15TH JANUARY 2012 - THE SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
Most people have now taken down their Christmas decorations and are bravely facing the challenges this new year will bring. The Manger scene, the star, the kings and the shepherds are far from their minds. And yet, the Christmas story which begins the Gospel—the Good News—is constantly unfolding before us.
It has long been the custom in Catholic parts of Europe for the priest to make pastoral visits of his parishioners as each new year dawns. It is a time for a rededication of the home and family to Almighty God. Many households write the date together with the letters “C M B”, the initials of the Three Kings, above their front door to invoke a blessing for the coming year, while the priest sprinkles Holy Water and a carol is sung. This custom is called “Kolenda”.
At the Oratory, we are hoping to introduce this custom for new parishioners, and forms are available to facilitate this.
We would do well to remember that each Christian home is a domestic church and parents are reminded that they are the first teachers of the Faith. Pope Paul VI in an address on the Feast of the Holy Family reminded us to model our home life on that of the Holy Family at Nazareth. Prayer ought to be at the hub of our daily lives, especially morning and evening prayers, and family Rosary whenever possible; the family that prays together stays together!
We sanctify our week by attending Sunday Mass and aim to make the grace it imparts a vibrant element in our day to day lives. Our homes ought to be recognisably Christian places; crucifixes, holy pictures, statues and Holy Water help us to remember that God is ever present to us. Once upon a time, most Catholic homes had a domestic altar and it would be a good idea to renew this practice. It can make a great impression on the minds of our little ones if we gather before it, and perhaps light a candle and say our prayers together. If we display blessed objects in our house, it is a silent but powerful witness that we are followers of Christ and members of His Church, and that we take His teachings to heart.
Let our prayer be that the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph will make their homes with us this year; that they may bless us with peace and help us to know, love and serve God.
Music for 10.30 a.m. High Mass:
Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus & Agnus Dei from Mass for 5 voices William Byrd (1543-1623)
Offertory Motet: “Jubilate Deo” by Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)
Communion Motet: “Reges terrae” by Jean Mouton (1459—1522)