Easter Blessings as we return to school for the summer term. We have now entered the season of Eastertide which started, as can be seen from the photo, with the most beautiful sunrise. Many people gathered to worship together on Swanage beach, to celebrate this important day.
Year 6 children from St Mary’s Catholic and St Mark’s CE primary schools came together on April 3rd in Swanage Parish Church to learn about and sing Vespers with Fr Tim Lewis and the Team Rector, Very Revd John Mann, and directors of music Simon Lole and David Fawcett. We had a great time, culminating in a beautiful service attended by many parents. We’re looking forward to the next occasion when we can sing and worship together in this special way.
Brother John, all the staff and pupils sent Easter Blessings to us all at St Mary’s School . Easter Sunday started early as they celebrated Mass together. Then the children worked together to prepare an Easter meal to share. They slaughtered and cooked a pig and some chickens (a very special treat), accompanied by cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes and matoke bananas- you can see from the pictures their cooking facilities are very different from ours!
Family Palm Sunday Mass will be celebrated at St Edward’s on 14 April at 9am.
On Saturday 20 April, Holy Saturday, there will be a food blessing service at 11am.
As a school we are holding a fast day on Wednesday 3 April 2019. We are not asking you or your children to fast, but to think about a luxury or treat you regularly eat that you could forego for a day, or a week, or all of Lent. Any money you save in this way would be welcomed as a donation that we will send to CAFOD to support our neighbours in other parts of the world.
More information on the CAFOD website.
Many thanks to everyone who has already hosted Mary and Joseph and a huge thank you for your generous contributions to the food bank. The first bags of food have already been collected and volunteers at the food bank were delighted. If you haven’t had the Holy Family in your home yet there is still time and I will be delivering the next consignment of food next week.
The Holy Family have already begun to find comfortable places to stay…
Thank you to everyone who attended and took part in our Advent Mass. For the first Sunday of Advent our purple candle symbolised Hope, with the ‘Prophet’s Candle’ reminding us that Jesus is coming. Our new Key Stage 1 choir beautifully premiered a brand new Advent carol – Stay Awake – written especially for them by David Fawcett. Year 3,4,5,6 impressed us all by singing the Posada Song in Spanish. Finally, Father Tim blessed our Posadas and they were taken back to the classrooms to start their journey, through the coming weeks, until we celebrate the birth Jesus on Christmas Day. We hope you enjoy offering the Holy Family hospitality in your homes this Advent and sharing the Noisy Neighbour story together.
Our next Mass will be on the last day of term, December 21st at 9 am. We will welcome back Mary and Joseph; each class will receive a baby Jesus to complete the family; the food collected for the food-bank will be blessed and we will celebrate Mass together as we look forward to Christmas Day.
This Friday, 30 November at 9am we will be celebrating Mass; finding out about the start of Advent and lighting our first Advent candle.
We will also be celebrating Las Posadas again as part of our Advent preparations. The ‘Holy Family’ will be brought to Mass and blessed ready to start their journey, visiting your homes until they return to school on the 21st December.
I have attached the information about Las Posadas below and it will also be inside the pack when your child brings Mary and Joseph home with them.
On Friday 21st December @ 9am we will be celebrating our Christmas Mass, the Holy Families will come back and return to the classrooms with the addition of a baby, Jesus. We hope you will be able to join us for this very special celebration.
Las Posadas at St Mary’s
This year, as part of our Advent preparation for Christmas, we are going to celebrate Las Posada at St Mary’s.
This is a celebration that is predominately practised in South America and follows the ‘Holy Family’s’ journey and search for somewhere to stay. We will be representing this by asking each child to take home the ‘Holy Family’ to stay with them overnight. The following day they come back to school, ready to go home the next night with someone different.
As part of the traditional celebrations when the Holy Family eventually finds somewhere to stay gifts are given; songs are sung; food is shared and Pinatas are broken.
To represent these celebrations, we are asking that, if you feel able to, you might send in a small token of Christmas giving when your child brings back Mary and Joseph. These will be given to the local Foodbank and used in Christmas food parcels for those who need support this Christmas. If it could be something slightly Christmassy that would be wonderful e.g. gold coins, sweets, Christmas biscuits etc. there is quite a range in the various supermarkets for £1. Inside the pack there will also be a copy of ‘The New Noisy Neighbour’ book. This is for you to keep and share at home. We would also welcome any photographs of Mary and Joseph whilst they are staying with you. If you email them to me or the school office, we will put them onto the school website.
Advent begins on Sunday 2nd December and at the 9 a.m. mass we will begin to celebrate the four weeks with a mass theme this week of ‘Light a Candle for Advent’, where each child will have the opportunity to light a votive candle for their own personal intention during Advent.
Every week, at the Children’s Liturgy, we will use the custom called the ‘Jesse Tree’ to help the children develop a stronger sense of who Jesus is and who were the people on the path before him. The stories from the Old and New Testament become a way for children to experience God’s presence themselves. As the tales unfold, we hear of Jacob’s reconciliation with his brother; David, who became a great king but was not too proud to ask for forgiveness for his mistakes; Solomon, who chose the gift of wisdom instead of riches and Mary who said “Yes” to God when she was asked to be the mother of Jesus.
While they listen to the stories, the children will hear about people who sought answers to difficult questions and tried to be faithful to God in spite of many problems. They can begin to feel their place as part of the people of God.
Advent is a wonderful preparation time for children, leading up to the great feast of Christmas and St. Edward and the Holy Spirit offers a warm welcome to you all.