News for the First Sunday of Lent

News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st March 2021: The Fifth Sunday of Lent (Passiontide)

The Fifth Sunday of Lent begins a period known as Passiontide, when traditionally the crosses, statues and images in church are covered with purple cloths or veils until the end of The Lord's Passion on Good Friday. Statues and images remain covered until the Easter Vigil. It may seem rather strange to be covering up the cross as we approach the annual memorial of that very first day on which the Son of Man was crucified; but veiling the cross and other statues and images in the last two weeks of Lent draws us closer to the anticipation of the Paschal Triduum, which in turn leads us to the celebration of Easter.

Last year, we were prohibited from celebrating Holy Week and Easter in church by the start of the first Coronavirus lockdown almost one year ago. This year, on Tuesday 23rd March, Marie Curie have set aside the day for a National Day of Reflection, during which we can remember all those who have died in the past 12 months (both Covid and non-Covid). Buildings will be lit in yellow, and people are being encouraged to display daffodils in their windows. There will be a Minute's Silence at Midday and plenty of media coverage. Many of those who have been bereaved during the pandemic have put their grief “on hold” until there was an opportunity to express their grief and loss.

In many ways, it is similar to our collective celebration of Easter. Whilst it was important to have been able to celebrate it online last year, through the web-cams; this year we can do so together. But not before one last effort. One more week as we enter Passiontide and prepare ourselves for Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, which we shall celebrate on Palm Sunday in just over a week's time. Just two more weeks of Lent and into Holy Week. Details of the services in Holy Week and Easter can be found here.

“Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (John 12 v 23)

David Griffiths