Let us sing a new song...
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Two weeks ago there was a party for all the members of the choir and their families, and I too was invited. It was truly a celebration of our unity, strength and talents. We all sang, solo and as a group. The most heart warming aspect of the evening was two former members of the choir and their families also joined the celebration from the United States through Skype. I was very much moved by their love for the Community.
On the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity we had the Pothuyogam. In true Christian spirit we could appreciate the goodness in the community, accept the differences and acknowledge our limitations, and confidently look forward to our future. What was so striking was the zeal and enthusiasm of everybody for the betterment of the Community. There was very good participation, brilliant suggestions and lots of lighter moments. The Secretary and the Committee deserve special thanks for their leadership. I was reminded of the Love of St. Paul to the Churches for whom he became the ambassador and minister of Christ. He was very expressive of his love for the Churches, but never hesitated to correct them, never ignored their virtues. In the same way I could feel the vibrations of positive energy in the hall. It was an extensive session, and towards the end the numbers dwindled, but we were able to make some concrete decisions about the future events, especially about the oncoming Dukhrana Thirunal. It soon became clear to me that we will be able to do wonderful things, within such a short span of time, with limited number of people who are united in one spirit for the common good. I have always had great appreciation, admiration and pride about our community’s rich talents and resources. With that confidence in our community, let me share with you some of my visions and plans for our community for the next few months.
1. HOUSE BLESSING
The new family unit co-ordinators may kindly encourage the house blessings as one of their first tasks. Kindly contact me to arrange the timings. Please do not worry about covering the whole of your unit within a single day. You may ask families to contact me directly to arrange a suitable time.
The feast will be celebrated on 2nd and 3rd of July. On 2nd we will begin the celebration with Holy Eucharist at 12.30pm. Our Local ordinary Bishop Declan Lang will preside over the Eucharistic celebration. This will be a step further in our growth.
The new and outgoing family unit co-ordinators will have to work together to ensure more participation for the Saturday celebrations. I expect some people from Bath, Gloucester, Swindon and Weston-Super-Mare. Fr. C D. Sebastian, Fr. Cyril and Fr. Saji Neendoor and Fr.Alan Finley will be joining us for the celebration on Saturday.
Sunday celebration will be more for our local community. The feast will start at 3pm with Malayalam mass and end with a small English prayer service for which all parishioners of St. Josephs’ are invited. We hope to have a procession, if the weather permits and a snehavirunnu at the end of the celebrations.
We have to pray well, and work hard. Family units and Church groups have already started working. And so have the Liturgy and Choir ministries.
3. GLASTONBURY PILGRIMAGE
The diocesan annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury is on 10th July. There are coaches from the local parishes. We could join the parish groups. I am pretty sure that we would all be enthralled by the procession and the Mass in the Abby grounds.
4. RETREAT FOR CHILDREN
During the last week in August we have planned a retreat for our Children. It will be led by a team organized by Fr. Sogi Olikkal.
5. BRISTOL BIBLE KALOLSAVAM
Ours is one of the first Keralite Christian communities in the UK, and one of the largest and strongest communities. This year we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Community’s formation. We could envisage a Bible Kalolsavam in conjunction with the anniversary celebrations.
6. ROSARY DEVOTION
October being the special month dedicated for Our Lady of Rosary, let us plan and conduct it with due respect. The community could record a rosary devotion session for broadcasting in Divine T.V.
7. JUNIOR ENGLISH CHOIR
Our children are a very talented group. The youth group oversee the youth mass periodically and can even sing in Malayalam. However, it would be wise to train a junior choir who can sing English hymns as well. I am also aware that some of our children are already part of the choir in their local parishes.
8. A BRISTOL TUNE FOR THE HOLY MASS AND A THEME SONG
In our last meeting with the Choir group, we discussed about having a tune for the hymns of our Qurbana. With permission of the Liturgy Commission we could think about changing the tune, provided we do not change the words of the hymns. The choir has responded very positively to this suggestion and has begun the ground works. An anthem which we could sing at the end of our meetings and gatherings is also highly desirable.
All said, the true song that we should all sing must be the reflection of our strengths as a community with great potentials. I share my vision here with the confidence of intimately knowing the community for the last two years. So I do not think that our aim is too high. Let us strive for the best, to bring out the best in us.
Let us sing a new song......
Fr. Joy Vayalil CST
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