25 March 2020

 

 

Dear parishioners and friends,

 

 

Good afternoon. Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. You know what that means – it is only nine months until Christmas! What a thought, especially in these strange and difficult times.

 

I hope you are all safe and well.  Please be aware of, and carefully follow, all public health advice about how to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Keep yourself and others safe.

 

It feels very strange celebrating Mass on my own, but I do so every day and so please know that you are all held in prayer.

 

This mailing is now being sent to over 60 households, so it is getting to a good number of parishioners.

 

Here are a few things that I would like to share with you.

 

1, From the Archbishop

 

Holy Communion: Unfortunately, social distancing means that priests ought not to distribute the Sacraments except at an inconvenient distance, which means that Holy Communion may now be given to people only in danger of death. 

 

Mass Online:  Although we cannot go to Mass on a Sunday at the moment, we are nevertheless obliged, as Christians, to keep the Sabbath holy. You are encouraged to pray at home together and to assist at Mass online if you can. 

 

Sunday Mass is now available in English, Polish and Syro-Malabar, each Sunday, from various places in the diocese. 

 

Visiting the Sick and Elderly, and taking Holy Communion to them: Due to the new regulations, neither priests nor Eucharistic Ministers may now visit the Sick.  The only call that we may respond to is to someone in danger of death. 

 

The Anointing of the Sick & Viaticum: Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum should only be carried out in danger of death.

Baptisms, Marriages & Funerals:  Baptisms and Marriages have been suspended by the State.  Funerals now consist solely in a short ceremony either at the graveside or the crematorium, attended by only the immediate family members: how many people will depend on the State, and perhaps the Funeral Directors.  No matter how many people come, social distancing must be observed. 

 

“Spiritual Communion”:  As you know, in order to try to limit the spread of Covid-19, the Bishops have decided to suspend all public Masses for the foreseeable future. This means that many people who are used to receiving Holy Communion regularly at Mass will not be able to do so for the time being. During this “Eucharistic Fast” one way to keep close to the Lord is to make a “Spiritual Communion.” This is an ancient spiritual tradition of the Church which consists in making a simple act of “spiritual communion,” whereby we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to receive Holy Communion.

St. Thomas Aquinas defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.”  You can make a Spiritual Communion whenever and wherever you like, using the prayer given below, or others like it, or your own heartfelt thoughts.  

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, 

I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 

I love You above all things, 

and I desire to receive You into my soul. 

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, 

come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

Remember, you can receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night!  You just need to approach Him with sincerity, humility and a desire to follow in His footsteps in acts of faith and charity. And He’s delighted when we do so! The Catechism teaches that a Spiritual Communion “is an act of devotion, and one very pleasing to God.”

Countless saints incorporated this type of prayer into their daily lives. Making an act of spiritual communion for them was an essential part of life and drew them closer to God on a daily basis.  St. Josemaria Escriva encouraged everyone to make a spiritual communion as often as they could, “What a source of grace there is in spiritual communion! Practice it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with him in all your actions.”  Padre Pio also had a habit of making a spiritual communion throughout the day outside of the celebration of Mass. He desired to be always united with Jesus Christ in everything he did.

A prayer of spiritual communion can be prayed at any time, even in the midst of your daily work by lifting up your thoughts to God.   The ultimate goal of our lives should be communion with God and an act of spiritual communion can help a person draw closer to that goal.

 

2. Parish Finances

A number of people have been asking about how to continue with their Church giving, especially as we have been unable to distribute new Offertory Envelopes.  Many people contribute by Standing Order, for which we are grateful. If you don’t, you might want to consider doing so. I can send you the Bank details privately.

 

3. Facebook

I have set up a parish Facebook Page, which you’ll find under St Joseph’s Church Burntisland, and also a Parish Group St Joseph’s Parish Group. I am hoping this might be a helpful way of keeping in touch with each other at this time.

 

4. Walk of Witness

The Palm Sunday Walk of Witness will not now take place.

 

5. Burntisland Over 70s Christmas Treat:  To help any of our over 70s who are self isolating we would like to offer a shopping and prescription collection service. If you would like us to help send us a message or phone The Star on 871313 between 10am and 12pm

 

6. This might make you smile!

 

Tae a Virus  [Anon]

 

Twa months ago, we didna ken,

yer name or ocht aboot ye.

But lots of things have changed since then,

I really must salute ye.

 

Yer spreading rate is quite intense,

yer feeding like a gannet.

Disruption caused, is so immense,

ye’ve shaken oor wee planet.

 

Corona used tae be a beer,

they garnished it wae limes

But noo it’s filled us awe wae fear

These days, are scary times.

 

 

Nae shakin hawns, or peckin lips,

it’s whit they awe advise

But scrub them weel, richt tae the tips,

that’s how we’ll awe survive.

 

Just stay inside , the hoose, ye bide

Nae sneakin oot for strolls

Just check the lavvy every hoor

And stock-take, your, loo rolls.

 

Our holidays have been pit aff

Noo that’s the Jet2 patter

Pit oan yer thermals, have a laugh

And paddle ‘ doon the waater ‘.

 

Canary isles, no for a while

Nae need for suntan cream

And awe because o this wee bug

We ken tae be..19.

 

The boredom surely will set in,

But have a read, or doodle

Or plan yer menu for the month

Wi 95 pot noodles.

 

When these run oot, just look aboot

A change, it would be nice

We’ve beans and pasta By the ton

and twenty stane o rice.

 

So dinny think yell wipe us oot

Aye true, a few have died

Bubonic, bird flu, and Tb

They came, they left, they tried.

 

 

Ye might be gallus noo ma freen

As ye jump fae cup tae cup

But when we get oor vaccine made

Yer number will be up.  

 

 

Please keep safe and well. Let us pray for each other.

 

Father James