Letter from the Vicar 20 March 2016

Fr Andrew Starky

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on Palm Sunday as we enter Holy Week together. Today, as we begin the liturgy in the school atrium by blessing the palms and then walking in procession to the church, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We can catch the sense of occasion in all this and be caught up in the grandeur of it. Then as we progress further into the liturgy we read the Passion of our Lord Jesus according to Luke. This reading, set within our Eucharist, re-orients us to the content of Jesus’ suffering and death, which we will enter with him for the rest of this week.

This evening at 7:00 pm we offer the Stations of the Cross with hymns and choral reflections. This is a traditional way of entering into the final hours of Jesus’ life, as we move around the fourteen stations that surround the nave. As we do this we recollect how each station relates to the suffering of the world, and even to our own personal journey at this time. It is worth noticing which station elicits a movement in your spirit and to make that a part of your meditation during Holy Week.

During Holy Week, from Monday to Thursday we will continue Morning Prayer at 8:00 am, with the School Holy Week Devotions at 8:40 am in the church (Mass on Wednesday). We suspend our normal schedule of 10:00 am services, so that we may celebrate Mass at 6:00 pm Monday to Wednesday. Then on Maundy Thursday at 7:30 pm there is the Solemn Mass of the Last Supper, with foot-washing. This moves into the Watch, which is kept until we say Morning Prayer at 9:00 am on Good Friday. At 10:00 am on Good Friday there is the Children’s Tableau, followed by the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion at 12 noon. Holy Saturday is a day of rest but also preparation before the Great Easter Vigil, which begins at 7:30 pm. On Easter Day we will joyfully celebrate the resurrection at both Masses and with Solemn Festal Evensong at 7:00 pm.

Following Mass today there is the final talk in our Lent Series. It is about Holy Baptism and how it makes present in us the death and resurrection of our Lord. As Jesus laid down his life, so during this week we are offered the opportunity to lay down our life by suspending our usual rhythm, and walking with our Lord more closely on his journey to the cross. S. Michael’s offers a unique and full opportunity to do this in the inspirational liturgies and music which lead us on the Way.
Do join us.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky


Parish Notices

Easter Flowers: donations are being accepted by Jill Woodside (today) and Louise Glossop (office).
Bible Study Group resumes on 18 April. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Volunteers for Maundy Thursday: names for foot-washing to John De la Bere.
Maundy Thursday Watch: after the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament remains on the Altar of Repose until the next day. Members of the congregation keep watch for an hour during the night. If you can do this, please sign the list in the porch so that we can ensure that at least two people are present at all times.
Working Bee for brass cleaning etc: Saturday 26 March from 10:00 am.
Supper after the Vigil: on Saturday evening the celebrations will continue with an Easter supper in the parish lounge, to which you are all warmly invited. It would be appreciated if you could bring some light nibbles or a drink to share. Offers of help to Claire Preston, please.
Regatta on Avon: lunch on Easter Day at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
Reports for the Parish AGM on 17 April: to Louise by 31 March please.
Diocesan Educational Evening: Professor Chris Marshall on the theological foundations of reading and learning from Scripture, at S. Christopher’s 1 April 7:00 pm.
Invitation to a Garden Tea Party honouring bride-to-be, Cassandra Johnson. 2 April, written invitation available from Jill Woodside.
Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
Needlework Group meets monthly, details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
Final Lent Study today: Holy Baptism Fr Andrew Starky