Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, so I hope you will be able to find some time to consider the themes which are uppermost at this time.
Holy week is a time for us to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Cross, beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and concluding with his lonely trek from the Upper Room through Gethsemane and ultimately to Calvary and the empty tomb.
Maundy Thursday (from mandatum, ‘commandment’, because of the use of John 13.34 in the Antiphon) contains a rich complex of themes: humble Christian service expressed through Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist, the perfection of Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.
Thursday passes into Good Friday, recalling the death of the Son of God. What other response can we have than other than silence in the face of a sense of desolation. But within the silence there grows a sense of peace and completion, and then the rising excitement as the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and the glories of Easter Day draw near.
All Saints’ will be open for private prayer from 10.00 on Palm Sunday; and I have left a sheet with readings for the day and a reflection on the gospel, written by Allan Procter, Reader emeritus at St Saviour’s. There will also be palm crosses available for you to take away.
Please will you remember Ted and Jackie Holden in your prayers? Ted has been diagnosed recently with a leaky heart valve and pneumonia. He was in hospital last week being treated for the pneumonia and, happily he’s been responding to treatment for that. He is now home and will be building up his strength in order to have a heart operation in due course.
Please also remember Tony Steel and all the Steele family in your prayers. Tony’s funeral will be at Good Shepherd at 12.00 on April 12th, followed by burial at Bridgecourt Cemetery.
Please pray, too, for the repose of the soul of Doreen Castle, Sue Goff’s mum, and for Sue as she mourns her loss. Doreen died recently and her funeral will be at St Alban’s at 11.45 on April 9th.
Dennis will be opening All Saints’ every day from 10.00 during Holy week, except Saturday, when the church will be closed for cleaning, so please drop in for a time of quiet reflection and to light candles.
It will be wonderful to be together again on Easter Day for a Parish mass at All Saints’ at 11.00, with Alan Swanborough presiding and preaching. He will also baptise Albert Squibb during the mass, so please pray for Albert and his parents, Charlotte and Jack.
On April 11th, there will be mass at St Alban’s at 9.30 and at All Saints’ at 11.00, with Fr Gregory Clifton-Smith presiding and preaching.
With my love and prayers,
The image is from the Cappella Palatina and is the work of the Master of the Palace Chapel in Palermo dating from around 1150 Creative Commons CC0 License