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Gathering Together

Liturgy Reflection & Discussion Programme
Autumn 2003

Following on from the Small Groups discussion and reflection programme last Autumn 2002 called "Preparing Together" - Bishop Kieran is inviting us all to focus on "Liturgy" this Autumn 2003.

This focus has come about as a direct result of the questionnaires we submitted to the Diocesan Committee last autumn. To jog your memories for those who did take part the questions asked were as follows -:

(a) What developments are possible in our community? (b) What preparation and training is needed to enable these developments to happen?

To quote from Bishop Kieran's message: - What was encouraging many Groups identified Liturgy as the most important area in which they needed more formation and training. If there is not good Liturgy in a Parish, then nothing else will work.

The first document to emerge from the 2nd Vatican Council in December 1963 was the document on the Liturgy. It stated that the Liturgy was the summit to which the activity of the Church is directed, and the fount from which all her power flows.

A Parish that is truly alive to its evangelising mission will have a lively and inspiring Sunday Mass.

Hence the Autumn 2002 programme called "Gathering Together" is to be launched that will focus on Liturgy. The aim of this programme is to encourage us all to pray, reflect and discuss ways in which we participate in Liturgies. Why we gather together every week for Mass? What happens when we gather together? Why is my presence important?

The discussion material is designed that enables Parishes to consider 3 themes: - - The Lord be with you (Week beginning 17thNov) - We praise you for your glory (Week beginning 24th Nov) - Go in peace to love and serve the Lord (Week beginning 1st December)

The first week invites participants to reflect on the presence of Christ when we GATHER to celebrate the Mass.

In the second week we consider the varied ways in which we PRAISE AND THANK God for his goodness.

Week 3 encourages us to see how the Lord TOUCHES OUR LIVES and empowers us to share in his work.

INTENDED OUTCOMES OF THIS PROGRAMME ARE: - That all participants will have the opportunity to recall the dignity and responsibility of Baptism. - That there will be a broader and deeper understanding of what it means to gather in the name of the Lord. - That all participants will offer themselves more wholeheartedly to God in the Mass, so that God may touch us and change us into "bread " for a hungry World.

For this particular autumn season Fr. Kieran and the Small Groups Committee have decided to change the format. Instead of meeting in small Groups, we will be meeting as one large Group in each of our Churches, i.e. St. Richard's, Bosham and The Witterings.

Each session will have an Opening Liturgy followed by Discussion and Reflection in small groups and a closing discussion in open forum in the main body of the Church.

An Information Evening will be run by Barbara Hopper the Liturgy Adviser for the Diocese on October 15th at 7.30 pm at St. Catherine's - Littlehampton for all Small Group Leaders and anyone who is interested to lead a Group in the Church.

For those who might be interested in leading a group in the Church please give your name into Julia at the Parish Office.

Transport inquiries please speak to Mary Downy or Pat Rang.

SIGN-UP SUNDAY will be on the 26th October during all the Sunday Masses at all three Churches. Bishop Kieran will be addressing every Parish in the Diocese in the form of a Pastoral Letter encouraging everyone to sign up to this programme.

"Gathering Together", with the scheduled date for each Church, will be advertised in the newsletter for 3 weeks before the first meetings. In addition we will have on display, promotion Posters reminding us of what we are to reflect upon during that particular week.

Everyone is encouraged to attend on the specified days in the weeks beginning 17NOV, 24NOV and 01DEC.

Bishop Kieran would like every Group in the Parish to be involved especially the Youth, who will have their own specially adapted material by Ray Mooney.

Please pray for the success of the Bishop's initiative