St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Sunday 15 September 2019: Patronal Festival
This Sunday, we forego the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, which we now observe as our Patronal Festival. An occasion when we can thank God for giving us the Blessed Virgin Mary who is the Patron Saint of our Church and Parish. Admittedly, it is a little early (as the Feast officially falls on 24th September) but it is good to hold this on a Sunday when we hope more people will be able to share in our joyful celebration.
We shall be delighted to welcome Bishop Peter Wheatley, who is a good friend of the Parish, to celebrate the Mass with us at 5.00pm on Sunday. Please note that this will be the only Mass of the day and we hope that as many people as possible will be able to attend. As is the custom at St Mary’s, the Mass will be followed by some delightful refreshments (and we thank, in advance, all those who will be helping to provide these).
We know that Mary had a very important job to do some 2,000 years ago – to carry the Son of God for nine months and to give birth in a stable in Bethlehem. To nurture and care for Our Lord as he grows from infancy into childhood and finally to adulthood. To be alongside him as he begins his Ministry and to follow him as he walks the road to Calvary. To be there when Jesus needs her – stood at the foot of the Cross with his beloved disciple.
But Mary continues to be there for all of us – and in the 11th Century she appeared to the Lady Richeldis and instructed her to build a Holy House in this small village in Norfolk, resembling the place where the Angel Gabriel had brought the message from God in The Annunciation: “Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womband bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus”.
If you have not been to The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, then the perfect opportunity will be coming next Spring Bank Holiday with a coach (already booked) to take us to the National Pilgrimage. Until then, we must content ourselves with our own observance on Sunday.
There are also forms at the back of church to sign up if you would like to join the “Cell” of Our Lady of Walsingham.
“Ave, Ave, Ave Maria”.