News for Sunday 28th November: First Sunday of Advent

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November 2021: The First Sunday of Advent

The Season of Advent marks the start of the new Liturgical or Church Year, so may we be the first to wish you “Happy New Year!” Advent has two purposes: to prepare us for Christmas, when we remember Christ's first coming; but also as a preparation for ourselves in mind, body and soul for Christ's second coming, at the end of time. It is this second coming to which Jesus alludes when he is talking to his disciples in the Gospel according to Luke that we will be hearing this weekend. “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” This arrival is a marked difference to Christ's first coming: born as a baby in a stable in Bethlehem. There were no great fanfares – other than a choir of angels singing “Glory to God in Highest” to some shepherds in the nearby fields. We are familiar with the story of The Nativity. If it all happened like this again, we would know what to do. But what about Christ's second coming? Jesus tells his disciples: “Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is close at hand.” Are we ready? Have we prepared sufficiently for that time? Could we stand erect with our heads held high in the knowledge that we are ready for His second coming? Many of us would probably feel vastly unprepared. So let us use this season of Advent wisely. To reflect upon our discipleship and to make the changes that would allow us to hold our heads high “and stand with confidence before the Son of Man.”

Two events, this Advent, that we commend to you. The first is our Christmas Fayre on Saturday 4th December. If you have any items to donate (particularly for the raffle) then please bring them to church before next Friday. Do please encourage your friends and family to come along between 10.30am – 5.00pm to help raise some additional funds for St. Mary's.

Also, coming soon, the traditional Christmas Concert from Stanmore Choral Society on Sunday 12th December at 3.30pm. All welcome. Tickets are £10 (children FREE) available on the door.

Fr Edward and Katherine were overwhelmed with your generous send off last Sunday, and many thanks to all who contributed to the marvellous reception that followed.

The process for appointing a new vicar of Kenton begins in earnest at the start of 2022, but until then please give your fullest support to the Churchwardens, Johnette and Ken, who are responsible for the Parish during the interregnum; and to Fr. Mike, Fr. Leslie, Fr. Bernard and the other clergy who will be covering our services over the coming months.

The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 27th November at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 28th November at 10.30am. Both of these are opportunities to prepare ourselves this Advent:
“Stay awake and stand ready, for you do not know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.”

David Griffiths