The Feast of St. Cecilia, reckoned among those martyred around 230, falls on November 22. The beautiful church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, dating from the third century, is reputed to be built on the site of her home: her relics are now honoured there. Tradition has it that as the musicians played at her wedding, Cecilia “sang in her heart to the Lord;” accordingly, she has become the Patron of Music and Musicians.

Music speaks to heart and soul: lifting us up to the heights, then resonating with our sadness and sorrow; filling us with joy, expressing our lament.

Here at St. James’, where music so enhances our worship, we are no longer able to engage in congregational singing, and the choir is unable to gather and sing together. How we miss and long for it!

So many of you have told me how much you appreciate the Music Notes Gerald is publishing each week: we are grateful, Gerald, for your insight, and the inspiration these bring. We value too the musical offering in our Zoom and in-church worship.

So today then let us give thanks for the gift of music and the enrichment it brings to life; and let us give thanks and pray for all musicians, sacred and secular, remembering especially our organists, cantors and choir, and the Saint James Music Academy.

Every blessing,

Fr. Kevin

José Luis, sacristan, server, and co-ordinator of the Zoom Daily Office, is in the process of discerning vocation to the priesthood. A parish discernment group, chaired by John Daniel, is working with him. This morning, as part of this process, José Luis will give the address in the liturgies. Please remember José Luis and the discernment group in your prayers over the coming months.

Trustees have decided that in the current Covid-19 pandemic it is more appropriate to have a low-key approach to Stewardship Renewal this year, recognizing the challenging circumstances in which we (but also the parish!) all find ourselves. I shall be sending out a letter with more detail in the coming week. Trustees are keen to renew their thanks to everyone for their continued generous giving to the parish in these difficult times.

As many of you are aware, our Liturgy at Home last Sunday had the distressing experience of a “Zoom-bomb”, which required us to close down the service. I am able to report that this week we have heightened our security settings, and have put steps in place to address this quickly should it happen again. It is helpful, I think, to remind ourselves that this is the first time anything untoward has happened in over seven months. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Every blessing,

Fr. Kevin

Download the service booklet for Sunday: Liturgy at Home Pent 24 Nov 15 2020