Happy New Year!

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton as the New Year 2021 begins

Happy New Year! Or perhaps we ought to be saying Happier New Year – as we commend 2020 into the annals of history and hope and pray that 2021 will be a brighter and happier year for everyone. There can be no doubt that the past 12 months have challenged each and every one of us in some way or another. Some of us (indeed, many of us) have had to cope with bereavement and loss of friends or family members; isolation; a removal of our freedom of movement through the necessary measures to curtail the spread of this dreadful virus; medical appointments postponed or cancelled as our front-line professionals deal with an increasing number of Covid patients … so many ways in which our lives have been disrupted. And yet, we have just celebrated the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ, whose birth some 2000 years ago has just been remembered by millions of people around the world. Some of whom, we must consider, have had to celebrate in secret for fear of arrest, punishment, imprisonment and even death, merely for their belief that God sent His only Son to be Our Saviour. In many ways, it puts our disappointment of 2020 into perspective.

Tomorrow (New Year's Day) Mass is at 12.00 noon and celebrates Mary, The Holy Mother of God. The later time is usually appropriate and falls immediately prior to our Parish New Year's Day Lunch – which of course will not be happening this year. Indeed, the Government advice is to “celebrate the New Year in the comfort of our own homes” and NOT to mix with other households. A small sacrifice now will have a big impact as we start the New Year.

This coming weekend, we celebrate the Second Sunday of Christmas (or the Second Sunday after the Nativity). Mass at the usual times of 6.00pm on Saturday 2nd January and 10.30am on Sunday 3rd January. Tomorrow marks the end of the Octave (eight days) of Christmas, but Christmas continues … we are still within the “Twelve Days of Christmas” which last right up to The Feast of The Epiphany of The Lord on Wednesday 6th January. Mass will be at 9.30am (with a Vigil Mass of The Epiphany at 6.30pm on Tuesday 5th January). Liturgically, the season of Christmas then continues until Sunday 10th January which is The Baptism of The Lord. So it is still appropriate to wish everyone a “Happy Christmas” – but as we end this “annus horribilis”, may we wish you all a much Happier and Blessed New Year.

David Griffiths