Weekly News 18th December

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings for the feast of St Nicholas the Wonderworker! S prazdnikom! We especially send our warmest greetings to Kolya and to Olga’s son Nicholas, who has just graduated.

Though the Nativity is still a while away for us, the holiday season has certainly arrived, with our students having departed at the end of term and parishioners going to Russia, Ukraine and other destinations for the feast. This evening, carols and mince-pies in Splott brought a pre-festive reminder with the words and melodies that many of us knew growing up, shaping our childhood images and language of Christmas.

We also enjoyed listening to some traditional carols at Wednesday’s charity concert for Christians in the Holy Land, with the money raised following a Sunday collection of over £450 in Cardiff, a Llanelli collection, and several more personal donations. Many thanks to Masha, Edmund and Aldhelm, to all who supported the event, and those who have given with such generosity. It was lovely to be in a warm, candlelit St John’s, the parish not having used the church since Pascha.

Though I expected Sunday’s Liturgy to be thinly attended, we still mustered more than forty souls, with the possibility of confessing all who needed to approach the Holy Mystery, some of those having confessed outside the Little Oratory. We were pleased to welcome visitors for the first time, and hope that they will join us again for Liturgy soon, and perhaps join us in the cafe for a cuppa after we have packed away.

At the end of the Liturgy, the litia for the departed was offered for the repose of the souls of the newly departed handmaidens of God, Nadezhda, Galina and Viera, whom we ask you to remember in your prayers.

As already communicated, we are now unable to have confessions during mass – something that only became necessary due to changes in Nazareth House, but as guests we must ensure that there are no distractions during catholic services. With this in mind, for as long as we continue to celebrate Liturgy in Nazareth House, worshippers should try not to arrive before 10:45, unless instructed otherwise.

I received no answer from Nazareth House regarding this week’s confessions (as also to the matter of the Christmas Vigil), so through the good offices of the Oratorian Fathers, confessions will be heard in St Alban on the Moors on Thursday. Please email by Wednesday at 18:00 to make arrangements. I hope that will shall offer devotions to St Alban whilst we are there. It was a great joy to catch up with the Fathers this evening, and they reminded us that the Oratory Church is always there for our needs.

We look forward being together on Sunday, when we will celebrate the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, and the variables may be found here:


It will be a great help to know who will need confessions, so please let me know.

We ask your prayers for the sick – Ludmilla, Brigid and Margarita.

Finally, Sunday brought a surprise to those in the congregation who were unaware that the Paddy who had died in the city centre, was NOT the Paddy who had become a friend of our parish whilst in Canton. His presence at Liturgy was a shock to some of our parishioners, and I was happy that we were able to chant many years for him, as well as for Andrew, who celebrated his nameday last week.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Posted in Parish News.