Sunday 13th December 2020
Today is the Third Sunday of Advent. Today is also called Gaudete Sunday, which means “Rejoice” Sunday. The rose coloured candle on our Advent wreath is lit today. The Opening Antiphon at Mass today prays “ Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4). This year 2020 is a year like no other. When we watch the news today, issues like the ever present coronavirus pandemic, Brexit talks on the brink of failure, the retail industry going into free fall, and the epidemic of loneliness and the breakdown of relationships because of the pressures of lockdown dominate the headlines. It seem that we have little to be joyful about! We Christians will soon celebrate the human birth of the infant Jesus knowing full well that he grew to be a man, gave himself up to death for our sake and was raised from the dead to new life. The mystery of death and life is part of the celebration of Christmas, a celebration that proclaims the victory of life over death. The beautiful autumn leaves have fallen and we are left with barren trees shining in the winter frost. Every bit of life is touched by death and we do know the limits of our existence. We can distract ourselves from this very human reality, but it is into this painful reality that God was born. We have not been promised a life free from sorrow, but we have been promised a life in which joy will have the last word. The readings at Mass today hum and vibrate with that joy. “I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God” (Isaiah 61:10) “Be happy at all times; pray constantly and for all things give thanks to God” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). The song of our Mother Mary, called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) is our responsorial psalm today with its response “My soul rejoices in my God” Pope Francis wrote his first encyclical called: “The Joy of the Gospel” ( 24/11/2013) he expresses in this passage the need for joy in the life of a disciple of Jesus. “A tomb psychology can develop and it slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum. Disillusioned with reality, with the Church and with themselves, they experience a constant temptation to cling to a faint melancholy, lacking in hope, which seizes the heart like “the most precious of the devil’s potions” Called to radiate light and communicate life, in the end they are caught up in things that generate only darkness and inner weariness, and slowly consume all zeal for the apostolate. For all this, I repeat: Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelisation!” (No 83). Leon Bloy the French novelist who died in 1917 said “Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence” We pray at Mass today: “to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing” Happy Gaudete Sunday!
Graan Draw: Our draw will now take place on this Friday 18th December 2020 at 6pm. The draw will take place in the Church, you can watch the draw on our webcam. Our first prize in our draw is £5000 and the second prize is £1000 followed by prizes of £100. The tickets are £1 / €1 each or a book of 6 for £5 / €5. Please make sure you have your counterfoils in before Thursday 17 December.
Duty: We will be celebrating the sacrament of confessions here each day (except Sunday) from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Because of the current restrictions we will be unable to use the small confessional boxes and as a result confessions will be heard in the room behind the altar or in the old sacristy. Social Distancing is important. Please do not leave this important preparation for Christmas to the last moment! Mass will be celebrated from Monday to Friday at 7:00 pm and our weekend Masses will be at the usual times.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Masses: Because of the pandemic it is no longer an obligation to attend Mass. However you can join us from your own home via our webcam for the Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. To help us accommodate those wishing to go to Mass for Christmas we have put on an extra Mass at 6pm on Christmas Eve. The second Mass on Christmas Eve will be at 8.30pm (not 8pm). We want to prevent overcrowding at any of these Masses: therefore we will be using our overflow rooms (which can accommodate small numbers), in the old sacristy and in the upper prayer room. We will have these Masses transmitted by radio link also. You may have to sit in your car in our car park and listen to the Mass on your radio. On Christmas morning we have an extra Mass @ 9am, and then the usual 10.30am & 12noon. There will be no 4pm Mass on Christmas Day.
Thank you: We do appreciate your generosity towards us during these difficult days. A special word of thanks to all those who anonymously donated their contributions towards the upkeep of the Graan. These are difficult days for all of us and we know that financial constraints are affecting us all and it is wonderful that you are so generous to us. We now have our “DONATE” button set-up on our web site. This process may make it easier for you to contribute to the upkeep of the Graan. Please follow the instructions. Be assured of a constant remembrance in our prayers.
Remembering the Dead at Christmas: We will be praying for all your deceased family relatives over the Christmas period. You can place their names in the special petition box at the front of the altar. They will be prayed for at all our Christmas Masses as usual.
A Day of Healing: There is a Virtual Day of Inspiration, entitled “Hope, Healing and Growth” on Saturday 9 January 2021 conducted by the Aisling Centre from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please contact www.theaislingcentre.com to register
Our Shop: there are still Christmas Mass Bouquets and Christmas goods available at our shop. The shop will be open each day 9.30pm – 7pm Mon to Saturday and Sunday 9.30pm – 5pm.
“May Hope Be Yours‘ – CD: As we move through this pandemic, funds raised by the sale of this CD will be of great benefit to so many families and individuals whose challenged circumstances became even more challenged because of Covid-19. All proceeds go to St. Vincent de Paul Society. Cost: £15 and available at the Graan shop. Thanks for your generosity.
Eamon (Hughie) Mc Manus, Sessiagh, Arney
Douglas Whitmore, Letterbreen
Luke Padian, Tempo
Sean & Mary Mc Cusker, Drumcor Hill, Enniskillen
The Mc Cusker Family, Enniskillen
The Donahoe Family, Teemore
Michael O’ Dolan, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
Niall Mc Manus, Sligo Rd, Enniskillen
Rev Canon Lonergan, Garrison
Dan Blake, The Limes, Enniskillen
Richard & Bridget Jones, Derrygonnelly
Paddy Flanagan, Garrison
Carmel Harte, Garrison
John Nugent, Keady
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201