Posted by The Parish

PALM SUNDAY & Holy Week 25th March 2018
Teal Book Page 180

Dear Friends,

For the modern world, it is increasingly inconvenient that the date of Easter has to change each year. Secular powers would like to rename this “The Spring Break” and fix a holiday on the same annual weekend. For Christians this is impossible. This is Holy Week. It marks the last traumatic Seven days of the life of Christ prior to the resurrection. Good Friday is the actual day of The Lord’s Crucifixion.

The date is carefully calculated coinciding with the old Jewish/Lunar calendar. Easter moves backward and forward by a week or so each year because the older calendar does not correspond exactly with our “Gregorian” (365 day) Solar Calendar introduced as recently as 1582. The Eight days of Holy Week literally consecrates the year 2018 by taking us again into the heart of Christ’s Passion. The purpose of Christian liturgy is to bring the past to life and transport us into the living reality of these actual events. Thus, the old hymn will ask us one more time: “Were you there when they crucified the Lord?” The ceremonies in which we participate are very ancient and are no mere ritual. They were not contrived by some council of old clergy sitting round a table discussing doctrine but were born out of the actual events in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, first in AD70 and then completely obliterated in AD132. The ancient sites relating to the life of Our Lord were erased for nearly two hundred years; but people in the middle east have long memories…

It was only after the Emperor Constantine became a Christian himself in 318AD that Jerusalem began to be restored both for Christians and Jews. From that time Christian sites throughout the Holy Land were re-established and began to recover their dignity as places of devotion. The great St Cyril of Jerusalem 313–386AD established the ceremonies at Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives, just as we keep them today. An intrepid Christian Nun from Egypt travelled throughout Palestine and Syria in the early 4th century. Her name was Egeria. Her writings have only come to light fairly recently and you can read them easily on the internet. She describes being in Jerusalem and participating in the ceremonies just as we keep them today but with firelit processions and vigils and baptisms in the darkness taking all night! Very quickly the same ceremonies were seen not only in Jerusalem but in churches throughout the world, because as the opening prayer for Holy Saturday proclaims:

Christ is yesterday and today,
The Beginning and the End,
The Alpha and the Omega,
All time belongs to him and all the ages.
To him be glory and power through every age and for ever. Amen 

So, come and join us this week in a spirit of humble fear and trembling but then think on: If Good Friday is the actual day of his Crucifixion, the night between Saturday and Sunday must be the moment of…

God Bless
Fr Kevin

CLICK HERE –> CALENDAR FOR HOLY WEEK, 2018

NO Good Friday Children’s Liturgy this year 

With ongoing works in the Parish Rooms at OLSS we have decided on reflection to cancel the popular Good Friday Children’s activity this year. While we would have been welcome at the Convent the traditional activity would not work in more confined space and also needs access to the garden. Please accept apologies and any disappointment this year. The Parish Rooms (Basement) will be worth waiting for but as with all such projects will take a little longer than anticipated but hopefully complete before the end of April.

Cafod Donations 

Brian is anxious to remind us that the Government subsidy towards Cafod extends beyond the Lenten Fast Day until May 12th this year. In other words, donations will be doubled, up to a total of £5 million. If one adds Gift Aid that adds another 25% to the base donation. To illustrate; a donation of £20 becomes £45 or £100 becomes £225. Details can be found on CAFOD’s. website: cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-CAFOD/Lent 

Maggie has prepared celebration Hampers to be raffled in time for Easter at OLSS! 

The Funeral of Sr Augustine is at OLSS on Wednesday 11th April at 10.00am

Thankyou for your Offering 18th 

OLSS £TBC St J’s £307

For Your Prayers 

Peter now at home. Sheila resident at Morden College. Anne is at Eltham Community Hospital. Jose is now at home. Sr Jane OSU recuperating at Westgate. Paul recovering from Surgery.

Baptism Preparation 

If you are looking for the Baptism of a child NB. at either church, the next preparation evening will be Wednesday 11th April at OLSS at 7.00pm. No need to book. Bring your child if necessary.

Fr Victor back in Greenwich from April 4th. He sends greetings to everybody and keeps us all in his prayers especially Ann who he hopes to see at home again when he arrives!

Anniversaries 

Bp Charles Henderson, Lily T, John G, Margaret G, Peggy M, Tom R, Isabella M, Catherine D, Martin R, David J, Rita L, Jackie W, William B, Elizabeth D, John H, Winifred B, Nathan S

May they Rest in Peace 

Post expires at 6:02am on Sunday April 29th, 2018