Newsletter Sunday 24th March.
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. At the 9.30 Mass, the palms will be blessed in the garden and we will process into the Church.
Blessed palms will be available in the Church later in the day.
This year we read the account of the Passion from Luke’s gospel. You are asked to join the parts marked for the crowd.
Masses will be at the normal times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There are no morning Masses on Thursday.
At 4pm, there will be a special Mass for children and at 8pm, there will be the solemn liturgy of the Last Supper. During the Mass the feet of twelve men are washed, commemorating the task that the Lord undertook on this evening. Eucharistic Ministers are asked to attend if possible so that they can renew their commitment for another year. At the end of Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is taken in procession to the altar of repose and the high altar is stripped of all its ornaments. The Church remains open for prayer until 10pm.
On Good Friday, the Churches in Blackheath share in a service at Whitfield Mount, which starts at 10.30. We will leave in procession from our Church at 10.10.
The solemn afternoon liturgy is at 3pm, including the reading of St. John’s Passion, the veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. There will be Stations of the Cross at 8pm with the veneration of the relic of the true cross.
There are no morning Masses on Saturday and no Mass at 6.30. The solemn vigil begins at 9pm with the blessing of the new fire and of the paschal candled in the garden and the procession into the Church. There is the solemn singing of the Easter Hymn, the Exultet with the readings from Scripture and the Easter Vigil Mass.
On Easter Sunday, Masses are at the normal times. Children are especially encouraged to come to the Mass at 9.30. On this day, rather than reciting the Creed, there is a renewal of baptismal promises.
So a lot of information this week – so what else to tell you about?
Earlier in the month, I was working at the College in Spain. If we so wish, the Rector has kindly agreed that we can come to stay at the College in October. The problem is that the Ryanair flights direct to Valladolid have come to an end so the journey will not be so easy. It will be necessary to travel by way of Madrid and then take the train to Valladolid – so really not something for the faint hearted – but let me know if you still might be interested.
Recipes from the College are always good: here is something we had one evening.
A salad containing lettuce, baby tomatoes, pieces of walnut, pieces of avocado pear, some pieces of grapefruit and some prawns.
Served with some sea food sauce
Work on the redecoration of the Church is processing well: there will be a break over Easter but I hope that it can be completed over the next few weeks. Frequently visitors speak favourably our Church – I think it is more than just the design – it is the care that we all take in looking after it.
Passing through the Terminal at Madrid airport, I found that I was accompanied by a Column of police with helmets and riot gear. But there is always time for a song from Gilbert and Sullivan:
Ah, take one consideration with another
– with another,
A policeman’s lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duty’s to be done
To be done
The policeman’s lot is not a happy one.
Just room for a prayer for Holy Week:
Saviour of the world, who by your Cross and precious death have redeemed us, have mercy on us, we humbly beseech you O Lord. Lord Jesus, you gave yourself for us. Give us the fullness of your love, that for all your love, with your love, we may love you.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon