Issue 141 “UNION NEWS” December 2021

Dear Parishioners,
Christmas 2021
December is a lovely month as we prepare for Christmas and all the enjoyment andexcitement it brings. Parish Services and activities are at the heart of the ChristianChristmas and this year, guidelines permitting, we hope to enjoy the special Servicesat Advent and Christmas.

However, due to the necessity for social distancing, it will
not be possible to hold Services in December in Kilbixy. With the agreement of thechurchwardens, we feel this is the right decision. Given the size of the church socialdistancing guidelines only allow a small number of people to be accommodated. Ihope this will not be too disappointing and the situation will be reviewed in January.

 Christingle. In Killucan the annual Christingle Service will be held on
Sunday 5 th December at 11.30 a.m. We look forward to welcoming the
young children and their families as we celebrate this traditional occasion.
 Christmas Fair and Raffle. The Christmas Fair and Raffle will be held on
Saturday 11 th December from 10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. in All Saints’. It will be
held largely outdoors “guidelines permitting”. The Baking Competition will
be judged in the All Saints’ Hall. There will be some lovely Christmas items
and cakes on sale and we hope parishioners and friends will be able to attend.
I would like to thank Emma Coburn for her work in organising the Fair and
all the parishioners helping with the stalls and activities
 Christingle in All Saints’. This special occasion will be held in All Saints’
on Sunday 12 th December at 11.00 a.m. We look forward to welcoming the
children and their families, along with parishioners, for this lovely festival.
 Christmas Decorations. The churches – All Saints’, Killucan and Almoritia
– will be decorated for Christmas on Saturday 18 th December at 10.30 a.m.
We warmly welcome everyone in the respective parishes to come along and
take part in the decorating of the churches.
 Killucan Carol Service. The Carol Service will be held on Sunday 19 th
December at 11.30 a.m. This occasion is always a joy to attend and we look
forward to welcoming all parishioners, young and not-so-young.
 All Saints’ Candlelit Carol Service. This Service will be held on Sunday
19 th December at 7.00 p.m. in All Saints’. Everyone is warmly welcomed.
 St. Thomas’s Day. A service of Holy Communion will be held in All
Saints’ on Tuesday 21 st December at 11.00 a.m.

 Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve morning service will be held at 11.00
a.m. in All Saints’ and the Midnight Holy Communion will also be held in
All Saints’ commencing at 10.30 p.m. with the singing of carols.

 Christmas Day. The Christmas Family Service will be held in All Saints’ at
10.00 a.m., the Christmas Day Service in Almoritia at 10.00 a.m. and the
Christmas Day Service in Killucan at 11.30 a.m.

 St. Stephen’s Day. At 10.00 a.m. there will be a Service of Carols of Praise
in All Saints’ followed by Holy Communion for those who wish to receive.

 St. John’s Day. On Monday 27 th December there will be a service of Holy
Communion in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m.

 The Holy Innocents. On Tuesday 28 th December there will be a service of
Holy Communion in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m.

 New Year’s Day. There will be a special service in All Saints’ at 11.30 a.m.
to celebrate the beginning of the New Year.

 Epiphany. On Thursday 6 th January Epiphany will be celebrated at a special
service of Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’.

 Epiphany Carol Service. This wonderful occasion will be celebrated in All
Saints’ on Sunday 9 th January at 11.00 a.m.

Booking for Christmas Services
We will be very grateful if you would let the churchwardens in each church know ifyou will be attending church this Christmas for the Carol Services and for ChristmasDay.

All Saints’ – Arthur O’Toole 087 9733233,

Killucan – Richard Tansley 086 8118242,

Almoritia – Billy Small 087 2533001.

Fridays during Advent
Each Friday morning during Advent (3 rd , 10 th , 17 th and 24 th December) there will be aspecial Advent Service in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m. I warmly commend these Services to you as they provide a lovely opportunity for our spiritual preparation at Christmas.

Holy Days after Christmas
There is a very long tradition in the Church of celebrating these three special days beginning with St. Stephen’s Day. I do commend them to you and it will be lovely tojoin with parishioners to mark each of these days.
Christmas Fair:One of the features of the Fair will be the Cake Stall with a lovelyvariety of home baked Christmas baking. If anyone would like to present a cake Olivewould be delighted to hear from you – telephone 044-9348376.

Lighten Our Darkness
The young leaders’ presentation on Sunday 21 st November was truly inspiring and we again congratulate them on their wonderful performance. The young leaders will beholding some very special events on the weekend of 15 th and 16 th January, guidelines permitting. Details of the events will be provided in the January Union Notes.

Parish Gift Day
We would like to thank all the parishioners for their very generous support for theParish Gift Day. I would again like to thank John Hales, our Honorary Treasurer, forall his fine work in overseeing the financial affairs of the Parish.

We offer our deepest sympathy to John and Lorraine Hales following the death ofJohn’s uncle, Alex, whose funeral was held on Wednesday 10 th November in
Ballyhooly Church. John had a most wonderful relationship with his uncle who hadlived a very long life and John’s support and care of him was deeply valued and appreciated. We pray that Alex, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peaceand that John, his aunt and the family will be comforted by their lovely memories of Alex and by knowing that he is now safe in God’s love.

We were also saddened to hear of the passing of Nellie Doherty who passed away on Friday 19 th November. Nellie was a wonderful parishioner and greatly loved byeveryone who knew her. Unfortunately, in recent years she had been unable to attend church due to ill health. We offer our deepest sympathy to her son Tom, her daughter-in-law Siobhan, her grandchildren Andrea and Alex, and also her wider family, a number of whom live in the Parish. We pray that Tom, Siobhan, Andrea and Alex and all Nellie’s wider family, friends and neighbours will be comforted by their lovely memories of her and also by her very strong faith by which she knew that, after her death, she would be safe in God’s care where we pray that she will rest in peace withher husband Tommy who pre-deceased her.

We would also like to offer our deepest sympathy to Ron Lomax following the deathof his mother Olga. While she was a wonderful age, her presence and personality wasstill warmly loved by all the family. Her passing is, very naturally, a time of greatsadness. We offer our deepest sympathy to Ron, Ron’s two sons Christopher andLouis, and Ron’s siblings in the UK. We pray that Ron will be comforted by hismemories of all the time he spent with his mum and in knowing that she is now at rest after a very long and enjoyable life. the funeral will take place in England on the 10 thDecember

Christmas Greetings
Olive and I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and thank you for all your support and kindness to us during the last year. We know the last year has not been easy for many due to the pandemic and we will be remembering you all in our prayers at Christmas. I would also like to sincerely thank everyone in the Parish for their amazing support for the Parish and for their good work to enable us to hold Church Services and activities following the lockdown at the beginning of the year.

Looking forward to next year, we hope we can all look forward to a healthier and less stressful time.  We wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

With God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham -087 7870985

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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376