The saints already with Christ have drawn away the saints from among ourselves. Those who were once with us have departed from us, returning to their true homeland & leaving us orphans. They have passed from a state of corruptibility to one of incorruptibility: they have gone from this world & risen again in Christ, exchanging their tent-dwelling for the heavenly Jerusalem. Leaving us to the emptiness of this life, they have attained to the bliss of heaven; leaving to us our earthly worries, they have passed to a land without worry. They have left behind the winds & waves of this world & have anchored in harbours of perfect calm. Yet even while they seemed to be with us they were not so in reality, for their minds were turned to God. They lived on earth as citizens of heaven. Having here no lasting city, they sought a heavenly one; having no earthly riches, they sought the riches of heaven. They were strangers & sojourners as their ancestors were. Strangers to the world, to the things of the world, & to the ways of the world, their whole heart was absorbed in the things of heaven; these were the things they thought about & were concerned about. They longed for the beauty of heaven, its mansions & dwellings, its choirs & hymnody, its feasts & its eternal blessedness. The Saints contemplated, sought & hastened toward these things,& so at last they attained them. Their striving was rewarded by admission to the heavenly bridal chamber. Because they laboured they now exult. Because they were not negligent they now rejoice. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his Saints. (From the sermons of St Anastasius of Sinai)
This Sunday & next Sunday we celebrate two significant moments of Remembrance in the Village. This Sunday 4th Nov the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1, with a Service at St Hilda’s at 11am. On Sun 11th Nov our Remembrance Day Service again at St Hilda’s at 10.50am. Much as each Service follows on immediately after our 10am Sunday Mass, I would encourage as many of you as possible to come to pray as one body at these sacred moments. On Friday this week our two Schools, St Benedict’s PS & St Hilda’s PS gather to pray for the Fallen. We begin in OL & SB at 10.15am & then process in silence & reverence to St Hilda’s Church for a moment of Remembrance at 11am. It is inspiring to see many of our youngest praying for those who sacrificed everything in order to give us a future of stability & peace.
At our next Parish Forum on Sun 18th Nov at 11.15am, our Vision Group will again help us to offer further wise advice in our journey towards a Vision Statement for the Parish. It will be an opportunity to review & consider the implications of all our individual contributions so far, to take in, & to begin to identify the significance / implications of what’s there for our future. The Group would appeal to anyone who hasn’t yet provided their input (or who would like to provide more) to do that in readiness for the Forum, either by placing a card on the wall in the Hall, or by completing & returning a questionnaire please keep the Group & all our Parish in your prayers at this liminal moment for our future.
Could I bring to your attention an event in Newcastle on Mon 12th Nov at 6pm at the Life Centre, close to the Central Station? It is a Q & A event “Can we Brexit proof the North East?..... the role churches play in supporting neighbourhood resilience & helping communities to change in the face of uncertainty & unpredictability.” Easy access by train from Thirsk. An opportunity to measure the potential damage to the Common Good of the Gospels by Brexit. Please try to go.
Thank you to the many who came to celebrate the two great feasts last week, All Saints & All Souls. It was a tribute to your continued care, love & prayers for our deceased loved ones, that so many graves in our graveyard were lit on All Souls night with a candle representing the weave of Christ the Light with the light of faith which burns on in our loved ones. With love & prayers, Fr Bede.