Our First Public Masses Since March!

stained glass window pater noster and communion hostThe Catholic Church in England and Wales suspended public Masses and other liturgies from Friday 20th March to help delay the spread of the coronavirus and this dispensation still applies. After 22 long weeks our own church is now again open for Mass.  So we warmly welcome back those of you who wish to attend Mass in church, whilst respecting the needs of those parishioners who, in their particular circumstances (perhaps through their own health or shielding family members), feel it wise at present to continue with online Masses.

Our thanks are due to Fr. Gregory for his tremendous efforts to provide us with a newly refurbished church. Thanks are also due to the hard working parishioners who have cleaned, tidied and organised a (hopefully) Covid-secure environment.  We are especially grateful to our teams of 15 cleaners and 30 stewards who have come forward to ensure ongoing safety and without whom opening would not have been possible.

Whilst we celebrate a long awaited and joyous return to a fresh, new looking, warmer, brighter church, we particularly remember and pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of those of our parishioners, their families and friends who have died since we were last able to worship together. We pray for the comfort and consolation of all the bereaved and that they be given strength for each new day. This is a new virus which no-one yet fully understands – for survivors, the lasting health effects are for some worse than for others who recovered more favourably.  We pray for full recoveries for all.  We must surely also include prayers of thankfulness and protection for all those, especially in our own parish, who have worked selflessly and tirelessly during the pandemic (and will continue to do so) for the good of us all, sometimes losing their lives in the process.  Our Masses will therefore start with the following prayer and we invite all who are staying at home and live-streaming a Mass from elsewhere to join us in our prayer.

A Coronavirus Prayer

Loving and healing God, we the people of St. Edward’s Parish turn to you in prayer, confident that you are with all people in every moment.  We stand before you as people of hope, trusting in your care and protection. May your faithful love support us and soothe the anxiety of our hearts.

Generous God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old, that we may look after one another in these challenging days. Bring healing to those who are sick with the virus and be with their families. May those who have died rest in your eternal embrace.  Comfort their family and friends.

Strengthen and protect all medical professionals caring for the sick and all who work in our medical facilities. Give wisdom to leaders in healthcare and governance that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of your people.

We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead, in so many fields of life, for the sake of us all.  Bless them and keep them safe.

O God of creation and life, we place ourselves in your protection. May the mantle of your peace enfold us this day and tomorrow.

St Edward pray for us.        St. Bernadette pray for us.      St. Nicholas Owen pray for us.

St Thomas More pray for us.    Our Blessed Mother pray for us.    

May all the saints of God, pray for us. 

Amen.