Dear friends,

Today (Maundy Thursday, 6 April) we begin the most sacred season of the Christian year, the “Sacrum Triduum” (or Three Holy Days). I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this evening’s Sung Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8pm, which will be followed by the Watch of the Passion until midnight, at the Altar of Repose. You are welcome to come and go between the end of Mass and midnight – but please help to maintain this watch of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, as in heart and mind we join the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane.

As you will know from your own experience, the most important relationships in our lives are deepened and strengthened by sharing life’s important moments together. This insight is at the heart also of the Church’s invitation to us to participate in the Sacrum Triduum – and to share with the Lord in the drama of his Passion, Death and Resurrection. If we make the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (3pm) and the Easter Vigil and First Mass on Holy Saturday (7.30pm) a priority, we will surely experience a renewed closeness to the Lord: please, more than at any other time of year, come back now to Jesus in His Church.

And then come joyfully to Mass on Easter Day (10.30am), bringing with you family and friends! Our Easter Sunday Mass will be suffused with light, hope and happiness – and will be followed by the distribution of Easter eggs, and the sharing of celebratory refreshments in the Hall.

You may make your Easter Communion at any Mass during Easter Week (the week following Easter Sunday!): if, and only for a serious reason, you are unable to come to Mass this weekend, come to one of the Masses in the week to greet the risen Lord. It is necessary for me to say this: no Christian should be absent from church at Easter, unless for a grave cause.

Thank you to all who have worked, and are still working, hard to assist with the worthy celebration of Holy Week and Easter – it is much appreciated! If you can spare an hour on Saturday morning, please join us in church from 9am to clean and decorate. After the Vigil and First Mass on Saturday evening, there will be plentiful food and drink in the Hall to toast the end of Lent and the beginning of Easter: do come, and do bring something to share, if you feel able.

Please also now return your Lent Appeal collection boxes, for your donations to be counted and sent to the Additional Curates Society. Please complete the Gift Aid Declaration on the back of the box, as appropriate, to allow the Society to reclaim 25% more on your gift from HMRC.

If you have joined the parish within the last year, please also ask for an Electoral Roll form, noting also that the Annual Parish Meeting will take place after Mass on Sunday, 14 May.

Please find attached to this mailing the latest monthly prayer case from Action by Christians against Torture, and an updated parish calendar for the year.

And may I wish you and your family a reverent keeping of the Triduum, and an Eastertide alive with Resurrection joy!

Fr Richard