Newsletter for 30th January

Dear friends

On Thursday (27th) I attended the ‘Pontifical Mass’ for St Devote at the cathedral. With fine music and high ceremony, the saint’s relics were solemnly borne into the cathedral accompanied by four bishops, a prince and a princess (HSH Prince Albert’s sister) as well as sundry other clergy from the diocese in matching vestments. The saint’s prayers were once again sought for the protection of Monaco and I hope these pleas were heard and she was suitably satisfied by the respect and dignity afforded to her.

But what was intriguing for me were the members of various societies gathered in their ceremonial robes. There were capes of green, black with red piping, some in white robes and bearing a wonderful hat. There was the Order of the Knights of St John, Knights of Malta and more. Its not something we go in for very much in Britain and the C of E, but how good to see people willing to demonstrate their commitment to the church and their faith.

Traditions such as the St. Devote ceremonies are important, especially in places like Monaco, as they reinforce a sense of community, of belonging, of social cohesion. So it is a shame that the ceremonies were, once again, curtailed because of the pandemic. We could all do with a dose of celebration and fun after these past 2 years of difficulties.

This Sunday brings to a close the season of Epiphany; the Nativity figures will have been put back into storage and our attention turns towards Lent and our preparations, both personal and corporate, for the great celebration of Easter. We will have a few weeks of what is called ‘Ordinary time’ before the rigours of Lent will be upon us. But before all that we will celebrate ‘Candlemas’ and hear again the words of Simeon as he recognises the Messiah in the form of the baby Jesus.

 

“Lord, now let your servant go in peace, according to your word.”

Candles will be lit to symbolise the Light of the World, and refreshments will be enjoyed in the Library after the service – yes, we are re-starting the weekly reception (Anna & Francesco are willing to prepare the room with tables & chairs) and I hope you will join us.

 

Fr David

Prayers;

For those who are sick, including; Chris, David, Betty, Sandra, Meya, Sarah, Alexandra, Isabella, Cyril, Aliona, Livia, Bob, Dawn, Michael, Chris S, Heather

NOTICES

Services;

6th February                10.30am Holy Communion                  marking the 70th anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II

Wednesday 19th          6.30pm Holy Communion

READING AND INTERCESSIONS

A new list has been produced for volunteers to read or lead intercessions on Sunday mornings. Please have a look and be prepared to contribute to our worship by adding your name to a particular reading. If you would like to lead intercessions but don’t feel confident about how to go about this, please speak to Fr David who will be delighted to help.

Congregation’s survey

Next month Archdeacon Peter Hooper will be at St Paul’s and will host an open meeting to share thoughts and discussions about the process of the appointment of a new permanent chaplain. In preparation for this the council have produced a simple questionnaire and invite members of the electoral roll to complete it. If you would like a copy by email please message Fr David. Responses will be treated in confidence; personal details will not be attached to any further documents.

Live streaming

Thanks to a gift, we are now able to stream our Sunday services for those unable to attend in person. Presently this is only on Facebook and you have to ‘follow’ or be a ‘friend’ to see it, but we are looking at setting up a YouTube channel in the near future. It has been a steep learning curve for us all and Manuela and Chris have put in many hours to discover how we can do it. The final discrete positioning of the camera will happen shortly and we hope this will enhance our ministry to those who are housebound or further afield.