Join us when the Amos Trust Bethlehem Christmas carol service tour stops off in Canterbury on Tuesday, 3 December, from 19:00 – 21:00 at St Paul’s Church, CT1 1NH
About this Event
Join us when the Amos Trust Bethlehem Christmas carol service tour stops off at St Paul’s in Canterbury, where we’ll be joined by Sami Awad from Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem plus special guest performers.
Sami is a leading Palestinian peace activist who will be explaining why non-violence is at the heart of the Christmas message and of his family in Gaza. All proceeds will go to our 2019 Christmas appeal for our partners in Gaza and the home and peace-building work of Holy Land Trust.
Please join us.
The tour will be part of Ahlan Gaza, our new campaign that aims to share stories of life in the Gaza Strip. Join us and our very special guests as we turn our hearts and minds to Gaza to start the Christmas season.
Mary Mother from Hales Place Jesuit Chapel, Canterbury
Seventy years ago today, Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical letter Auspicia Quedam. He was writing to ask people to ask Mary’s prayers for peace in the Holy Land. We begin with his reference to the similar call to prayer he made during the Second World War.
6. It was comforting for Us in past years to appeal earnestly to all – especially to the young so dear to us – to crowd around the altar of the great Mother of God during the month of May imploring the end of a cruel war; so now, similarly today, by means of this encyclical letter, We invite you not to cease from this pious practice and further to prayers add resolutions for Christian renewal and salutary works of penance.
7. Above all, speak to the Virgin Mother of God and our most tender Mother words of most heartfelt thanks for having obtained, through her powerful intercession, the long desired termination of that great world conflagration, and also for so many other graces obtained from the Most High.
8. At the same time, implore her, with renewed prayers, that at long last there may shine forth, as a gift from Heaven, mutual, fraternal and complete peace among all nations and the longed for harmony among all social classes.
Let there be an end to dissensions that redound to no one’s advantage.
Let there be a reconciliation of disputes that often sow the seeds of further misfortunes.
Let international relations, public and private, be fittingly strengthened.
Let religion, the foster mother of all virtues, enjoy the liberty to which she is entitled.
And let men set about their peaceful work of abundant production for the common welfare – with justice their guide and charity their motive.
Not all of us feel comfortable with praying to or with the saints, and Pius’s language does not fall naturally on every ear. But we can all pray for Peace, especially in the Holy Land.
Yesterday we were reminded of Sister Frances Teresa’s pilgrimage to the Island where Saint Francis once spent Lent. Here is a link to the ultimate Pilgrims’ Way for Christians, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, where the Franciscan friars have opened new wings of their museum at the Monastery of the Flagellation, or scourging. The Friars hope this can lead to more dialogue between people of all religions in the Holy Land and around the world.
Let us pray for Peace in the Holy Land and between religions throughout the world. Of course we can pray the Stations of the Cross for those intentions either in church or at home. We will share fifteen Stations in the last fortnight of Lent.
Crucifix at Winchester Cathedral, England.
I had to go to the far end of Wales to learn that the English word ‘saunter’ comes from the French for the Holy Land.
In Mediæval times most would have gone on foot and by sea: to Jerusalem or to Bardsey, the island off the coast where many Welsh saints lived or came to be buried; sauntering, in the modern understanding, implies an expansive, carefree, relaxed gait, a readiness to stop and stare, as the Welsh poet W.H. Davies reminds us, and a readiness to greet other people.
Your holiday for this summer may be at the planning stage, where will you go, who will be in your party, what will you get up to? Wherever you go, make time for sauntering!
And wherever you go today, make time for sauntering! And be ready to greet other people – and their dogs and cats!
More posts from Aberdaron to follow: the parish invite readers to copy this leaflet freely, so we will share it page by page and urge you to make the pilgrimage to Aberdaron, in person as well as by proxy, and possibly travel on to Bardsey, weather permitting.
More from Fr Andrew’s introduction to ‘Carols and Christmas Rhymes’.
“Christmas comes but once a year” is the common saying. But to the Catholic Christian Christmas is always here. Every babe born into the world now comes with the authentic claim of a child of God, for did not the Christ say, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto me one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me’? The Incarnation of the Son of God has sanctified all life and made the quilted cot in the palace and the poor home-made orange-box cradle in the cottage equally manger-beds of the Babe of Bethlehem.
To the Catholic Christian the Lord comes in the Blessed Sacrament still clothed with the lowliness of long ago, and as in the lifting up of His Sacrifice there is the perpetual memory of His Death and Passion, so in the singing of the Gloria in excelsis and the humility of that Sacrament wherein the great reality of His Presence lies hidden beneath the lowly veils of bread and wine, Bethlehem is set forth beneath the lowly veils of bread and wine, Bethlehem is set forth before us most surely Sunday by Sunday and day by day.
As our young men and old men, matrons and maidens, come to the Holy Mysteries, we may think of the shepherds and folk at Bethlehem, who came with dim wonderment to a Mystery they felt but did not understand, as they peeped at Mary’s Babe at the first Christmastide.
The Blessed Sacrament reserved at the Greyfriars’ chapel, Canterbury.
Was it their overcoats or their hearts burning within them (Luke 24:34) that kept these pilgrims warm in Krakow?
Here is a thought to dwell on, when I get ready to go out on these cold winter’s days, up here in the Northern hemisphere. But it applies even in the warm, sunny South, and actualy comes from Friar Francesco Patten OFM, the Custos, or guardian, of the shrines in the Holy Land.
Franciscanism entered into me partly because I have the name [Francesco] and partly because my family taught me that the faith is not an overcoat but the core, sustaining life.
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The Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land come from many nations. They support the local Church in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as welcoming pilgrims. They rely on our support.
Pray for Peace on Jerusalem and on all the lands of the Bible.