Christmas End of Term Liturgies
Our liturgies on the final day of term were a fitting way to send our students into the Christmas holidays. As you would expect, the services were fun, light hearted and festive, providing an opportunity for some rousing renditions of popular carols. Yet they were also reflective about the true reason for the season, and with the Pope’s Year of Mercy drawing to a close, it was appropriate for us to incorporate into our liturgy, some thoughts on why we as individuals and society in general should welcome the stranger in our midst. We know that just as the Holy Family were refugees in Egypt, many migrants have had to seek a place of safety in our country and that many people still sleep rough on the streets of our city, and that at Christmas time it seems particularly important to remember them. The innkeeper was the first person in the Gospels to welcome Jesus when he provided the stable for Mary and Joseph to have their baby, and we in our own way can welcome Jesus when we recognise his face in both friend and stranger. Finally, a word of thanks to all the students who took part and made it so enjoyable – the musicians, the narrators, and the actors – especially Eloise, Sean, and Joseph - and last but certainly not least, Margot, who played the role of an incredibly placid and well behaved baby Jesus – not just once, but at six services throughout the day!
In our efforts to keep Advent holy, students on both sites were given the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.
We were very grateful to all the priests who came into school throughout the day in order to hear confessions. It was fantastic that such a great number of students took this opportunity to prepare for Christmas in the best way possible by examining the direction of their lives and thinking about how they might grow closer to God and each other. It was lovely to witness their prayerfulness, maturity and willingness to attend to the spiritual dimension of their lives, especially in the face of our consumerist culture which seems to place all the emphasis on just material concerns. There was a calm, reflective atmosphere in the chapel throughout the whole day, so much credit is due to all those who participated in such a reverent manner.