Welcome to S. Michael’s as we begin Holy Week together on Palm Sunday. Today’s liturgy starts in the school and then we process with palms to recall Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. We hold the excitement and expectation of that occasion before the Passion of our Lord.
We come now to the most significant part of the liturgical year, when we enter most deeply into the journey of Christ as he accomplishes his purpose for our sake. I encourage you to enter fully into the liturgies over the rest of the week, beginning with the Stations of the Cross this evening at 7:00 pm.
Each day will begin with Morning Prayer at 8:00 am Monday–Thursday and this will be followed by the School Holy Week Devotions, to which parishioners are welcome (8:40–9:00 am). School Mass will be on Wednesday. Apart from this, no morning Masses will be celebrated during Holy Week. Monday–Wednesday the Masses will be at 6:00 pm, after which clergy will be available to hear confessions.
On Maundy Thursday our Solemn Mass begins at 7:30 pm, and this is followed by the Watch, which will continue until 9:00 am Good Friday, when Morning Prayer will be said. I remember from last year the Watch being a very beautiful and holy time of waiting upon God. Then the Children’s Tableau follows at 10:00 am and the Solemn Liturgy for Good Friday at noon.
Holy Saturday morning brings many together to prepare the church for the Easter celebrations. Holy Saturday is sometimes known as ‘tomb day,’ the day when all hope seemed lost because Jesus had died, and was not yet risen. It is a very important day because it accords with the experience of many for whom death has come, but signs of resurrection are yet to appear. It is a mystery as to what went on in the tomb of Jesus, yet obviously the power of God was at work, and it is this hope that can sustain us through such times when any hint of resurrection seems far off.
On Holy Saturday at 7:30 pm we gather round to light the new fire, and then the beautiful ceremonies of the Easter Vigil announce to a darkened world that Christ is risen indeed. This is followed by glorious celebrations of resurrection joy on Easter Day at 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 7:00 pm.
I am thankful for the faithfulness of this community during the weeks of Lent. As well as the normal celebrations of the daily Mass, people have supported the Stations of the Cross, Morning Prayer and the Lent Studies. I also know of many acts of kindness and mercy that parishioners have engaged in in these weeks, and I am sure there are many that I don’t know about. One act of mercy that I encourage you to support as a parish is to gather up winter clothes and blankets etc for the City Mission. Geoff Paterson will be organising this and the collection will run from Low Sunday until the end of April.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky
• Trumpet: please note that the new Trumpet contact details are on the front page.
• Donations for Easter flowers: envelopes are available at the back of the church
• Sales Table: today after Mass. Tickets available for the Easter raffle, $2 each or 3 for $5. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the 10am morning and 7pm evening service each Sunday.
• Keeping Good Company presents Even in Death by David Winfield. See poster. Today 2:00 pm, tomorrow 7:30 pm, at Academy Funeral Services Chapel.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Lunch at Regatta on Avon: Easter Day 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Annual Reports to the parish office, preferably by email, by 14 April, please.
• Royal School of Church Music: presentation of awards and workshop with Andrew Reid (Director), followed by refreshments. 15 April, 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
• The Meditation Group: no meeting on Easter Monday, resuming 20 April. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197) or Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
• The Bible Study Group resumes on 20 April. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.
Preparations for Easter at S. Michael’s
• Flowers: offers of help to Diana Smith (960 4100).
• Names for foot-washing on Maundy Thursday to John De la Bere, please.
• 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 in the church: Holy Saturday 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.