I trust that you had a very Happy Christmas and a refreshing break. Here, the New Year was marked by a well-attended Mass at noon on the 1st January during which we invoked God’s blessing on our parish during this Year of Mercy.
With Christmas still in mind I ask to think about the following proposal before we discuss it at the next Parish Forum a week on Wednesday, 20th January.
After the 8pm Christmas Eve Mass in West Bradford village hall, a number of parishioners from Dunsop lamented the fact that since the Mass time was changed a couple of years ago from 6pm to 8pm many families who used to attend no longer came. Parents said that 8pm was too late especially for younger children.
We do need three Masses on Christmas Eve (Clitheroe and Sabden are packed out) and these should be arranged so that one priest is able to celebrate all three. Fr Kevin will probably still be here next Christmas but thereafter I expect to be working on my own.
I was then asked whether a 4pm Mass on Christmas Eve would be permissible. It would if it catered for families with children and was open to the whole parish. The next question was whether it could be celebrated in St Michael and John’s which is so beautifully decorated at Christmas time. Yes. A shrewd individual than commentated that by transferring to Clitheroe it would save the cost of hiring the Hall and be more appropriate for the celebration of such an important feast. It would also relieve the pressure of driving to West Bradford with everything required for the celebration of Mass and then rushing back to arrange the altar for the 6pm Mass. A special 4pm Mass would allow for a more child centred liturgy to be celebrated and with a children’s choir. No doubt it might also reduce the crush at the 6pm Mass.
Mass on Christmas Day in Clitheroe and Dunsop would continue as this Christmas.
As already arranged, the next Forum a week on Wednesday will be held in Sabden – some distance from Dunsop! As Clitheroe is more central to the whole parish, maybe we should host future Forums (Fora?) in Clitheroe only? Discuss!
The 99 group please meet this Wednesday at 7.30pm in the Presbytery.
RCIA resumes on Thursday after Mass at 8pm.
The Christmas tree will be removed after Mass today but the crib remains until the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on 2nd February.