Great Three Days of Easter – Maundy Thursday

The Last Supper, ca. 1520, by Giampietrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli)

The word “Maundy” is from the Latin word for “command”: This night we recall Christ’s command to do what he did at the last supper: He washed the feet of his disciples, as a sign of service. If we wash feet in our liturgy it is not as play-acting or as a welcome diversion from the praying: It is a sign that we want and are beginning to serve all our brothers and sisters just as Christ himself did.

The second part of our celebration this night is “Eucharist”, thanksgiving. We remember that Jesus gave us bread and wine to be his Body and Blood this day. Strangely enough, the washing of the feet and the breaking of bread are inseparably linked. Only if we agree to serve each other can we share communion. Attending the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is an invitation to be nourished by the food of life. But it also involves a commitment to become part of a community that grows by loving.

Our Services
11.30 am – The Mass of the Chrism (Saint David’s Cathedral)
7.30 pmThe Mass of the Lord’s Supper
11.45 pm – Watching with Christ in the place of repose (in the Hall) Compline (night Prayer of the Church)

Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday Homily

This is the text of Pope Francis’ Homily for Palm Sunday:
1. Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowd of disciples accompanies him in festive mood, their garments are stretched out before him, there is talk of the miracles he has accomplished, and loud praises are heard: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk 19:38).

Crowds, celebrating, praise, blessing, peace: joy fills the air. Jesus has awakened great hopes, especially in the hearts of the simple, the humble, the poor, the forgotten, those who do not matter in the eyes of the world. He understands human sufferings, he has shown the face of God’s mercy, he has bent down to heal body and soul. Now he enters the Holy City! This is Jesus.This is the heart that looks on all of us, watching our illnesses, our sins. The love of Jesus is great. He enters Jerusalem with this love and watches all of us.

Continue reading “Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday Homily”

What is Happening This Week… Palm Sunday

Entry of Christ into Jerusalem (1320) by Pietro LorenzettiOn Palm Sunday we bless palms and process into church together: So we begin the week-long procession in the way of Jesus. As Saint Paul taught us last Sunday, we ‘leave the past behind and strain ahead for what is still to come, reproducing the patter of his dying so as to know the power of his resurrection.’

Holy week is the high point of our year, the completion and the new beginning of our celebration and living in Christ. It is a week in two halves: In the first half, starting today, we complete our Lenten preparation, ‘leaving behind every thing as so much rubbish, so that’ in the second half ‘we can know Christ and be given a place in him’. So ….

The Word This Week

There is a logical development in the readings this Sunday: in the Old Testament, God asks us to look forward to the “new deed he will do”, when he will put “water in the wilderness”; we then see the new deed, which Paul talks about, to be the “supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus”, and sharing the “power of his resurrection”; so who is this Jesus, and how is he “water in the wilderness”? It is because he brings hope for the future and forgiveness of our sins, as the Gospel story relates. This Sunday’s readings are there for our encouragement, to help us look forward to Easter, and enter into the mystery of Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection, the ‘Pascal Mystery’ of Reconciliation
and a new creation (as we heard last week). We are driven on through Lent by a vision of the marvels that God has worked, and that God will work for us.

Todays’ Scripture
Isaiah 43: 16 – 21
Philippians 3: 8 – 14
John 8: 1 – 11.

Papal Conclave Begins Today

St Peters Square pre-conclaveThe Papal Conclave to elect a new Pope wil begin today. 115 Cardinals will come together in the Sistine Chapel to begin the process to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The last public event for all 115 cardinals will be a mass which will be held in St Peter’s Basilica this morning.  They will then make their way to the Sistine Chapel where the first vote is expected to take place in the evening. From then on two votes will be held each day – 12:00 (11:00 GMT) and 18:00 – until one candidate reaches 77 votes or a two-third majority.

Here is the mass booklet for tomorrow. You can watch this Mass and other live events on the Live Streaming page of the website of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

If you would like a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, click on the image below. Here is one for the Pauline Chapel.

Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel

Mothering Sunday

“MOTHERING SUNDAY”, the more popular name for this fourth Sunday of Lent, pulls together several strands of tradition and time. Originally the day that local Churches would come together to the ‘Mother Church’ in Lenten pilgrimage (similar to the idea of the ‘Lenten Station Mass’), it developed into a day when children in service would take the opportunity to visit their own mothers at home. In most years, though not this one, it also falls conveniently close to the feast of the Annunciation to Mary that she is to be the Mother of Jesus.

A Happy Feast Day to all Mothers!

The Word This Week

The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo BatoniAs today we hear the familiar parable of the Prodigal Son (or the Forgiving Father), the message is Reconciliation – the making new of relationships, the healing of past wrongs and the opening of ourselves to the “new creation”. This is just as the Israelites opened themselves to the New Creation of the Promised Land, when under Joshua they ended their sojourn in the wilderness after forty years of hardship, and began to eat of the produce of the country. It is all God’s work: it is God who calls us back, and God who welcomes us into the Promised Land of his mercy when we return. So today, let us think not so much of sin and offences, as the new creation God offers us, if we but turn back to him and embrace him as our Father.

Today’s Scripture
Joshua 5: 9 – 12;
2 Corinthians 5: 17 – 21;
Luke 15: 1 – 3, 11 – 32.