Newsletter 21st April 2019
Greetings to you all on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
Thank you all for sharing in the Easter services.
Today, instead of reciting the Creed, we renew our baptismal promises. For most of us, these were made by our godparents when we were baptised. Afterwards you will be sprinkled with water from the font which was blessed during the Easter Vigil service.
The Paschal candle represents the risen Lord remaining with the Church and will remain beside the altar until Ascension Day. It is then moved to the side of the font. It is marked with the brass studs containing incense which represent the five wounds of the Lord.
After the morning Mass, I expect the children will have a busy time hunting around the garden to see what they can find. Great care is taken to ensure that everything is well hidden.
The Masses during the week are for the Octave of Easter. 23rd April is normally the feast of St. George but in the Church calendar this year it is transferred to 30th April.
Next Sunday there is the second collection to help meet the cost of the maintenance of the Cathedral Church.
Normally on the Bank Holiday I would be working on the railway but this will not be happening next Monday. A new bridge is under construction between Alton and Medstead so trains will not be operating over the full extent of the line and there is a reduced rota for trains crews. This means that I will be about for the 10 Mass as normal.
A lot of work is in hand at present for the meeting of the Trustees which will be taking place at the College at the end of May. I have to prepare all the papers and these will be sent out this week. The new photocopier is a great help.
I always like the poems of George Herbert and this is his Easter poem:
I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.
An Easter pudding from Spain. Boil some milk gently with some lemon peel, some sugar and a vanilla pod. Beat 6 eggs well with 2 tablespoons of cornflour. Strain the hot milk over them, stir well and return to the heat, stir gently until it thickens. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon. Some of you know the old fashioned grocer in Valladolid where you can still buy sticks of cinnamon. On feast days this is eaten with sponge fingers.
The prayer today comes from St. Richard of Chichester:
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother; may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly day by day.
For those of you with special interests, one of the oldest buses still in regular service in London can be seen in the village operating on route 89. It is one of two surviving Volvo Plaxtons dating from 2002. Noisy and with lots of fumes so it will not be about for much longer.
The boy was very pleased with a book on reading Ordnance Survey maps. You may have seen the book which has 40 pages of quizzes based on a detailed study of the maps. The problem is that already he is already way ahead of some of his teachers who struggle to keep up with him. His younger sister is expected to share in all his studies.
Best wishes to you all,
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon
Easter Sunday evening.
At the morning Mass we have read the gospel accounts of the discovery of the empty tomb and the joy of the disciples as they realise that the Lord has indeed risen.
But on the evening of Easter Sunday we read the account of the appearance of the risen Lord to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus – it must be one of the favourite stories in the gospel, repeated many times –
Two of the disciples overwhelmed by the events of the recent days – the fearful last days that the Lord spent in Jerusalem with growing opposition and the fear that his life was at risk – both from the Jewish authorities but also possibly from the Romans if he was seen as a threat to public order. And then the confusion of the arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, the mock trial before the court of the high priest – the appeal to Pilate to confirm the death sentence and the horror of the crucifixion – but to add to it all the first stories of an empty tomb, of a vision of angels – who tell them that the Lord his alive.
One can well imagine why they were walking along with their heads bowed down – deeply involved in sharing their thoughts as they try to work out what had really happened – so that they hardly notice the stranger who joins them on the road – who are they – one has a name Cleophas – there is a tradition that he was the brother of Joseph, the husband of Mary and succeeded James as the second bishop of Jerusalem after he was put to death by Herod – it is on account of this family connection that he is sometimes referred to as the brother of Lord – the second disciple is not named – it would be good to think that it was a woman –
And where is Emmaus – many theories over the years – complicated by the facts that different versions of the gospel give different distances – nowadays many think it was a village known as Imwas – on the edge of the Judean hill country – mostly destroyed in the 1967 war – but which was near to Latrium – a Roman village populated by retired soldiers – this would explain the reason for the journey.
But then the stranger explains the ancient Scriptures to them in a way that they had never heard before – as they recall later – were not our hearts burning within us as he spoke to us on the way –
And then the supper – and the phrase – they realised that they themselves were in the presence of the Lord as he broke some bread and gave it to them .
And all this provides a vivid image for us as we share in the celebration of Mass on Easter evening – the hope that once again our hearts burn with joy as we hear the familiar words of the Emmaus story – and as the sacred host is consecrated in the Eucharistic prayer and you come to receive your Easter Communion – you will know the presence of the Lord in the breaking of the bread.