Each year the sisters from Belarus have joined us on a week morning before the build up to Christmas with lots of unusual stock that many of you have got over the years. This year they are unable to travel to Ireland but have launched their online shopping service. You might like to check it out.
I include the full copy of the email that they sent to me. (Looks like the prices are in American Dollars.)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The joyous Christmas season is approaching! The season that is filled with love, family and, most importantly, God.
As you may be aware, Sisters from the St. Elisabeth Convent (Minsk, Belarus) are unable to participate in annual Christmas markets in our region due to travel restrictions. Nevertheless they have found a great way to spread the Christmas joy, love and deeds of mercy.
They are launching the very first Online Christmas Market this year, so that people from all over the world can purchase Christmas presents and souvenirs made with love and continuous prayer.
Please, click here to participate:
Through purchasing beautiful Christmas gifts each one of us will be able to serve the poor, sick, homeless and lonely people. Because every item purchased at the Online Market is a donation towards one of the Convent’s ministries.
The Online Christmas Market of St. Elisabeth Convent offers a range of unique handmade items that will make memorable Christmas gifts, including:
traditional hand painted Christmas ornaments;
wooden toys and souvenirs;
Santa Claus and Father Frost figures;
handcrafted Christmas tree baubles;
Nativity scenes and sets;
Christmas themed ceramics and glass products;
Orthodox Nativity icons;
Russian matryoshka dolls and much more.
Sisters are sending their prayers and blessings from Minsk.
Some great ideas on our website this week for Advent. Check it out. Ideas for everybody. How to make an Advent Wreath, What is a Jesse tree. How to prepare in hope for the Lord.
Thanks to all who have contacted us with ideas and things they plan to do this Advent.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Mass Schedule.
5 p.m. Mass – Family Mass, with members of the Children’s Mass group leading the liturgy.
7 p.m. will be the ‘Saturday evening group’ leading the Congregation singing.
9 p.m. will be the Traditional choir style Mass with some members of the choir present to lead the singing.
Christmas Morning Masses (at 09.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m.) will have a cantor leading the singing at both Masses.
As you will understand all Masses will by nature be much simpler than in the past and your patience and support will be greatly appreciated.
In view of the restriction on numbers, we will be issuing tickets for the Christmas Masses. From Wednesday, 9th December, we invited parishioners to book their tickets for Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning Mass. Members of the Parish Pastoral Council were available after 10.00 a.m. Mass each day, including the weekend Masses, to distribute tickets. All tickets are now gone.
Each year we are invited to remember and pray for our dead. This year although we can’t attend mass in person we are invited to join online and pray for our loved ones.
Here in Ballygall during November we hope to have an online Eucharistic Holy Hour concluding with benediction. This will be a time of praying in a special way for those who have gone before us. Do join us.
This year due to health and safety precautions and government restrictions, it has been decided to celebrate our Annual Mass of the Dead in November online. Each person that has died during the year Sept 2019 – Aug 2020 will be prayed for and a candle lit to remember them. As families and friends will be unable to be present you are invited to join us on the parish website and pray with us from your homes on Friday 6th November 7.30pm
You are invited to light a candle at home during the mass as a way of linking in with the wider community joining us on Friday night at 7.30pm
Sunday is the traditional day that we support the works of the Missions through prayer and a special collection towards the Mission activity of the church. This year with restrictions in place we are unable to be present for Mass on Saturday (6.30pm) and Sunday morning (10am). You are invited to support the work of the missions by taking and returning an envelope with your donation either in the post box at the church shop door or through either of the presbyteries. For further details see www.wmi.ie
“World Mission Sunday is the Holy Father’s annual appeal so the life-giving work of missionaries can continue. This year celebrations will take place over the weekend of the 18th October.
During this time, all parishes worldwide will offer Mass collections and donations to aid the work of missionaries and mission overseas. World Mission Sunday takes place in every parish where the Church is present. Including, not only across Ireland and Europe, but also in poorer parishes in the developing world. This is why it is such a special moment because it allows all members of the universal Church family, regardless of location or background, to play a part in supporting each other.
Right now, missionaries desperately need our support. In many poorer parishes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, missionaries are on the front line. They already do so much. Walking hand-in-hand with marginalised communities, long before and long after any emergency. Worryingly the pandemic means World Mission Sunday is in real jeopardy. Show missionaries you care by supporting World Mission Sunday. Your prayers and generosity will change lives.”
Now that the County of Dublin has moved to Level 3 Covid Restrictions this weekend the knock-on consequences for us are:-
Unfortunately, we will not be permitted to have any parishioners present in the church for Mass. We will have to revert to broadcasting mass online only.
See My Ballygall TV
Attendees for both Funerals and Weddings will be reduced to 25 only.
Baptisms scheduled for this weekend will have to be postponed.
The church will be opened for private prayer only.
As we hear & learn more, we will keep you updated.
Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers at this time.
The Parish Office and Sacristy are still unavailable to the public, to book a mass, purchase Mass cards, other Religious Objects and magazines, (St. Martin/The Messenger). Also
October books are available for collection. Please contact the parish office by phone or email. 01 8369291 or email@example.com.
Having met with the principals of our local schools we have decided in light of current government restrictions to postpone the celebrations of these sacraments for the time being. Parents will be contacted informing them of this decision in the near future.
As time progresses we will be in a better position to know more and will let families know as soon as is safely possible to have a more wholesome celebration of these sacraments.
It seems that things are going to be the same in church for the short term if not even longer. Well done to all who are helping make church attendance possible. We can keep our 98 capacity comfortably seated at mass on weekdays (10am) and Saturday vigil (6.30pm) and Sunday morning (10am only). This is workable as we have the church divided into two halves. Those who enter on the left, stay on the left and exit on the left and the same for those on the right-hand side. To keep the 4 metres separation those sitting at the main aisle are reminded of sitting not at the edge of the seat but in one metre from the edge (behind the yellow poster).
For funerals in line with government regulations we are still only permitted to have 50 present as we are using the one door to enter and exit. Non family members if attending are reminded to remain outside and while keeping the socially required distance of 2 metres can join via the loudspeaker or continue to view via webcam.
For all who enter the church the requirements are to sanitise one’s hands both entering and leaving the church. Gloves are not advisable as these are not a protection for others in the church. Face coverings/masks are strongly recommended though not obligatory unless moving closer than the 2 metres required. Most people in church are wearing coverings. When preparing to receive Holy Communion you are reminded of the procedure of removing the coverings. Slip off one ear and leave the face mask hang rather than pulling it down your chin. This helps prevent any contamination. After receiving Holy Communion you can slip back on the mask over the ear again for safety. At the weekend masses, missalettes are given out. You are encouraged to bring these away as we are not allowed to reuse them. On the way out from Mass newsletters are available to be taken away.
Ballygall parish is doing well and we thank you for your support and patience as we journey together to keep our celebrations safe and prayerful.
Since last weekend we have been informed that we can now safely welcome up to 100 people in Ballygall church for Masses. This means that people will be able to sit in family groups as normal but we can facilitate more in the church keeping the 2 metres social distance requirement. Each row can take from 3 to 5 people/family groups depending on the size of the row. We are keeping the idea of ‘filling from the front’ and working towards the back of the church. For the duration of mass people are encouraged to take and remain in their places.
At the weekend Masses (Saturday vigil 6.30 and Sunday 10am) up to 100 will be accommodated comfortably in the church. This will mean that not everyone will be able to attend each weekend. Perhaps coming every few weeks or coming during the week to the 10am morning mass instead.
Stewards are on hand to enable as many as possible will be able to be physically present. When our quota is filled people can remain outside and join through the loudspeaker which will convey the mass to them. Holy Communion will be brought to those outside as well as those inside. You are asked to remain in your place throughout.
Thank you for your patience in these different times.
The Web Cam is back and people can join us online as usual.