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Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

10 April 2011 – 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.

You will notice that on this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we veil the statues and the crucifixes in the Church. It is almost as if we are taking away distraction and creating a kind of emptiness with a feeling of desolation. We do this only to heighten our need for Christ to come into that isolation and that emptiness and make his home in us as we journey deeper into the mystery of his love for us. Our eyes are fixed on him… and the journey to his cross.

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION: Children return to their preparation on Wednesday 4 May at 3.45pm in the bungalow of the school. Their next celebration Mass when they come to receive the gift of the cross is on Sunday 8 May at 10.30am.

THE SEASON OF LENT – PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENTS: We will have three adult Baptisms this Easter – Joe Alsop, David Fitzgerald and Rebecca Fitzgerald – as well as two celebrations of Confirmation – Nora O’Brien and John O’Brien.  At Easter, we will also be celebrating the reception into the Church of four members of the Anglican Communion who are seeking entry into the Church through the Ordinariate – Pauline and Michael Long, as well as Bernard and Beryl Coombs. They are part of a wider community spread across Bristol. This is a most encouraging prospect for our parish community and should find us wanting to use their journey as one that encourages us in our faith, too.  We keep them all in our prayers in these final weeks of Lenten prayer and preparation.

Palm Sunday, 17 April, here at St Bernadette’s -12 noon. The proceeds from our lunch will go to support CAFOD. Do sign up on the notice board to help with appropriate catering. This is a great opportunity to tap into Lenten fasting and Lenten almsgiving as we journey into Holy Week. Do come along!

CAFOD BOXES: Your CAFOD boxes can be brought back to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday where they will be taken up with the gifts as our offerings for the poor.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: We celebrate the Stations this Sunday at 4.00pm followed by Benediction. You might also like to tap into the web stations on our parish website. A good way to make a station per day!

GOOD FRIDAY WALK OF WITNESS: The annual walk with our Christian brothers and sisters begins here on the steps of St Bernadette’s on Good Friday morning at 9.15am. The walk takes you to Counterslip and then on to Christ Church, Petherton Road. Do join them if you can.

PALM SUNDAY: Both Masses next Sunday will begin with the blessing of palms as we enter Holy Week. As usual, the 10.30am mass will begin on the lawn around the grotto and then we process into Church. If the weather is fine on the Saturday, we will begin that evening Mass of Palm Sunday just outside the front of the Church.

TRIDUUM SCHEDULE: Holy Thursday: Mass at 8.00pm; Good Friday: Tenebrae at 9.30am (after the start of the Walk of Witness); Stations for Children at 11.00am; Solemn Liturgy of the Passion at 3.00pm; Prayer around the Cross at 7.00pm; Holy Saturday: Tenebrae at 9.15am; Swieconka at 11.00am; Easter Vigil at 8.30pm (note the time as the sun does not set until 8.08pm BST and the Vigil is celebrated after the sun has set); Easter Sunday: 8.30am & 10.30am. The full programme for Holy Week is also available from the narthex.

LENTEN CONFESSIONS: There are no confessions next Saturday morning but there will be before the evening Mass at 5.00pm. There is also an opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Easter on Tuesday 19 April from 7.00pm – 8.00pm, and on Wednesday 20 April from 7.30pm onwards.  The Cathedral is celebrating their Lenten Penitential Service on Tuesday, 12 April, at 7.00pm. There will be seven preists available to hear confessions.

CHRISM MASS: The great gathering of our diocesan family for the blessing of oils takes place at the Cathedral on Wednesday 20 April beginning at 11.00am. Do go along and represent our parish if you can.

meet in the presbytery on Thursday 14 April at 7.00pm.

COMMUNITY CHOIR: Spring Concert in support of the people of Japan.   The Amplius Community Choir are giving a concert of sacred and secular music celebrating  Spring, Lent, and Easter on Saturday 16 April at Counterslip Baptist Church in aid of the Japan Red Cross Relief Fund.  Starts at 7.30pm – everyone welcome.

Bishop Declan is inviting us to join him at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College on Saturday 21 May (from 10.00am – 4.00pm) with our diocesan community, drawing us together to celebrate our faith. There is a poster in the narthex, and please put the date in your diary. It is a great opportunity for the parish communities across the four counties of our diocese to come together – from climbing walls to workshops – there is something for everyone of all ages. Please go along and represent our own parish community.

NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL: Four Thursdays in Eastertime have been set aside for the beginnings of our reflection and preparation for the new translation of the missal ~ 5 May, 19 May, 2 June, and 16 June. These sessions (an hour each) beginning at 7.00pm will give us an opportunity to reflect upon the Eucharist and the words we pray when we come together for Mass. Please do come along and take part in this catechesis.

EASTER FLOWERS: Our lovely flower ladies will be asking for your help this weekend as they take a retiring collection for the flowers for our church for Easter and beyond. Give them what help you can.

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