News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March 2021: Palm Sunday of The Passion of The Lord
As I compose this week's news bulletin, there are dark grey and threatening clouds overhead but the sun is shining brightly on the early daffodils in the garden. In many ways, it is the embodiment of Holy Week and Easter in one snapshot of seasonal weather! As we begin Holy Week on Palm Sunday, there are rays of sunlight; the anticipation of The Messiah entering Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey, with the crowds laying down palm branches and shouting “Hosanna to the King!” However, as the week progresses, the dark clouds gather. The Paschal Triduum takes us through those final days of Holy Week. We meet with Jesus and His Disciples at The Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. We go with him to The Garden of Gethsemane as we watch in front of the Reserved Sacrament. We walk with Jesus on the Way of the Cross, through His Trial and Crucifixion on Good Friday and as Saint Mark describes it in his version of The Passion: “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried in a loud voice, 'E'lo-i, E'lo-i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?' which means, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” We remain in darkness, until a glimmer of light starts to break through at the Easter Vigil and into the bright sunshine of Easter Day.
Father Edward writes:
A year ago we had to celebrateHoly Week in the Vicarage – as we were forbidden to enhter church, even to broadcast services. However, we did our best and on Easter Day a neighbour thought the house was on fire as I had gone a bit mad with the incense!!
This year is easier as we can meet together in our church and celebrate the saving events of Our Salvation. There will be certain limitations – no procession on Palm Sunday; no washing of feet on Maundy Thursday; and no kissing of the Cross on Good Friday – but we can live with these strictures.
Many people will say that Holy Week is the high point of the Christian year – and how right they are. As I said in my homily for Passion Sunday, we have “changed gear”. The Church is veiled as if in mourning. With joy we can pull the veils off on the Easter Vigil.
But before that we follow Jesus, for whom “the hour has come”. The hour to glorify The Father. The hour to save US by His saving death, resurrection and ascension.
Please come to church if you are well. Otherwise, do watch online – we will be together in Spirit.
Father John and Father Mike join me in wishing you and yours a most blessed Holy Week and Easter.
To God be the Glory in Christ Jesus in the power of The Holy Spirit.
Fr Edward and all at St. Mary's