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Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

6 April 2014 – Fifth Sunday of Lent


THIS SUNDAY:  The Gospel of the Fifth Sunday is perhaps the deepest meditation on the mystery of Baptism and membership of the Church. It is a prelude to the events of Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the triumph of life over death. To be plunged into the waters of baptism is to be buried with Christ, only to rise with him from the waters. This paradox of life and death is the content of today’s readings. There is no more important part of our faith that the resurrection: that Christ rose from the dead is the very centre and heart of all that we believe – without it, our faith is useless. In the same way our belief in our own resurrection is vital: it is the most deeply needed gift that Christ gives us. This is why the climax of the instructions given to candidates for Baptism was this teaching: that Christ would give them life after death. Look ahead to the 3rd Sunday of Easter, where Saint Peter preaches to the crowds – what he teaches them is that life comes after death, as it did for Lazarus, and for Christ himself.


STATIONS of the Cross this Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


NEXT SUNDAY: As we celebrate Palm Sunday, there will be Vespers at 4.00pm. Do come along if you can.


HOLY WEEK AND THE TRIDUUM: There’s a real invitation here to make space in our diaries for these wonderful celebrations of our faith that bring Holy Week and, of course, Lent, to a conclusion. If you have never entered into the richness of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, then why not come along this year. We are fortunate to have Fr Patrick Daly, the secretary to the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union, coming to preside for us at the Triduum. These prayerful celebrations allow us to enter more richly into what lies at the heart of our faith – the free gift of salvation that comes from God through the sacrifice of Christ. PALM SUNDAY: Mass with the Blessing of Palms on Saturday 12 April at 5.45pm. Mass with Procession and Blessing of Palms on Sunday 13 April at 10.30am. Vespers at 4.00pm. HOLY THURSDAY: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8.00pm. GOOD FRIDAY: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 3.00pm. EASTER VIGIL (Holy Saturday) at 8.00pm. EASTER SUNDAY: Mass at 8.30am and 10.30am. You’ll be able to pick up the handout with the full Holy Week programme from the narthex with the compete schedule.


HOLY WEEK READERS: The list of readers for Holy Week can be found in the narthex. If you care down to read but cannot, please have a word with FrC as soon as possible.


CONFESSIONS: There’s opportunity for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation most especially during Holy Week. The Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week (evenings) are a superb opportunity to get ready for the celebration of the mysteries of Christ’s redemptive love for us. Have a look on the notice board or pick up one of the Holy Weeks schedules.


NEXT SUNDAY: As we begin our pilgrimage through Holy Week we celebrate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Weather permitting, we will begin the Sunday morning Mass on the grass in front of the entrance to the Hall. The Saturday Mass will begin in the narthex.


PALM SUNDAY SOUP LUNCH: The second of the Lenten Soup lunches takes place on Palm Sunday, 13 April following the morning Mass (around 12.30pm). Do make a note and come along to support this simple part of Lent.


CHRISM MASS: This beautiful diocesan celebration where the bishop blesses the oils that will be used in our parishes throughout this coming year takes place on Wednesday 16 April at 11.00am. All are most welcome to take part in this wonderful gathering of the diocesan family.


LECTIO DIVINA: If you feel you might like to explore this way of praying, then come along on a Thursday from about 7.45pm – you’d be more than welcome. If you want to learn how to pray or deepen your prayer, then this might just be for you. If you are dipping your toe in the Catholic pond, then this prayerful reading of the scriptures is a beautiful way into the life of faith and the life of love.


LENTEN ALMS: The collection on Holy Thursday evening is our traditional offering for the poor. You CAFOD boxes or Mary’s meals boxes can be returned during that Mass, or your Lenten gift can be contributed into that collection.


WEBSITE STATIONS: The simple online Stations of the Cross can be found on our parish website beginning this weekend. There will be a Station each day to accompany us on this final stage of our Lenten pilgrimage.


PARISH BAZAAR – 17 MAY: Keep those items for the bazaar coming in – gifts and new goods, bottles and fancy goods, too; toys and children’s books. They can be handed into sacristy or presbytery, or left in the narthex.


GRAND DRAW TICKETS: Once sold, the completed counterfoils and monies can be put in an envelope and pushed through the presbytery front door, please. Keep picking them up from the narthex and selling them on. There are some remaining books of tickets (£1 per book) in the narthex. If you can help clear those, then pick up one or two.


VEILING: Our statues and the crucifixes are all veiled, to maybe emphasise a certain emptiness as we enter these last two weeks of Lent. We are left empty, our eyes brought into focus and fixed upon Christ who gives his all for us.


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