23rd December 2018 – 4th Sunday of Advent

Christmas Penitential Services this weekend after 6.00 pm vigil, 10.00 am & 12.00 noon Masses.  Visiting priests will be with us for Confessions as we prepare for Christmas.  None of us is without sin and we are all in need of forgiveness. God offers us a most wonderful gift, the assurance that no matter how we have failed his forgiveness is there for us all.  In the words of Pope Francis: “Mercy is the Lord’s most powerful message

Most are familiar with the procedure for this Communal Reconciliation Service, all you need to say to the priest when you approach for Confession is:
“I am sorry for all my sins, especially for. . . .”

Then you tell your own sins simply, in the best way you can, asking for God’s Forgiveness. Be prepared to leave all your sins with the Lord and promise him that you will try to do better.

Examination of conscience
An examination of conscience concerns our daily lives and our maturity as human beings. It is not preparing a grocery list of sins, but looking at the things we do and at the person who does them. It asks how do we relate to God and to our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.

A good way of preparing for confession is to divide my life into a few general areas, and take a look at each.

1.   My relationship with God:
Do I give time to God?
Do I pray each day?
Do I attend Mass regularly?

2.   My home life
Am I hard to live with? Do I make my
home happy?
Am I moody and selfish?
Do I cause serious problems at home –
unfaithfulness, drunkenness, taking
drugs, violence, long cold silences?
Do I seek help?
Am I faithful to my commitments?

3.   My relationship with others:    
Am I tolerant of and unselfish towards
Am I kind in word and deed?
Do I pray for my enemies and forgive
Do I respect others? Have I used others
selfishly? or irresponsibly?

4.   My practice of justice:
Do I respect the needs, rights, and
property of others?
Am I honest with my business
Do I pay my debts? Do I cheat, or make
false claims?
Do I pay my taxes?  Do I give to those
in need?

Act of Contrition
O my God I thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for not loving others and not loving you. Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again.   Amen.

Confessions on Christmas Eve after the 10am & 6pm Masses

Christmas Masses:
Christmas Eve: 6.00 pm & 10.00pm.
Christmas Day: 9.00 am, 10.00 am and 12.00 noon
(note the extra Mass at 9.00 am).
St. Stephen’s Day: 10.00 am.

Memorial Acclamation (response to “The Mystery of Faith”) for the coming year:
My Lord and my God.

Parish Christmas & Triduum Cards are available in the Parish Office after Mass.   The Triduum of Masses will be offered on 23, 24, 25 December.

Our 2019 Parish Calendars are available at the back of the church. Please consider taking one for a housebound neighbour or friend. Many thanks.

Ministers of the Word may collect their Rota and Missals for 2019 from the Sacristy.

Deaths: We pray for Kenneth Daly, late of Iona Road, Mayfield, who died recently.  We extend our sympathy to his family.

Walk with Me: A journey of prayer for Advent & Christmastide 2018. Copies of the excellent booklet Walk with Me are available after Masses at the back of the Church (Cost €1.30).

Congregational Singing. We continue to select Entrance and Recessional hymns suitable for congregational singing, and would encourage (with the emphasis on courage!) everybody to join in.

Christmas gifts with a difference. Trocaire Gifts and Gift Cards will be available at the back of the Church from members of the Parish Assembly during the Sundays of Advent.
Trocaire Christmas Appeal
‘Do not let the downtrodden retreat in confusion, give the poor and needy cause to praise your name.’ Ps 74:21.
Millions of people have had to flee conflict in South Sudan and Yemen. In an area alone in northern Uganda, 33,000 women and children from South Sudan have arrived traumatised and broken.  Trocaire’s Christmas Appeal will help these people and many others rebuild their lives. Visit www.trocaire.org <http://www.trocaire.org>  to find out more.

Autumn Dues
Many thanks for your generous contributions.

Envelopes are available at the back of the church for those who did not receive them.