Monthly Archives: December 2013

Feast of the Holy Family

CLICK HERE  for St Robert of Newminster Newsletter 29th December 2013

The end of the Christmas Eve Mass with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica when he takes the infant Jesus to the crib scene at the back of the basilica with a magnificent rendition of Adeste Fidelis:

The words of Pope Francis at the Christmas Eve Mass:

On this night, like a burst of brilliant light, there rings out the proclamation of the Apostle: “God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (Tit 2:11).

The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.

The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.

On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). And I too repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.

St Stephen’s Day

Unfortunately, we could not sing the carol “Good King Wenceslas” this morning at Mass because it was not in our new hymn book. Shame on the “bah humbug” people at Decani Music! So here is a beautiful rendering of the carol from York Minister:

Happy Boxing Day. Happy St Stephen’s Day! Happy second Day of Christmas!

“Good King Wenceslas”  tells a story of a king braving harsh winter weather to give alms  to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26). During the journey, his page  is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king’s footprints, step for step, through the deep snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical St Wenceslaus (907–935) in what is now the Czech Republic.

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel, When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling, Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?” “Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither, You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.” Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger, Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.” “Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly, You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted; Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed. Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.


Tuesday 24th December (Christmas Eve)

6.00pm First Mass of Christmas with Children’s Nativity

Wednesday 25th December (Christmas Day)

Midnight Mass (at Midnight) with Carols and Readings from 11.30pm.

10.00am Mass of Christmas Day

(No 9.00am, 11.00am or 7.00pm Mass)

Thursday 26th December to Saturday 28th December

Mass at 10.00am

Sunday 29th December (Holy Family)

Masses at 9.00am 11.00am and 7.00pm

Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st  December

Mass at 10.00am

Wednesday 1st January (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God)

Mass at 11.00am

Thursday 2nd January to Saturday 4th January

Mass at 10.00am

Sunday 5th January (Epiphany of the Lord)

Mass at 9.00am, 11.00am and 7.00pm


Monday 23rd December 6 00pm to 7 00pm

Tuesday 24th December 9 45am to 10 30am.

“Gaudete” Rejoice Sunday

The electric folk group Steeleye Span had a hit in 1973 with “Gaudete”. It reached number 14 in the  UK singles chart.Here is a modern version of this beautiful Latin hymn.

And here are the words in English:


Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary — rejoice!


The time of grace has come—
This that we have desired,
Verses of joy
Let us devoutly return.


God has become man,
To the wonderment of Nature,
The world has been renewed
By the reigning Christ