Sunday, 12 April 2015

Divine Mercy & 40 Hours Devotion . . .

We have just completed our Divine Mercy Devotions in the parish with a very good attendance. It's very encouraging to see so many people praising Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

It was wonderful to hear people praying with fervour and trust in the Divine Mercy.  I'm sure there will be many graces for those who participated and for our parish. 

I was kept busy the whole time hearing Confessions - Thanks be to God.  In fact I had to schedule  a brief interlude out of the Confessional to confer Benediction.  I have a feeling that if we didn't have an evening Mass to prepare for, I would have been hearing Confessions for even longer.  

Jesus, we trust in you.

And, didn't you sing and pray beautifully!

It's time to think ahead a little now to our 40 Hours Devotion which will take place from Tuesday 19th May to Thursday 21st May. All are welcome of course.  

Do come and spend a little time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar if you can.  Be it just a few minutes or a few hours, I assure you it will be a grace-filled experience.

To whet your appetite here are a few photos from last year's 40 Hours Devotion . . .

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Surrrexit Dominus Vere, Alleluia!

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia. The Lord is truly risen.

A very Blessed and Happy Easter to all!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Easter preparations - What a transformation . . . !

After the very prayerful Office of Readings this morning, containing such beautiful readings, in a bare and 'empty' church, our flower arrangers bustled into action.

What a transformation!  I have said it before but it needs to be said often; we are blessed to have such gifted parishioners who are willing to give their time and use their talents for the glory of God in this way.  I am very grateful to you all.

 Flowers for Our Lady . . .
 Just look at the Paschal Candle stand!  A really fitting receptacle for such an important part of this evening's liturgy
 One of two magnificent pedestals either side of the altar
Two of our talented flower arrangers who happened to be available for a photo call this morning.  Well done ladies!

More photos later . . .

Holy Saturday morning . . .

And so we wait . . .

Holy Week and Easter . . .

Sadly we don't have the usual photos of our Palm Sunday Procession to post this year as the beginning to our Holy Week update.  The rain defeated us and we had to cancel our planned procession but we had a beautiful Palm Sunday Mass nevertheless.

Of course the Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper with the Washing of the Feet which is such a moving and humbling experience for a priest.

We watch with Our Lord up to Midnight.  Again, it is very emotional; entering the church, almost in darkness with the glow from the Altar of Repose and seeing people keeping watch with Our Lord in silent prayer; some kneeling, some sitting.

In fact, from a priest's point of view, I think the Chrism Mass at our Cathedral in Arundel is also a very moving liturgy and a precursor to the emotional journey we travel during the Triduum.

Our Easter liturgies are well under way now, having just Celebrated the Passion of the Lord and the Veneration of the Cross.  It was wonderful to see a full church and the way people entered into the solemnity of the liturgy with such reverence.  Our readers read well and the Gospel reading of the Passion narrated by our Deacon with individual parts read by readers from the body of the church was very moving, as always.

As a slight diversion from the liturgies of the Easter Triduum, we have for many years participated in an ecumenical Procession of Witness with other Christians in Banstead on the morning of Good Friday.  Once again, many people turned up to walk through the village following behind a large wooden Cross and stopping for a brief mediation at several 'Stations' along the way.

Here is a photo from today's Procession.  You can find many more photos on our parish Facebook Page

Now we are entering that quiet, desolate time in between the Crucifixion of Our Lord on Good Friday and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  We know what is awaiting us on Sunday; can you imagine what the disciples must have felt like not knowing this . . . ?

We enter into the tomb with Him and if you enter into our church in the morning tomorrow, I think you will immediately sense that something is missing . . .

The door of the tabernacle is open and empty for all to see.  The altar is bare and the whole atmosphere is one of emptiness and waiting.