The Catholic Children’s Society is running this Christmas appeal for families in need in this country. “Without you this family would not have had a Christmas” said one grateful recipient. The idea is that you cover a shoebox with Christmas paper and fill it with gifts suitable for a boy or girl of a particular age and return it to a collection point by a certain date – in our case, Christ the King by 8th December. The visiting FSSP priest will take the boxes back to Reading to add to the collection the parishioners there are making.
Interested? There are leaflets in the church and in the hall which give more details of what to include in the box (everything needs to be new) and a label to stick on it to indicate the age and gender of the child who will receive the box. There will also be a sample completed box on display in the hall this Sunday. See also the Society’s website: https://www.cathchild.org.uk/christmas-gift-appeal/.
Thank you for your generosity.
“They really were excellent” said Katherine Smith of the five children who came along to the first meeting of the children’s choir at Christ the King yesterday. They started learning the hymn ‘Rorate Coeli’ which hopefully they will be able to sing at Communion on Advent Sunday. They looked at the English translation of the hymn and discussed words such as ‘iniquity, ‘desolation’ and ‘sanctification’, thus getting some incidental catechesis! It is hoped that more children will join them next Sunday after Mass in the Patrick Donegan room to build on this great start; boys and girls of 7 upwards will be most welcome and the practice will last about 20 minutes.
We are very fortunate at Christ the King to have been joined recently by Neville McNally. Neville has recently moved into the area and is making Christ the King his spiritual home. He is experienced in Gregorian Chant and has joined the adult schola, for which he has been recruiting!
However, he has also suggested that we start a children’s choir. We would begin gently and the choir would sing a short piece at the Offertory or during Communion. Katherine Smith, who directs the adult schola, has kindly agreed to take on this additional venture. There will be an initial meeting this coming Sunday 10 November in the Patrick Donegan room after the 8.30 am Mass. We think that the choir would be suited to boys and girls of 7 upwards. Parents are welcome to stay. You don’t need to be able to read music or Latin, as this will all be explained. Hope to see you there!
We have two special days in the Church calendar this week:
All Saints on Friday 1 November: Mass at 7.30 pm – this is a Holyday of Obligation.
All Souls on Saturday 2 November – trinated Masses at 10.00 am, 10.45 am and 11.30 am. These ‘back to back’ Masses are being said for the first time at Christ the King.
Hainvg enjoyed your coffee and biscuits, listen out for the bell being rung in the hall at Christ the King on Sunday 27 October at 10.30. It marks the start of the catechism session for the under 8s. About 30 minutes later it will ring again, this time for the under 16s, and finally there’s a session for adults starting at 11.30. Come along and hear some really good Catholic teaching from Fr Patrick O’Donohue – in these confused times we need to be clear in our minds about what we believe.
All over the country, the secret is being acted out, and Bedford is no exception. For the last four years priests have been celebrating Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form every week at Christ the King, which has grown from 16 people at the first Latin Mass in August 2015 to around 100 every Sunday by September 2019. These are men and women in their 70s and 80s, young adults, teenagers, children, babies a few weeks old. They come from far and wide, even as far as Norwich, 100 miles away.
What is the attraction? In this age which is marked by noise, change and uncertainty, there is a deep desire in many hearts for silence, stability and clear teaching. All these are to be found in the traditional Latin Mass, which has remained virtually unchanged for many hundreds of years, and which has nourished the faith of the saints and countless others down the ages.
Most people attending a traditional Mass for the first time are struck by the silence as they enter the church. The Mass gives inspiration and space for private thought and prayer. The beautiful vestments, the incense and the precise actions of the celebrant leave one in no doubt that something other-worldly and very special is happening. The transubstantiated Host, the Body of Christ, is handled by the priest alone and received directly onto the tongue of the communicants while kneeling if able. After Mass the congregation remains silent in thanksgiving before leaving the church or staying on for the Rosary.
Interested? The Latin Mass is celebrated at 8.30 am every Sunday at Christ the King, Bedford, see https://latinmassbedford.wordpress.com, and also at 8 am every Sunday at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Chesham Bois.
Every year for their statistics, the Diocese asks us to count the number of people attending Mass for four consecutive Sundays. The first of these was last Sunday and our count was 111! We think this could be a new record for the Bedford Latin Mass.
There are two big attractions next Sunday to keep the numbers up. Firstly, Matthew Schellhorn is with us to sing Mass for the Dedication of St Michael Archangel, which as always will be beautiful and uplifting. Then starting at 10.30, we have Family Catechism in three groups: the under 8s will have a Bible Study, the under 16s will be looking at the first of the Ten Commandments, and the over 16s will be delving into the Old Testament. Fr Patrick O’Donohue will be leading these talks in the Patrick Donegan Room. And there’s tea and coffee in the hall between Mass and Catechism.
Sunday morning is going to be great! Do come and join us and see if we can get the numbers even higher!