Catholic Bible Sunday – 8 December 2013

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The Bible – “Answer To Seasonal Stress and Anxiety”

“The Bible offers everyone, especially those experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety in these weeks leading up to Christmas, life-changing words of peace and hope,” affirmed the Catholic bishop who oversees the work of mission in England and Wales.

Speaking ahead of Bible Sunday which falls in the Catholic calendar on 8 December 2013, Bishop Kieran Conry, Chair of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said:
“Advent and Christmas can be times of great stress for many people, especially people on low income and with difficult personal relationships. Reading the bible offers an opportunity, first of all, to find a bit of calm space and a way of reflecting on what Christmas is supposed to be.”

He added:
“Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of all that is good, but for many it is actually frightening, if they don’t have the financial resources to meet other people’s and their own expectations. Many passages in the bible, especially familiar passages like the beginning of chapter 5 in Matthew’s Gospel, suggest a simpler way of living. Christmas really should be about less, not more – more love, yes, but not more food and not more expense. It’s a time for many people to mend relationships, and one of those can be our relationship with God.”

Free downloadable resources for parishes are available at: The materials have been provided by the National Scripture Working Group which is chaired by Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, supported by Bible Society. New for 2013:

  • Parish newsletter inserts
  • Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel
  • Scripture Commentary for the Mass readings written by Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB
  • Prayers from the Bishops’ Conference Liturgy Office
  • Children’s resource sheet from Wednesday Word
  • Introduction to the Bible Society’s Bible Style Guide
  • Additional complementary links

The National Scripture Working Group has also recently written The Word of the Lord: Discovering Verbum Domini which is available from the Catholic Truth Society. It provides a summary, in six sessions, of the three main parts of the document: the Word of God, the Word in the Church and the Word for the World. Each session is also followed by a few pages especially designed for a group meeting.