Dear friends,

At long last, our journey through Lent is drawing to its close, as Holy Week begins this coming Sunday. On Palm Sunday, with the crowds in Jerusalem, we cry hosanna to the coming King! Do join us (beginning in the Hall) at 10.30am, for the Blessing of Palms, Palm Procession and Sung Mass. Holy Week is the most important week in the Christian calendar, and should be afforded proper priority in our lives.

Please note that there will be no 6pm Vigil Mass (or public Evening Prayer, or Confessions) this weekend on Saturday, 23 March (on account of the Stanmore Choral Society concert in church); however, Mass will be celebrated as usual on Saturday morning at 9.30am – and thereafter we will assemble the palm branches with which the church is decorated for Sunday’s liturgy: any volunteers to assist with this would be most welcome. On Saturdays, Morning Prayer at 9am is said in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed – a good and gentle preparation for the Watch of the Passion on Maundy Thursday: all welcome.

Our palm decorations will this year be part-funded by the amazing response to our Easter lilies appeal, which has raised £709.50: thank you for your generosity – each name on the list will be represented by a beautiful stem of lilies among our Easter flowers. Please at Easter also return your Lent Appeal jars, in support of WaterAid: please give generously, and complete and return the accompanying Gift Aid slip as appropriate.

Please see me to make your Confession before Easter: if you are new to this Sacrament, I can help you to prepare for it. Confessions will also be heard at St Andrew, Holborn from 10am on Tuesday, 26 March before the Fulham Chrism Mass. Those wishing to travel together to Holborn should gather on the platform at Harrow-on-the-Hill station at 9.30am that morning.

Please sign up in church to read at one of the Holy Week services, or to have a foot washed on Maundy Thursday. We also require volunteers (see Lorna) to serve tea and coffee to our visitors after the Walk of Witness on Good Friday: the march will begin at All Saints’ RC Church at 9.15am, stopping next at Kenton Methodist Church before arriving at St Mary’s mid-morning. Those who cannot walk the length of the march are welcome to gather here at St Mary’s for the concluding prayers, at around 10.30am.

On Holy Saturday, 30 March, we will gather in church at 9am for devotions, before embarking on the “big spring clean”: we require all hands on deck to clean and decorate the church for Easter – come for as long or as little as you can: refreshments provided.

Please see Pat if you are able to bring some food to share at the parish party after the Easter Vigil: prepared food can be brought to the Hall from 5pm on Saturday, 30 March – again, volunteers to set up tables would be gratefully appreciated.

Don’t forget that on Easter Day, Sunday 31 March British Summer Time begins – and the clocks go forward one hour overnight: don’t be caught out, and risk missing Mass! Please return by Easter the registration forms for the  Youth Group indoor climbing outing (on Saturday, 6 April). Weather permitting, there will also be a children’s Easter Egg hunt, after Mass on Easter Day.

Here are the Mass times during Holy Week – please spread the word, and invite family and friends!

Saturday 23 (Feria)

0900    Morning Prayer and Adoration

0930    Mass (of Our Lady)

no Evening Prayer, Confessions and Vigil Mass

Sunday 24 (Palm Sunday)  

0945    Morning Prayer

1030    Blessing of Palms, Procession & Parish Mass

Monday 25 (Holy Monday)

1745    Evening Prayer

1800    Mass

Tuesday 26 (Fig Tuesday)

             no public Morning Prayer

1100    Fulham Chrism Mass (St Andrew, Holborn)

1745    Evening Prayer

1800    Holy Rosary

1830    Mass

Wednesday 27 (Spy Wednesday)

0900    Morning Prayer

0930    Stations of the Cross and Mass

Thursday 28 (Maundy Thursday)    

0945    Morning Prayer

1830    Evening Prayer

2000    Sung Mass and Watch of the Passion (’til midnight)

Friday 29 (Good Friday)

           no public Morning Prayer

0915   Kenton Group of Churches Walk of Witness (All Saints RC Church)

1500    Liturgy of the Passion

Saturday 30 (Holy Saturday / Easter Eve)

0900    Maria Desolata (followed by church cleaning)

1930    Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter (followed by a parish party!)

Sunday 31 (Easter Day) (n.b. clocks go forward one hour!) 

0945    Morning Prayer 

1030    Parish Mass and Renewal of Baptismal Promises

            (followed by an Easter Egg Hunt!)

May Christ, our true and humble King, grant us the faith to know and love him, that we may be found beside him on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory,

Fr Richard