The Holy Family






Today we are celebrating the Feast of The Holy Family. Although major feast days dedicated to each member of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – also exist, the Feast of the Holy Family commemorates their life together, and the celebration focuses on religious family life. Because of the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, a feast for the Holy Family has been observed by the Copts from early times.





In Western Christianity, however, a cult of veneration for the Holy Family as a group, rather than as individuals, did not arise until the 17th century and was not officially recognised until the feast day was formally instituted in 1921 under Pope Benedict XV.





As we stand at the threshold of a New Year, dear brothers and sisters, I ask
Almighty God to bless you and your families, and pray that you may know
something of the peace and love which marked that unique Holy Family of Nazareth.

(Words taken from His Lordship, Michael G Campbell OSA, Bishop of Lancaster
in his Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Lancaster).

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!






On this Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, the churches have almost being decorated ready for the great Christmas feast… there is still a little more work to do tomorrow!









The Collect (opening prayer) for this Sunday’s Mass:

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen






Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, – Isaiah 41:10

O Antiphons – Day 7








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the final Antiphon is ‘O Emmanuel’

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,the hope of the nations and their Saviour:Come and save us, O Lord our God.

The original text with the chant notation is below:




Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

O Antiphons – Day 6








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the Antiphon is ‘O Rex Gentium’

O King of the nations, and their desire,the cornerstone making both one:Come and save the human race,which you fashioned from clay.

The original text is below:




Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
  • “He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4
  • “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.Isaiah 64:8

O Antiphons – Day 5








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the Antiphon is ‘O Oriens’

O Morning Star,splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

The original chant is below:





Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.” Isaiah 9:2

O Antiphons – Day 4








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the Antiphon is ‘O Clavis David’

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;you open and no one can shut;you shut and no one can open:Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.







Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.” Isaiah 22:22
  • “His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore.” Isaiah 9:7
  • “…To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”isaiah 42:7

O Antiphons – Day 3








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the Antiphon is ‘O Radix Jesse’

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;before you kings will shut their mouths,to you the nations will make their prayer:Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.







Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1
  • “On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:10

O Antiphons – Day 2








This week we are looking at the O Antiphons – today the Antiphon is ‘O Adonai’.

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bushand gave him the law on Sinai:Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

The original chant is below.





  • “[…] but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.”Isaiah 11:4-5
  • “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 22:33

O Antiphons – Day 1








The O Antiphons are being sung throughout the Catholic Church this week! What are the O Antiphons?

The O Antiphons, also known as The great Os are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also used as the alleluia verses on the same days in the Catholic Mass.






The original chant above and the translation is below:

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,reaching from one end to the other,mightily and sweetly ordering all things:Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2-3
  • “[…] he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29

Advent Penitential Service








The Advent Penitential Service with opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilation (Confession) took place this evening. There was also some variations of Advent themes played on the pipe organ!






As Canon Cooper said at Sunday Mass – going to Confession is the best way to prepare for the great Christmas feast. Thank you to the visiting priests who came to assist with hearing Confessions!