Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Every year I emphasise in the newsletter and the notices that the Christmas season continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and that we are invited to enter into the spirit of the Liturgy which presents us with a rich tapestry to deepen our understanding and, more importantly, our spiritual life as we reflect on the great mystery of that light which the darkness could not overpower.
There is a Flickr set of photos from our Midnight Mass at Blackfen, thanks to Mulier Fortis. I liked the above photo of the Gospel because of the panoramic view from celebrant to the Deacon chanting the Gospel towards the North. The Venerable Prosper Guéranger explains this with a quotation from the prophet Jeremias (1.14) "From the North, shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the Land." One of my earliest memories of the Mass, when I was about four years old, was my father explaining to me that the Gospel was sung facing North from earliest times to preach to the barbarians, like those in far away Britain.
Tonight, we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at midnight, accompanied by the fireworks of our neighbours which is actually quite a nice touch. We will sing the Te Deum (plenary indulgence on New Year's Eve) and tomorrow we will sing the Veni Creator Spiritus before Mass (plenary indulgence on New Year's Day.) One New Year's resolution that I have is to pay more attention to the plenary indulgences that can be gained on specific days.