Introduction to the Catholic Faith for Visitors to S. Paul’s, Deptford
<strong> An introduction to the Catholic Faith for Visitors to S. Paul’s, Deptford</strong>
This is a church where the Catholic Faith is taught and where the Sacraments of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are administered according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England.
Some people will tell you that at the Reformation the Church of England ceased to be Catholic and became Protestant. Do not believe them. The English Church retained the essential Creeds, the Sacraments, and the Ministry of the Catholic Church, at a time when many Sects in England and Abroad abandoned them. In the Prayer Book you will find the words “Catholic Church” again and again; you will not find the word “Protestant”. Constantly in the church is held the one service which our Lord himself ordained when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (see further teaching below). The Faithful can receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Confessions are heard at regular times, so that those who truly repent may receive the forgiveness of God.
The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in this church for the needs of the Faithful. You will see a White light burning at the place of Reservation. There Jesus Christ, God and Human, is sacramentally present, and therefore Catholics bend their knee towards the Tabernacle and often say their prayers before it. So we ask you to behave with great reverence here. We try to keep this church clean and beautiful and to make our services stately and dignified because of the Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar. The Statues, Stations of the Cross and the Pictures in this church are not here to be worshipped. They are to remind those who come here of the lives of our Lord and his Saints, and to help them to say their prayers.
If you wish to find out more about the catholic beliefs and practices please contact the Rector at [email protected]
<strong>S. Gregory the Great, Pope , †604 </strong> <strong><em>who sent S. Augustine and forty monks from his own monastery</em></strong><strong><em> to refound the English Church in 596.</em></strong>
At that hour of the Sacrifice,
at the words of the Priest,
the heavens are opened,
and in that mystery of Jesus Christ,
the choirs of Angels are present,
and things below are joined to things on high,
earthly things to heavenly,
and the service is both a visible
and an invisible event.
<strong>Bishop Frank Weston,</strong>
<strong><em>at the Anglo-Catholic Congress, London (1923)</em></strong>
You cannot claim to worship
Jesus in the Tabernacle,
if you do not pity Jesus in the slums.
You are Christians,
your Jesus is one and the same:
Jesus on the Throne of his glory,
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
Jesus received into your hearts in Communion,
Jesus with you mystically as you pray,
and Jesus enthroned in the hearts and bodies
of his brothers and sisters
up and down this country.
And it is folly, it is madness,
to suppose that you can worship
Jesus in the Sacraments
and Jesus on the Throne of glory,
when you are sweating him
in the souls and bodies of his children.
It cannot be done.
Go out and look for Jesus in the ragged, in the naked,
in the oppressed and sweated,
in those who have lost hope,
in those who are struggling to make good.
Look for Jesus.
And when you see him,
gird yourselves with his towel
and try to wash their feet.
<strong>Fr Stewart Headlam,</strong>
<strong><em>from his book, “The Laws of Eternal Life”, (1897)</em></strong>
<strong>THE LORD'S SUPPER</strong>
Let us note that it is this title rather than the Holy Communion, the Holy Eucharist, or the Mass, which is used in the Catechism. The other names surely have good meanings for us: the <strong>Holy Communion</strong> pledging all who partake of it to be sharers of their wealth, whether spiritual or material, to be Holy Communists: the <strong>Holy Eucharist</strong> telling us that it is a God of Joy with whom we have to do, that human joy is sacred, and religion should be a joyful thing: the <strong>Mass</strong> reminding us that in this one great Christian Service at least we are at one with our fellow-Churchman elsewhere, that the same act is being done, the same sacrifice is being offered in Rome as in London: and yet it is not by these names, but as the <strong>Lord's Supper</strong>, that the Divine Service is spoken of here. This we think significant, and most important to be noted in these times: for this name reminds us that this great service took the place of the Jewish Passover Supper: that just as year by year the Jews kept festival in memory of their great national deliverance from Egyptian tyranny, so week by week we keep festival in honour of Christ the deliverer from all tyrants, the emancipator of oppressed nations and classes everywhere.It becomes impossible for a priest, who knows what the Lord's Supper means, not to take a part to the best of his power in every work of political or social emancipation: impossible for an earnest communicant not to be an earnest politician.
<strong>Fr Conrad Noel</strong>
<em>From the “Author’s Note”, </em><em>to his book “Jesus the heretic” (1939)</em>
The flame of truth and justice
was kept alive in all ages
by heroic souls who were content
to be persecuted and scorned
as quacks and heretics;
sometimes they protested
against the accepted theology of their age,
sometimes against its political corruptions.
These small groups are in every generation
the salt of the earth
and without them a living orthodoxy
will be stifled by dull conventionality.
<strong>Prayer of the Society of Sacramental Socialists</strong>
Lord Jesus our leader,
help us to give ourselves to you
for the cause of your glorious kingdom,
for joy or for sorrow,
for success or for failure,
for life or for death,
now and evermore.