Greetings from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, where you are all very much in my prayers!
‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb‘ (Rev. 19.9). As you might imagine, I have – over the years – been closely involved in planning many wedding ceremonies for couples looking forward to being married. As many of you will know from your own firsthand experience, planning a wedding is a complicated undertaking, and involves great care. Even simply attending a wedding ceremony as a guest involves the selection of an appropriate outfit and a suitable gift. The Eucharist is the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb‘ referred to in Revelation 19.9 – and we should approach this heavenly banquet with as much care and attention as we would any earthly nuptials. Jesus invites us Sunday by Sunday to meet him in the Mass – and this invitation is of greater significance even than one to the wedding of family or friends. Let us take care that we always come to the Eucharist with hearts and lives made ready.
The annual celebration of Corpus Christi is a reminder to us to do this. On Corpus Christi Sunday, Mass concludes with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the church, borne aloft in a beautiful, golden monstrance, as we sing hymns of praise to the eucharistic Jesus. Let us not only prioritise this significant celebration, but draw from it fresh impetus to prioritise the Eucharist each and every Sunday: this is the Bread of Heaven, the Bread of angels, and the food of everlasting life.
This week coming on Friday, 16 June is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Following the success of our recent breakfast with Bishop Lusa, I warmly invite all of you who are able to do so to come to Mass for the Sacred Heart on Friday, 16 June at 9.30am – and afterwards to enjoy a delicious breakfast of pastries and fresh fruit. There is no charge, and all are welcome.
As in previous weeks, a reminder that offers (to Gloria) of buffet food with which to welcome our guests from the Harrow Deanery Synod, on Tuesday, 4 July, would be greatly appreciated: all are welcome to Mass that day at 7.30pm, and for refreshments afterwards in church.
Likewise, please don’t delay to purchase your tickets (from Gloria) to the forthcoming parish barbecue, on Saturday, 15 July: again, offers of sides, salads and desserts gratefully received.
Finally, if you would like a day out in St Alban’s on Saturday, 5 August, Bishop Norman Banks of Richborough cordially extends an invitation to us to join him for Mass in the Abbey at 12 noon, followed by a bring-your-own picnic in the lovely gardens of his house. The sign-up list for this, and for the parish outing to Hampton Court Palace on Sunday, 9 July, are both at the back of church.
As we contemplate the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, let us pray also at this time for those to be ordained to serve at the altar as deacons and priests in the coming weeks. Attached to this post is a list of those from this Diocese to be ordained soon by Bishop Jonathan: all are welcome to the ordination services – please keep these men in your prayers.
May Our Lady of Walsingham pray for you.
Best wishes, and with every blessing,