Newsletter 20th March 2016
Today is Palm Sunday. Palms will be blessed in the garden before the 9.30 Mass followed by the procession in to the Church. Blessed Palms will be available at the later Masses.
This year we read the account of the passion of the Lord from Luke’s gospel. Please remember to join in the crowd responses.
Here are the details of the Holy Week Services.
Masses will be at the normal times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
There is no Mass on Thursday morning. There will be a special Mass for children at 4pm on Thursday afternoon and the solemn Mass of the Last Supper will take place at 8pm. Eucharistic Ministers are asked to be present so that they can renew their dedication for a further year. At the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament is taken to the Altar of Repose and the Church remains open for prayer until 10pm. At the end of the Mass the High Altar is stripped of all its ornaments.
The Service on the Heath takes place at 10.30 on Good Friday morning. We will leave from the Church at 10.10.
The Solemn Liturgy for Good Friday begins at 3pm. It includes the reading of the Passion from John’s gospel, the veneration of the image of the Cross and the Reception of Holy Communion. The collection is for the upkeep of the Holy Places.
There will be Stations of the Cross in the evening at 8pm.
A reminder that Good Friday is a day of Fasting and abstinence.
There is no morning Mass on Holy Saturday or evening Mass at 6.30. The Easter Vigil begins at 9pm with the blessing of the new fire in the garden and the procession into the Church led by the Pascal Candle. A wonderful symbolic ritual – the solemn hymn, the Exultet, announcing the Resurrection of the Lord, the Scripture readings, the blessing of the font and the renewal of baptismal promises and the Mass of the Vigil. A wonderful way to begin your celebration of Easter so please try to attend. The Vigil should finish by about 11pm.
On Easter Sunday the Masses will be at the normal times. Remember however that the clocks go forward on this day. A note to help you remember this – Spring forward and Fall back.
You might need to make a fish dish for Good Friday so here is a suggestion. Cook some long grain rice: mix with some olive oil, some lemon juice, some chopped herbs, to spring onions, a small green pepper and some skinned and chopped tomatoes. Add some peeled prawns and season with some black pepper and salt. This dish will be fine as long as the day is not too cold.
And for a Spring day, here is a translation of a poem from Goethe:
When spring’s gold sunshine hours enspelled me
This vision held me
In raptured mood.
In the senses’ dark and fruitful teeming
I was able to start this dreaming,
But not conclude.
I am beginning to look forward to a day working on the Steam Railway on Easter Monday. The trip to Alton may not be easy as there are a number of line closures for major works over the holiday period. At this time of year it is normally a “Thomas” event with faces on the engines and a fat controller – though I understand he now has to use a more politically correct title.
Time for a few works in the Church. Repairs to the processional cross – this started life in the chapel at the Dome at Greenwich but has taken a few knocks on the door arch over the years. Also the chunk of veneer knocked off the edge of the piano – and the broken shepherd’s crook used in the nativity. I wonder how these things were broken.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon