When does Christmas Finish?

For many people Christmas finished on 25/12 in the evening as they prepared for the sales. Decorations went down and trees were disposed of. For the Church, the liturgical season of Christmas finished on 12th January with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is when we take the tree down. However, according to the older tradition, Christ- mas lasts until the Feast of Presentation of the Lord, 2nd February. This marked the end of a long 40-day “Christmastide”. It is historically called “Candlemas” because of Sime- on’s prophecy of Jesus being a light for the Gentiles. Following this tradition we will keep our Crib till that date, just as the Holy Father is keeping his at St. Peter’s! If you haven’t put down your crib you could also keep it till the 40th day after Christmas.

Wishing You all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Our Lady & St Catherine of Siena,

We give God thanks for the many blessings that we have received over the last year.

It was with a sense of optimism that we entered the Advent Season, hoping to truly celebrate our faith and be with family & friends, in a way that we were not able to last year. Things have turned out differently.

We are still celebrating this time of Advent as we prepare for the Lord’s coming and we are still thanking God for the gift of His Son, which we will celebrate at Christmas. Even if we celebrate with some caution and carefulness we will still celebrate the Greatest Gift of the birth of Jesus, our Messiah and Saviour.

I ask that we all be careful during this time. Please follow the protocols and look out for each other.

May the Spirit of the Holy Family remain in our hearts and homes this Christmas time.

God’s blessings,

Fr Howard

Church Cleaning

Thank You to everyone that helped clean the Church in preparation for Christmas and helped set up the Christmas Tree & Crib.

Christmas Booklet

Please download the special booklet with times of masses & hymn sheets for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Masses:

Christmas Eve – Family Mass, 6pm

In order to make the 6pm Family Mass on Christmas Eve more family orientated we are thinking to have children reading, if your child would like to read then please speak to Fr Howard or put their name on the Christmas Rota in the Sacristy. Children are welcome to come dressed as angels and shepherds.

Christmas Period Rotas

Please fill in the special rotas for the Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Tree

We would like to say a huge Thank You to Phil at Bow Landscapes who has very kindly donated our Christmas Tree again this year.

Remembrance Christmas Tree

As with previous years the decorations on the Christmas tree will be for those wishing to place a special message to those who are no longer with us. once we set it up, please complete one of the decorations provided and place it on the tree.

Christmas Crib Appeal

The Crib offerings this year as ever will go to the Catholic Children’s Society. Please bring your children to the crib to pray and help by donating if you can. Envelopes will be at the back of the church, the donation box will be placed under the pulpit.

Christmas Collection

Your contributions to the collections on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Masses go towards Fr Howard’s salary (together with moneys of masses, baptisms, funerals & weddings). If you wish to contribute to this collection but know that you will not be at St Catherine for Christmas, there are envelopes to that effect in the sacristy, also, if you wish to make a personal gift to Fr. Howard, you can do so by placing it in an envelope addressed to him.

Midnight Mass on New Year’s Eve

Fr Howard was thinking of doing a Midnight Mass on New Year’s Eve, beginning with a Carol Service at 11pm followed by Mass at 11:15pm then see in the New Year as the clock strikes 12. We will need enough num- bers to make it feasible to open so if you are interested in coming, please let Fr Howard know.