Welcome to the website for the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Meddan Troon
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
During these difficult times, here in church we have been able to continue to celebrate Holy Mass and the sacraments – Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Requiem Masses, funerals and a wedding. Necessarily, these have involved a lot of adjustments and with restricted numbers. However, we have also live streamed these via our website and YouTube. In this way we have reached a great number of people who have been able to stay in touch with the church and take a real part. Mass is live streamed at 10 am on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Christmas is coming soon and we are making arrangements. This is preceded by the four-week season of Advent beginning on Sunday 29th November. I encourage you to have an Advent wreath or candle in your home and to light a candle each day of the Advent and Christmas Seasons. In that way we can stay united with all who celebrate the Birth of Jesus and prepare for his Coming among us.
As we approach the Christmas season, people are asking about arrangements for Masses over the festive period and in light of recent Scottish Government guidance surrounding relaxation of COVID restrictions and the implications for places of worship.
From 23-27 December inclusive, people are permitted to form a “bubble” of up to three households and a maximum of eight people. Travel restrictions will also be relaxed to allow people to travel between local authority areas, and between the four nations of the UK, in order to join their designated “bubble”.
According to the gov.scot website, a “bubble” of people can meet in a private home, in outdoor public places and in places of worship.
Therefore, people from various parts of the country and beyond will be travelling to celebrate Christmas with family members. Some of them will want to join us for the celebration of our Christmas liturgies.
We welcome everyone to our Masses, and as numbers are likely to be restricted to only 50, or even 20 if we are in tier 4, it is helpful to remind parishioners and their visitors over the Christmas period, that in the interests of safety, and of effective infection control management, everyone is welcome to join us ‘virtually’, via our live-streamed Masses. Prudence and common sense dictate that we continue to remain vigilant and to do all that we can to minimise unnecessary transmission risks. The government tells us when it speaks of households gathering in bubbles that “the safest way to spend Christmas is to stay within your own household in your own home”.
With safety and wellbeing maintained as a priority, we will continue to offer seat booking for the festive masses during the Christmas period – in other words, for the Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday 24 December at 6 pm, Christmas morning Mass at 10 am, and ‘Christmas Sunday’ on 27 December at 10 am. As yet we do not know what the maximum permitted seating capacity will be.
As stated above, online participation is an option and should be explored if that accommodates everyone who wishes to attend mass, physically and virtually.
Bookings for physical (in person) attendance can be made, as we have been doing, on the booking system eventbrite. There is a direct link to it below on this website. If you intend booking, please choose only one of the three Masses. A start date for booking will be announced on Sunday 6th December. Parishioners are reminded of the importance of advance booking.
I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support as well as adhering to the safety measures.
At home I hope that we will all prepare for and celebrate the Birth of the Christ Child. We can say prayers, sing carols, have re-enactments, build crib scenes and light candles. I ask God to bless whatever ways you choose and these will keep us united. May God bless you and your families and loved ones, and enable you to make this Christmas 2020 special in your own way.
Stay safe and stay well, and take great care.
I wish everyone a fruitful Advent season and a happy and blessed Christmas
Canon Archie Brown.
Fr Archie will continue to stream Sunday Mass at 10 am, and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10 am and also funeral/requiem masses on our YouTube channel. The schedule of Masses will be posted on the Facebook page “Our Lady of the Assumption and St Meddan’s Church, Troon”, and will be announced on the parish phone number.
Click on the link below to access the Mass.
Note: you can return to the Mass at any time and watch from the beginning.
Advice concerning the re-commencement of public Masses
Beginning on Sunday 19 July our ten o’clock live-streamed Mass will also be open to the public, but in a very restricted way. Some of you have asked me “does this mean we are back to normal?” The answer to that question is very straightforward: “no, and far from it!” I want to say that there are two important points to keep in mind as we talk about this.
The first is that I will continue to live-stream our Sunday 10 o’clock Mass, and also on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week.
The second important point is that there is still no obligation to attend Mass on the Lord’s Day. This obligation was suspended in March and it will continue to be suspended for quite some time.
Therefore, for most of you, the ‘new normal’ will continue to be Mass in your own house, watching and taking part in our live-streamed Mass.
Many of you have written to me over the period and told me how much comfort and strength you gain from this. Many of you have also told me recently that you are very happy at present to continue with Mass in this way, and I’m pleased about that.
I have done considerable preparation for our live-streamed Mass to be also open to the public. I am able to say that we are as ready as we can be. However, at the same time, I am very keenly aware of the risks involved. So I want to tell you that I will be going slowly but surely. I will proceed with great caution and care for your safety and for mine and for that of our helpers. As I have said, to begin with, live-steamed Mass at 10 o’clock on Sunday will be open to the public with considerable restrictions. I will review the situation on a day-to day basis and learn from our experience. What are these restrictions?
Due to the two metre distancing rule, our numbers will only accommodate 36 ‘individuals’, plus couples and households, with an absolute maximum of 50 which is the current legislation. In order to take part you will need to register and book a place, giving your name and contact details. To book a place for Sunday Mass please login to:
by telephone, calling the Church number 313541 to hear the number.
A deep cleansing of the church will take place before and after, each time the church is open.
- You must maintain two metre distancing at all times – as you approach the church, as you are shown to your place, throughout your time in church and as you leave.
- You must follow the guidance of the stewards.
- You must sanitise your hands as you enter and as you leave.
You will also be required to bring your own face-covering which must be worn throughout. The priest too, if he distributes Holy Communion, will wear a facemask. At present I will not – it will be a Eucharistic Minister, and he will be wearing a facemask.
As you approach for Holy Communion we will not say ‘the Body of Christ, Amen’, rather I will say it for everyone before the distribution of communion. You receive communion on the hand, take two steps to the side, pull down your facemask and take Holy Communion.
You are not able to greet people close-up but only from 2 metres.
In summary, Mass will be much the same as it is just now. I myself will be doing the ministries and only I will have access to the sacristy and to the altar and sanctuary.
In conclusion, in my 48 years as a priest I’ve always encouraged you to come to church. At present, I cannot in good conscience ‘encourage’ you to come. Coming into a public space means the virus can be contracted. Many of our congregation are in groups who should not be coming out to church, and the truth is “I do not expect you”. If you are feeling unwell, you must stay at home.
I hear the First Minister and government ministers say that “easing restrictions means greater risk of spreading the virus and we mess with that at our peril. Being indoors with a group of people and for a prolonged period significantly increases the risk.”
I look forward to and pray for the time when it is safe for us all to come back as normal. In the meantime, we pray that the Lord will continue to bless us as church and to teach us how ‘to be church’ in the ‘new normal.’ We should all think and pray about that at this time. Even when we are apart we can stay united both in communion, in prayer and in our concern for one another.
God bless you.
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Charity Number SC010576 | Parishes of the Diocese of Galloway