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15th December 2019


By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 12 December 2019

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

This Sunday, the third in Advent, is marked by lighting the third candle, which is often coloured pink. Why? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to keep it till Advent 4, when we commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary? No, this has always been “Gaudete Sunday” since earliest times

The reasons behind this are that Advent was originally 40 days long and a season that was directly comparable to Lent. This Sunday was therefore equivalent to “Refreshment” or “Mothering Sunday” – a mid-point when the fast could be broken for a day. Gaudete means “Rejoice” and the name derived from the first words of the traditional Mass of the day

By the 9th century, Advent was then shortened to the 4 weeks that we have now and the third Sunday became the penultimate one we have today. The day still keeps its character and the traditional vestments may be altered from Advent purple to the Rose Pink we have at St Michael & St Wulfad’s

It is interesting to note that the theme of Advent can be less austere than Lent. The theologian Henri Nouwen points out that these days are to be joyful – not because our outward circumstances have changed, but because here we are reminded that we are unconditionally loved by God – and that nothing can take that love away. Equally Pope Francis has preached that “Gaudete Sunday is known as the "Sunday of joy", and that instead of fretting about "all they still haven't" done to prepare for Christmas, people should "think of all the good things life has given you”

 

Ian Cardinal

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone

            401                              401

            196                              470

                        358                              358

452/520                       452/520

307                              513

 

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Mary Townsend,  Elsie Richardson, Vera Tomkinson, Neil & Pat Wynne, Gary Kelsall, John Richardson, Peter Bowler,  Catherine Ritchie,  Graham Baker,  James Astle, Miles Brain,  John & Ann Shuttleworth,  Evelyn Cotterill, Margaret Wright, Gren Deakin, Margaret Bott, Molly Wright, Norman Latham, Joan Lazonby,

 

And for the departed:

Simon Levitt, John Rushton

Remembering their families and friends at this time

This week:

Tuesday 17th NO DROP INN café – Christmas break

            LADIES OUTING to Lichfield Cathedral illuminations

Thursday 19th 10.30am Holy Communion – St Michael & St Wulfad

Saturday 21st 11.45am Carols in the Market Place

 

THIS SUNDAY 15TH CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT4pm at St Michael and St Wulfad: As usual we hold our own Carol service for all parishioners to enjoy. Do come and join the joyful singing

 

LADIES OUTINGTuesday 17th December – 4pm Buffet at Chapters, 5.30pm Cathedral illuminations. Drivers, please make arrangements with your passengers

 

BOARS HEAD FEAST Saturday 4th January at Aston Village Hall – tickets available for Aston Social Committee at £12.50 each. A fun evening celebrating the traditional end of the Christmas season awaits us all!

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