Advent theme always: joy and hope!
May God bless you all,
Fr William Pearsall, SJ.
Article from the archives. First published in the Farm Street Church newsletter, 16th December 2007
A MESSAGE FROM FR ANDREW
I am writing to express my sincere thanks to all who came to the Mass on December 7th and to the parish hall afterwards. The choir was in typically splendid form and the two commissions were stunning. Thank you for arranging the farewell event and for the most generous gift, and the many expressions of gratitude for my time and ministry as Parish Priest. Assuring you all of my prayers for the Christmas season.
Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ
CHRISTMAS PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN 2018
- 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 complete the form ( available at the back of the church) and submit it to either Leninha or Fr. Chris Pedley by 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.
Jesuit Missions Christmas Appeal 2018
Across the world Jesuit Missions is working to empower people to achieve their full potential. In Guyana, they are supporting young people to learn new skills after finishing school enhancing their employment opportunities, while in South Sudan they are supporting trained teachers enhancing the quality of education. Visit www.jesuitmissions.org.uk/christmas-appeal-2018/ for more information on how you can support their work this Christmas.
FARM STREET CHARITY BALL
The annual Farm Street Church Charity Ball will take place at the Savile Club on Saturday 2nd February. Tickets cost £140. Booking forms can now be requested in the hall after the 9.30am and 11am Sunday Mass or at reception. The closing date for booking is 20th January 2019.
The Young Adult Ministries carol service will be on Monday 17th December at 7.30pm. Refreshments will follow in the parish hall. All are most welcome to attend.
CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES
The Mass times for the Christmas period will be as follows:
*Christmas Eve – 6pm, Children’s Mass
– Midnight Mass
*Christmas Day – 8am, Mass with carols
– 9.30am, Family Mass
–11am, Solemn Latin Mass
– 12.30pm, Mass with carols
* 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
Farm Street Church is now able to process donations via contactless payment. Terminals for this can be found in the church and at reception.
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.
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
- Our Regular Events
• Drop-in 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: December 19th, 2018)
• Book Club
2nd Thursday of each month 7-8.30pm (Next meeting: 10th January, 2019)
There will be no meeting of the Bereavement and Loss Group on Thursday 3rd January 2019.
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.
IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
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.
BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
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.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF ST PAUL: A MODEL FOR OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?
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.
WORK, WORSHIP and WHOLENESS
Facilitated by Audrey Hamilton and David Hothersall
Saturday 26th January 11am-4pm
How to bring together our work and our worship (our spirituality) for the mutual enriching of each and the wholeness of the person.