My dear friends,
Many of you will be receiving this edition on the eve of Palm Sunday, the day on which another Holy Week opens. Thankfully, a Holy Week of complete contrast to that of last year in that Fr. Andrew and I are looking forward to celebrating it with you again. Once again it is our hope that, even if you are shielding, the knowledge of the liturgies being celebrated in Church may be of comfort to you as you make your spiritual communion at home.
While preparing the liturgies of Holy Week to be celebrated in accord with social
distancing I spent time looking for music to aid times of private reflection as well as to cover times of movement that would normally include a hymn. Two such pieces I listened to were the full CDs of Jesus Christ Superstar and The Passion Play. While not choosing any track from these, I became aware that I was familiar with the music that opens and that which concludes I had forgotten much of what accompanies the majority of each work.
The same, is , I believe true of Holy Week. For example where Jesus spent each night, the plotting that was all around him and the great act of Mary: for some these prefigure overlooking the detail of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Thankfully as Catholic Christians we are aware more than many of the totality of this ‘Great Week’ and we have the dramatic liturgies to assist us, however we too need to take time out to reflect on each day in order to fully understand the new beginning that is Easter. To this end the liturgical material for each of the liturgies of the Triduum will be circulated together with two devotions; one for the night of Maundy Thursday that replaces the vigil before the Altar of Repose and one to allow reflection in the place of the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday.
I spoke of the “New Beginning that is Easter. Times for the Sacrament of
Reconciliation will be advertised on the weekly sheet and website: it is good to
remember how the shape of the liturgies began with those preparing for baptism visiting the sites and how as time went on these were joined by the baptised that they might be spiritually prepared for the Renewal of their Baptismal promises as we do at Easter.
In Church Easter will see two new additions. The gold nave altar frontal has been dry-cleaned using the last of Winifred Braesner’s legacy, to this has been added a shield that was Fr. Brian’s. Tom has delivered many of Father Brian and Julia’s ecclesiastical artefacts asking me to find good homes for them, together with providing each classroom with a statue of Our Lady and the School Sacristy with an Altar Stone and Missal Stand this is a good beginning for this. On the Altar itself we have six new candle sticks in memory of Joyce Drake, the previous spiked saucers now awaiting oasis as candle decorations—each fitting tributes to Joyce.
Fr. Andrew joins me in wishing you all a blessèd Holy Week and a very happy Easter!
With my love and prayers
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