This weekend - all weekend! - we are celebrating the feast of our parish patron, St Clare.
St Clare died on 11th August 1253 - 765 years ago today - and her feast day is kept around the world on the day of her death. As of this year, the parish is following the practice of transferring the feast to the nearest Sunday, to allow as many people as possible to take part in the celebrations.
On Friday evening we celebrated the 'Transitus' of St Clare - a Franciscan devotion which recalls Clare's entry into eternal life. We celebrated Vespers (evening prayer) and heard an account of the last days of St Clare's life, including her final words to her sisters. A candle representing the saint was burning before the altar - a sign of Clare offering her life to God, something she did in a wonderful way. Then, as we heard of her death, it was carried forward and placed by the tabernacle, as a sign of her coming into the presence of Jesus in heaven. In remembering Clare's death we are not merely celebrating her life - we are celebrating the new, eternal life which she received from God when she left this earth. We recall, too, that she continues to pray for us in our need, just as she did constantly during her earthly life.
After the transitus, some light refreshments in the parish hall. Join us this weekend for the celebration of St Clare's feast at all the Sunday Masses. Happy Feast Day!