13th March 2019

Dear Friends

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We have now embarked on our pilgrimage through Lent. I hope you are finding that material we have made available useful. Our mindfulness course is particularly well attended. Mother Eileen and I are participating this week in a week of directed prayer. It’s a bit like a retreat but at home and in the context of work. Each day we meet with our prayer guide, who supports us with ideas and techniques for prayer. A classic method of prayer is using scripture. It might be useful for those of you using our daily bible studies, who want to take the exercise a little further.
Read the text and read it again slowly. Try to put yourself into the scene, try to notice the characters and the place, what might the scene look like, what might be being said, what might be going on?  Imagine where you might be in the scene? Ask for the grace to encounter Jesus more intimately, to understand his presence in your life more fully. There is no right way to do this, just the way that works for you. 

It would be good to see more of you at our Friday Eucharist and soup lunch.
The Eucharist starts at 12.30pm and the soup lunch, in the parish hall starts at 1pm. The soup is free, but feel free to make a donation towards Crosslight our debt counselling service.

Each Sunday evening in Lent at 6pm we will be praying the Stations of the Cross, it is a short service, whilst we travel with Jesus on his last journey on earth we place our thoughts and prayers in the context of our world and our daily lives.

Remember Lent means Springtime.

Simon


Dear Friends

At Mass last Sunday, when Fr Simon mentioned the fact that we don’t say the ‘A’ word during Lent there were several puzzled looks from members of the congregation (and choir!). This is what he was referring to: 
The omission of alleluia during Lent goes back at least to the fifth century in the western church. The association of alleluia with Easter led to the custom of intentionally omitting it from the liturgy during the season of Lent, a kind of verbal fast which has the effect of creating a sense of anticipation and even greater joy when the familiar word of praise returns. Some churches embrace the practice of physically “burying” the alleluia. This ritual practice is especially delightful and meaningful for children. At my previous church on the Sunday before Lent the children would make a large coloured banner with the word Alleluia on it. They would process it into church and bury it under the altar. Other churches will bury a fabric version in a container their grounds.  We resurrect the alleluia on Easter Day. Hearty congregational singing of multiple alleluias proclaims the resurrection, unleashing pure Easter joy! The Lenten fast has now ended.

With every blessing

Mother Eileen