The Christmas theme of new life and light coming
into the world, is established by dozens of candles,
lots of greenery and flowers and Father bringing
the image of the baby Jesus as the choir and
congregation sing Silent Night in Candle light.
The Crib (Donated by Father Lowrie twenty five
years ago and carved by an Italian Sculptor)
is blest, all the church lights are switched
on and we begin Mass with one of the great carols
of Christmas. The Morning mass is family and
child centered, with bidding prayers read by
the youngsters, presents blest and singing in
front of the Crib.
Christmas tide and the Epiphany continue to be
celebrated with great gusto and enjoyment - but
Lent never seems far away. Our Liturgy Group
meets well before Lent to plan any themes, which
the Bishop or we we, feel important. There is
always a Special Lenten Newsletter produced with
details of all the services, talks, and events
- such as the Passover Meal and very importantly
the Holy Week Services. Ash Wednesday is well
attended and again during Lent we have our own
printed mass sheet with all the hymns, psalms
and readings. We also use it as a tool for reflection
with Lenten thoughts and prayers and selections
from the Stations of the Cross reprinted on the
back page. Churches together have a weekly meeting
and discussion group and there is a Prayer followed
by Soup session on Friday lunchtime at the Salvation
Army Citadel. On Friday evenings the parish meet
for Stations of the Cross with different groups
taking the lead each week. In the final week
of Lent we usually have a Penitential Service.
Holy Week and the Triduum is truly celebrated
in all three parishes of Our Lady Immaculate & St. Cuthbert's, Crook, St. Thomas of Canterbury, Wolsingham and St. Joseph's, Tow Law. The Mass on Palm Sunday and the Good Friday Service is held in all three Churches, but for the first time, Holy Thursday was celebrated at St. Joseph's, Tow Law. The services were all well attended,
involving every section of the community; Readers,
Servers, Choir Welcomers, Church Cleaners, Sacristans,
Flower Arrangers all work to make the services
For Holy Saturday and our Easter
Vigil the church of Our Lady Immaculate & St. Cuthbert's, Crook is wonderfully decorated and the banners put in place. The Service of Light
takes place in the darkened church with the readings,
the Blessing of the Easter candle and the Procession
of Light heralding our celebration of the Resurrection
of Our Lord in a most inspiring and uplifting
The effects of Easter last with us up to Whit
Sunday with the coming of the Holy Spirit. This
year we had several young people making their confirmation
and a number of children making their First Holy Communion.
Catechists including the Sisters who serve in
the Parish carry out the preparation. The programmes
both start months earlier and seek to give a
deeper and long-term meaning to the receiving
of the sacraments.
Each week at the 10.30.am. Sunday Mass the Children
from 3yrs to 11yrs is offered their own special
liturgy from the start of Mass to the Offertory
-not a crèche but learning and thinking
time for the youngsters at their own level.
Throughout the year we celebrate the special
feasts and events of the parish
- The Blessing of the Graves on the Sunday
after the Garden Fete.
- Mass for the Sick.
- A yearly recollection of those who have died
- Harvest with Churches Together.
- Times affection in front of the Blessed