Despite our best efforts to keep the Churches open for people to be able to call in on their own, last night's announcement by the Prime Minister has, unfortunately, made it impossible for us to continue to do so.
This has been followed up with an instruction from the Archbishop that all Churches are to remain closed, even for private prayer, until further notice, on the basis that this is giving cause for people to leave their homes and, most often, those who should not be doing so. I'd like to thank all those who helped, or offered to help, to keep the Churches open, and hope that, in the long run, this may be one of the benefits to come out of all of this.
To assist people at home, I offer the following information which I will repeat on this weekend's newsletter. Please share with anyone whose address you may have:
1. The Catholic National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady in England has launched 27/4 live video streaming, featuring the Holy Mass offered three times daily.
In addition to this, all night Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, talks, Spiritual Reading and Divine Mercy Chaplet will also be shown.
Rather than directing people to multiple sources, this seems the most comprehensive, and can be accessed, for those with the internet, at www.walsingham.org.uk The full schedule is as follows
08.30 - Morning Prayer
09.30 - Holy Mass
10.30 - Talk
11.00 - Rosary
12.00 - Angelus and Holy Mass
Followed by Adoration until 3pm
15.00 - Divine Mercy Chaplet, Benediction and Rosary
15.45 - Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
16.00 - Spiritual Reading
17.00 - Vespers
18.00 - Angelus and Holy Mass in Latin
followed by Rosary
20.00 - Compline and Meditation
20.30 - All night Exposition
2. For anyone with Sky TV, EWTN on Channel 588 has a similar schedule with Mass at 12 noon each day.
3. Pope Francis at Sunday's Angelus called for all of us to recite together the Our Father on Wednesday, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, at 11.00 a.m. (midday in Rome).
He also announced that he will hold a period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in St Peter's Square from 5.00 p.m. on Friday concluding with Benediction Urbi et Orbi through the media, to which will be attached the possibility of a plenary indulgence.
4. Morning & Evening Prayer, the Readings of the Day, and other elements of the Liturgy of the Hours can be found www.universalis.com
5. Other resources for those unable to participate in the celebration Mass, for a Spiritual Communion, and in times of flu or viruses are attached.
I am intending to try a post-drop for those already on the Sick List, but there are obviously many more housebound, so would be grateful for anything you can do to maximise coverage.
(And please bail me out if I get arrested!!)
And, finally, PRAY.
God bless, and stay safe.