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Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist, from the Bishop of Aberdeen.  

North East Catholics have been asked by their Bishop to explore the meaning  
Of the Mass. Bishop Peter Moran wrote to all Catholics in the Aberdeen Diocese and asked them to deepen their knowledge of the Mass.  

Bishop Peter explained Our Sunday Mass is our deepest contact with God in  
The week. Pope John Paul II has declared a special Year of the Eucharist, and I would like all North East Catholics to go to courses of study organised in their own parishes about the Mass.  

One of my priorities when I became bishop a year ago was the Christian  
formation of all our parishioners, including adults. This would be an  
opportunity to do just that.  

In his letter, Bishop Peter wrote Our Sunday Mass is our deepest contact  
With God in the week. We should find that it nourishes our minds and souls for the week ahead. It should create a deep bond between us as members of Christ s Church. It should send us confidently to bring Christ to our world:  
Nourishment, Community, Mission.  

The Mass is full of riches for the mind and for the soul. At Mass we take  
And eat the bread of life: Mass is the banquet of the Lord; but it is also the sacrifice of Calvary. At Mass we are present below the Cross: Banquet and Sacrifice.  

Bishop Peter concluded There is so much meaning and mystery here that we  
cannot absorb it all at any one Sunday Mass. But the more we know about the  
Mass, the better we will celebrate it together; and the better we celebrate  
it, the closer we will come to Jesus our Lord, and to each other.  

TEXT OF LETTER FOLLOWS:  

Pastoral Letter for 1st Sunday of Advent 2004  


From Bishop Peter to the Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Lay Members of the  
Diocese  

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ  

This weekend we have the First Sunday of Advent, and a new Church Year  
begins. As you probably know, Pope John Paul has declared a special Year of the Eucharist, and I am writing to tell you how we shall celebrate it in this diocese.  

When the Holy Eucharist is mentioned, we often think first of Our Lord s  
Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, or we think of receiving Holy Communion. These are wonderful gifts from God, but they are only part of the Eucharist.  

The Eucharist is what we take part in, together, when we celebrate Mass.  
During this Year of the Eucharist I am asking you, the members of the  
diocese, to explore together what is really happening when we celebrate Mass. That will be our programme for the year.  

Our Sunday Mass is our deepest contact with God in the week. We should find  
that it nourishes our minds and our souls for the week ahead. It should  
create a deep bond between us as members of Christ s Church. It should send  
us out confidently to bring Christ to our world. Nourishment, community,  
mission.  

The Mass is full of riches for the mind and for the soul. At Mass we take  
And eat the bread of life: Mass is the banquet of the Lord; but it is also the sacrifice of Calvary: at Mass we are present below the Cross. Banquet and sacrifice. There is so much meaning and mystery here that we cannot absorb it all at any one Sunday Mass. But the more we know about the Mass, the better we will celebrate it together; and the better we celebrate it, the closer we will come to Jesus our Lord, and to each other.  

Our Sunday Mass, as I said, is our deepest contact with God in the week.  
Therefore it should be the high point of our week as Catholics. Other  
activities should be planned round Mass, rather than Mass being fitted in  
somewhere. We should take time, and take care, to celebrate Mass as well as  
we can, both as individuals and as a community. Otherwise we undervalue  
God s great gift, we leave from Mass uninspired, and we probably fail to  
Communicate the Joy and Hope of the Gospel.  

The Mass has two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the  
Eucharist. First we are fed with the Word of God, then we are fed with the  
Body of the Lord. They are equally important, but in different ways.  

Before the first part, there is always a short section where we ask pardon  
Of God and of others. This means we sort out disagreements which would prevent us celebrating Mass together. After the second part, there is always a short section where we are sent out to carry the Gospel to our world. We should be present for both these sections. They are short but important sections of the Mass.  

The two main parts of the Mass, and the short sections at either end, offer  
So much for us to ponder, appreciate and share that there is a whole year s  
programme of learning there. I would like every parish, led by the priest  
With the help and advice of his Parish Pastoral Council, to plan how he and his parishioners can deepen their knowledge of the Mass. Making these plans, and then carrying them through, will be how this diocese celebrates the Year of the Eucharist.  

As my first year as your bishop comes to an end, I thank you for the support  
of your friendship and your prayers, and I send my blessing for the new Church year.  


+ Peter  
(Rt Rev) Peter A Moran  
Bishop of Aberdeen  

ENDS  

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