Let us receive the special grace of this moment. We pause in reverent silence before this empty tomb in order to rediscover the grandeur of our Christian vocation: we are men and women of the resurrection, not of death. From this place we learn how to live our lives, the trials of our churches and of the whole world, in the light of Easter morning. Every injury, every one of our pains and sorrows, has been borne on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd who offered himself in sacrifice and thereby opened the way to eternal life. His open wounds are like the cleft through which the torrent of his mercy is poured out upon the world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis of our hope, which is this: Christos anesti! Let us not deprive the world of the joyful message of the resurrection! And let us not be deaf to the powerful summons to unity that rings out from this very place, in the words of the One who, risen from the dead, calls all of us“My brothers” (Pope Francis, The Gospel of Matthew—a Spiritual and Pastoral Reading p 239).
Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.Continue reading “Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord 12 April”
We celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the saving Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our own Sacramental Initiation with the marks of Baptism into his new life and Confirmation in the Communion of his Body the Church.
Sadly this year we have a very limited, virtual celebration.
We remember with sympathy Evie, who was due to be baptised tomorrow, and her family, the 21 children who hoped to celebrate Communion this Easter-tide, and the 9 young adults who hoped to be Confirmed in the Communion.
Despite disappointment and distance, we are invited to be renewed individually and as a community by all these gifts and graces of our original and annually repeated initiation into Christ’s Paschal Mystery.
🎥 Don’t forget that Mass will be broadcast live this evening at 8.30pm. You can either watch it live on this site (just turn up a little before 8.30 pm) or you can head over to our Facebook Page.
✝️ If you would like to download tonight’s liturgy, please click on the link below. You will be able to follow the services on your tablet, smartphone or computer. Alternatively, you might want to print it off and have it by your side (that’s what I’ll be doing!).
Liturgy for the Easter Vigil (Microsoft Word).
On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb in prayer and fasting, meditating on his Passion and Death and on his Descent into Hell, and awaiting his resurrection. The Church abstains from the Sacrifice of the Mass, with the sacred table left bare, until after the solemn Vigil, that it, the anticipation by night of the Resurrection, when the time comes for paschal joys, the abundance of which overflows to occupy fifty days.
A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.
Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.
The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.’
‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: have light, and those in sleep: rise.
‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.
‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form, that of a slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.
‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I have received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.
‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tre for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.
‘I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.
‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make a cherubim worship you as they would God.
‘The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness, the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.’
Almighty, ever-living God, whose Only-begotten Son descended to the realm of the dead, and rose from there to glory, grant that your faithful people, who were buried with him in baptism, may, by his resurrection, obtain eternal life.
Through Christ our Lord.
Extract from Divine Office Vol ll pp321/2, 327
View other days of the Mini Retreat
The liturgy applies to Jesus’ descent into the night of death the words of Psalm 23 (24): “Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, O ancient doors!” The gates of death are closed, no one can return from there. There is no key for those iron doors. But Christ has the key. His Cross, his radical love, is the key that opens them. The love of the One who, though God, became man in order to die –this love has the power to open those doors. This love is stronger than death.Pope Benedict XVl
Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.Continue reading “Friday of the Passion of the Lord 10 April”
As we won’t be able to celebrate Mass together this evening, we thought that we would upload today’s liturgy so that you might follow. You can view it by either clicking on the image above or the link below. Having done this you can either follow online or print off a copy.
🎥 Don’t forget we will be Live Streaming tonight’s Mass on Facebook and on this page. If you come to this page after 7.30 pm, please make sure to refresh the page. ✝️
Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this, what I am doing, and doing with all my heart, because it is my duty. As a priest and a bishop, I must be at your service. But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I love this and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has taught me to do. But you too, help one another: help one another always. In this way, by helping one another, we will do some good. Now we will perform this ceremony of washing feet, and let us think, let each one of us think: “Am I really willing, willing to serve, to help others?”. Let us think about this, just this. And let us think that this sign is a caress of Jesus, which Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to serve, to help us.Homily of Pope Francis at Prison for Minors 28 March 2013
Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.Continue reading “Holy Thursday 9 April”
The betrayal of Jesus continued…
The Jewish authorities wished to find a way to arrest Jesus without provoking a riotous disturbance. Judas presented them with this opportunity. There could be three main reasons why Judas betrayed Jesus:
- Avarice; sold Jesus out for less than £5
- Hatred based on disillusionment. Jews had their dream of power
- Judas never intended Jesus to die rather he wanted to spur Jesus into action
Judas refused to accept Jesus as he was and tried to make him what he wanted him to be. It is not that Jesus can be changed by us but we who must be changed by Jesus (Barclay, Daily Study Bible Matthew pp331/2).
Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.Continue reading “Wednesday of Holy Week 8 April”
Judas Betrays Jesus
It’s very important to note that Jesus was “deeply troubled.” This shows His humanity. Jesus had a human heart and loved Judas with a divine love through His human heart. As a result of this perfect love of Judas, Jesus’ heart was deeply troubled. It was “troubled” in the sense that Jesus could do nothing more than He had already done to change the mind and heart of Judas. It’s not that Jesus was personally offended or angered by Judas’ betrayal. Rather, it’s that Jesus’ heart burned with a deep sorrow at the loss of Judas whom He loved with a perfect love. Judas had free will. Without free will Judas could not freely love Jesus. But with free will, Judas chose to betray Jesus. The same is true with us. We have free will and we are given the same ability that Judas had to accept the love of Jesus or to reject it. We can let His loving gift of salvation and grace enter our lives or refuse it.
Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.Continue reading “Tuesday of Holy Week 7 April”