Bishop John at the Confirmation Mass, November 2015
Worship at St Gabriel’s is in the Catholic tradition of the Anglican Church. The Mass is at its centre and is always offered in a dignified and structured way. The celebrant wears the traditional eucharistic vestments and is assisted by a number of servers. At the Solemn Mass on Sundays, which is our principal act of worship, appropriate parts of the liturgy are sung and we always use incense. On the major festivals of the Church, and above all in Holy Week and Easter and at Christmas time, the traditional ceremonies are observed.
This style of worship may appear to some to be no more than the formal carrying out of a performance in the correct way. But there are good reasons for celebrating the Mass in this way. Worship is something that involves the whole person – it is not just something that is said with the voice or that is thought about internally. Worship is an activity of the whole person and physical actions are just as much part of it as are spoken words or internal thoughts. We worship with our whole being, body, mind and soul together.
Worship is also something that is carried out by all the faithful as a shared activity: we meet to worship together and not just to make our individual devotions in a common space. Neither is the Mass something that the priest alone performs while the faithful laity look on; it is something that is done by all those who are present – “pray that this my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God”, as the celebrant says as he begins the Thanksgiving. The priest may utter the words and perform the actions, but they are really the words and actions of the whole body of the faithful gathered together.
Our normal service times are:
9.30am Solemn Mass
6.00pm Evening Prayer and Benediction (first Sunday of month only)
- The Offices of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are said daily in church.
- The sacraments of Holy Baptism, Holy Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick by arrangement with the Parish Priest.
- Sacramental Confession before Christmas and Easter or by appointment.
- The Parish Priest is always available by appointment.
- The Parish Priest also serves as a chaplain in Singleton Hospital, and Holy Communion is taken to long-term patients every Sunday.