Newsletter 2nd March 2014.
Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Ashes which are a sign of penance will be blessed and distributed at the Masses – Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return – there will be Masses at 7.30 and 10 as usual with an additional Mass at 6.30 in the evening. The ashes are made from the remains of the palms left over from Palm Sunday last year.
Lent is a time of prayer and penitence as we prepare for Easter. I will leave you to work out your own form of penance but on Sunday evenings during Lent there will be Stations of the Cross at 6.30. Children – the sweet box will be put away for a few weeks but you can look forward to Easter Sunday.
During Lent we will use purple vestments and there are special prayers and readings at Mass each day.
At one time there would be a second collection for the Children’s Society on the Sunday before Lent but this will not take place this year.
Time for First Holy Communion classes again. The parents meet on Monday evening at 8pm in the house to plan the class and the class will take place in the big Hall on Saturday morning. Somehow, for reasons that I cannot explain, my emails to the parents do not seem to be getting through but we are trying something different this time in the hope that they will arrive.
To Canary Wharf again on Monday for an Investment meeting. I am not sure if the Bishop will be about but if not, there will be a Eucharistic Service at 10. Nowadays I do not normally comment on investment matters. However it is interesting to note that recently there have been sales of funds and of shares in Investment Managers based in Scotland. I wonder why.
Again a full week with school meetings on Monday and Thursday, to Westminster on Tuesday and to Lewisham Town Hall on Tuesday evening.
Thanks to all who have agreed to train as Eucharistic Ministers. We have now completed the first stage – an instruction on the doctrine of the Eucharist and we will now move forward to more practical instructions.
Here is a real country dish from Spain. Cut some red and green peppers in half and remove the seeds. Remove the outer skins from some onions and cut in half. Peel and cut in half some carrots and some potatoes. Arrange in rows on a large tray and sprinkle well with olive oil and some salt. Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour until the potatoes are done. Serve with cold meat. (We have this at the College sometimes.)
A Lenten Poem from James Elroy Flecker:
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must reach the couch of earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch – for whom?
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer and- sans End!
In recent weeks, there have been some road works in Parliament Square and the no 11 route has been diverted by way of Millbank. Some of the turns round Marsham Street are very tight and it has not been easy for the new lengthy buses. I have not noticed any dents and the drivers take things very carefully.
A prayer for Lent:
Direct our hearts to you O lord, so that we may follow you more closely this Lent and all the days of our life: in all our needs we turn to you for the help of your grace, and ask you to give us strength to work for the things that we ask for in faith, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Here is the Welsh station master who is the band master at the School Sports in “Decline and Fall”.
The band had been playing Men of Harlech for over and hour: the visitors are beginning to complain and another tune has been requested.
“The other tunes are all holy tunes look you. Blasphemy it would be to play the songs of Sion while the lady at a cigarette smokes whatever. Men of Harlech is good music look you.”
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon.