Beating the Virus

You will find suggestions of websites that offer televised masses and services, and prayers appropriate for the current situation, along with local information which might be of help to you. (Click on the BLUE highlights to see to the web pages.)

Latest update: Sunday 31st May 2020

Keep in touch through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.  This has a front page with a number of links: on-line services and prayers for the sick; the latest Government guidance; and Catholic charities working hard to support the needy. There is also a piece is from a discussion on the “Today” programme on 14 May, when Cardinal Nicols spoke about safely reopening churches for private prayer.

The Vatican website has a streamed Holy Mass for Pentecost today and has published a downloadable booklet named Strong in the Face of Tribulation which offers a collection of prayers, intercessions and homilies to help sustain the Church’s sense of communion amid the coronavirus pandemic. Look too, at the link to Vatican News on YouTube for videos of recent papal services.

Today, the Church of England is streaming “Thy Kingdom Come – Pentecost Sunday Service” an ecumenical service for Pentecost with Christian leaders from many countries including the Pope.

There are lots of televised masses; some need to be watched live, others are recorded and can be joined later.

The closest screening to us comes from St Peter and The Good Shepherd, Bearstead where there is a daily mass. For streaming services from other parishes of our Diocese look here.

See the up to date news across the Archdiocese of Southwark, which today includes a Holy Mass for Pentecost and a letter to the Prime Minister from the Archbishop expressing dissatisfaction that churches are not allowed to open thgeir doors yet. The  Archbishop also invites everyone to take part in a National Rosary Rally on Pentecost Sunday between 9.00am and 9.00pm.  Our Diocese has been asked to pray a Rosary Hour at 3pm and Archbishop John warmly invites us to take part.

There are also video services available through the Diocese of Westminster, which leads on the National Rosary Rally this Sunday. The Westminster site also has a series of short videos from leading Christian leaders from across the Nation with the theme of  “We need to keep on praying”.

You could also visit our neighbours in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, see the live streams from around the Diocese and also Bishop Richard’s series of weekly podcasts.

There is a streaming service from Redemptorist Publications based in Hampshire, which provides resources to support Christians of  both Catholic and Anglican disciplines. The latest screening is for 24 May: Holy Mass for the Pentecost celebrated by Fr Denis McBride C.Ss, along with a  DVD of the Stations of the Cross, also with Fr Denis.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales also offers a page with an up to date weekly schedule of televised masses principally across the UK and Ireland. Finally, there is a schedule of services and events from Livestream at the Shrine in Walsingham. Along with the National Rosary Rally on Sunday 31st May, Walsingham is finishing its stream of the “novena to the Holy Spirit which takes us from Ascension to Pentecost”.

For wider reflections see the Southwark Spirituality Commission.

If you want up to date news and other ideas, try The Catholic Herald or The Catholic Universe. Both have a wide range of information.

A reminder: Supporting the Parish. Please remember that during this challenging time our parish still has administrative charges to meet and your routine support for the Parish will remain vital.  As we are not able to attend any services at the Church at the moment, please follow Fr John’s guidelines below. He writes, “I would recommend that every Sunday you put your donation in an envelope and keep it in a safe place until our Church is open for Sunday Mass again, using your Gift Aid envelope as usual.  However unfortunately it is exactly at this time that the new Gift Aid envelopes are distributed.  So, I suggest that Gift Aiders put their name and their Gift Aid number on the envelopes that you use for your donation each week.  Then you can bring them all to Church with you the first time it is open again.” For all the ways you can support the Parish, please look at this site.

To see a local church website, have a look at St Mildred’s Church in Tenterden for their daily bulletins. Today there are local commemorations of VE Day. For other news of  the local situation in Tenterden, see the My Tenterden newsletter published on 30 May. It provides information of What’s On in the town, which shops are open and their shopping hours, along with offers of help and opportunities to help others.

Lastly, we have a monthly newsletter (the latest one, published in April 2020) from Kate Richards our local Police Community Safety Officer with common sense advice. She covers simple tips for this time when communities are naturally coming together and people readily volunteer to help. Nonetheless, she warns that there are a few people who who will use the coronavirus to rob the most vulnerable in our communities. So Kate offers tips and areas where we must be particularly alert.

Fr John offers some prayers for today:

Spiritual Communion – Prayer of St Alphonsus

My Jesus,
I believe that you are present in this Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love you above all things
and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you
now and forever.

The Pandemic – a prayer

Almighty and eternal God,  our refuge in every danger,  to whom we turn in our distress. In faith we pray, look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love so that together we may give glory to your holy name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A prayer for our parish

O God, protector of all who hope in you, bless your people, keep them safe, defend them, prepare them that, free from sin and safe from the enemy, they may persevere always in your love. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.