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Lent 2020


Palm Crosses
 

Please would you return to church or the parish centre last year’s palm cross in order that they may be burned to make the ash used on Ash Wednesday.

Service of Preparation for Lent

This ideal preparation for our keeping of the season of Lent takes place on the Sunday Next before Lent, 23 February at 5.30pm. It is always appreciated by those who come and we wish to encourage a greater proportion of our worshipping community to sample the spiritual treasures on offer. Please do come.
 

Download the Sunday Next before Lent poster.

Ash Wednesday

The Season of Lent begins on Wednesday 26 February. There are two eucharistic services on this day: Mass with Imposition of Ashes at 9.30am in the Parish Centre, and The Parish Mass with Imposition of Ashes at 7.30pm in church. Ash Wednesday is a ‘Red Letter’ or Holy Day of Obligation when all committed Christians are asked to participate in the worship of the Church and consider their response to the themes of the season.

Ash Wednesday is named from the tradition of marking the faithful with a cross of ashes as a sign of mourning for their sins and of repentance. The ash is prepared by burning the palms left over from the previous year and mixing them with a little holy oil or water. This marking was originally made on the tonsure of monks or on the forehead of the faithful, but modern practice allows marking the palms of the hands instead. The people kneel before the priest, who marks them with the words, ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ’.

The service of the imposition of ashes is known as ‘ashing' and has its basis in the Old Testament practice, common in the ancient Middle East, of putting ashes on one's head and wearing sackcloth to signify repentance. ‘O my poor people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only child, most bitter lamentation’ (Jeremiah 6:26). The use of ashes was abolished as part of the Protestant reforms of 1548 but reinstated by later monarchs. The service is now widely observed in the Church of England. Ash Wednesday is observed by almost all Christian denominations as a solemn day of repentance to mark the beginning of an important season, whether ashing is practised or not. Let us begin Lent as we mean to go on – together, faithfully.

Download the Ash Wednesday poster.

Resolutions for Lent

Faithfully and sincerely living the Christian life means a continual effort to live up to the ideals Christ has set us. Because we so regularly fall short we are constantly picking ourselves up and making a new effort, a new beginning.

Lent is a terrific opportunity to make such a fresh start. This in effect means making resolutions. They should be few, practical and reasonable. A little self-knowledge should be brought to bear. It is quite pointless making great promises if you know yourself well enough to know that you will not keep them up.

Stations of the Cross - Fridays in Lent

As in previous years, we will be joining with our Christian brothers and sisters from St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church for these devotions on the fourteen 'Stations of the Cross’. They are ‘snapshots’ taken during the final hours of Christ’s earthly life, and these evenings are an immensely valuable spiritual devotion on the final hours of Christ’s earthly life. Stations take place on Friday evenings at 7.30pm, as follows:

Friday 28 February St Gregory's
Friday 6 March St Matthew's
Friday 13 March St Gregory's
Friday 20 March St Matthew's
(Please note that this evening has been CANCELLED)
Friday 27 March St Gregory's (Please note that this evening has been CANCELLED)
Friday 3 April St Matthew’s (Please note that this evening has been CANCELLED)

The Stations of the Cross are an invaluable enrichment to our spiritual observance of Lent, as well as a wonderful teaching resource which exposes us to the central beliefs of our faith. Download the Stations of the Cross poster as a handy reminder of the dates and please do come if you possibly can.

Lent Course

This Year's Lent Course is entitled ‘Deepening Faith’. It is based on the Gospel according to Mark. Every three minutes a Christian dies for their faith. It has been said that, ‘There is a rare beauty that emerges in the lives of Christians who suffer, and it is in the place of deprivation that the Church most flourishes.’ The course will examine how true this was in the latter part of the first century of Christianity; how the Gospel of Mark was written against the background of persecution; and how that experience deepened the faith of those early Christians. A simple reading of the Gospel of Mark, and Lenten meditation upon it, could be a good way for us, too, to deepen our faith.

The course will consist of five stand alone sessions, and take place in church on the following evenings, beginning at 7.30pm:

Thursday 5 March Faith in Jesus, the Christ
Wednesday 11 March The testing of faith
Wednesday 18 March Growth in faith
(DO NOT COME TO CHURCH)
Thursday 26 March The cost of discipleship
(DO NOT COME TO CHURCH)
Thursday 2 April The reward of faith
(DO NOT COME TO CHURCH)

All we ask, by way of preparation, is for participants to read the Gospel according to Mark in its entirety (at sixteen chapters it is the shortest of the four accounts) and do so in one or perhaps two sittings. Download the Lent Course poster as a handy reminder of the dates and please do come if you possibly can.

Mothering Sunday – 22 March (DO NOT COME TO CHURCH)

Mothering Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is also known as ‘Mid Lent’ or ‘Refreshment’ Sunday. It is a day on which, traditionally, the faithful take a break from the rigours of Lent, and relax their Lenten discipline. It is also the day on which we focus on the vocation of motherhood and give thanks to God for the gift of children. We do so with sensitivity towards those who, through the varied circumstances of life, have not been able to share in the blessings and tribulations of parenthood.

Annunciation of the Lord (DO NOT COME TO CHURCH)

‘Lady Day’ is celebrated on Wednesday 25 March, exactly nine months or one gestation period before Christmas Day. It is a Principle Feast of the Church, and marks the beginning for the 'Christ event’, the fulfilment of centuries of expectation and longing as recorded in the Old Testament.


 

 
 

Spiritual Communion

 

 

Find out about Spiritual Communion - how to make it.
 

 

Recorded Services

 

Watch Sunday service recordings via our website.
 

 

 

Times of Services

 

Find out what times our services are held.
 

 
 

Worship Calendar

 
 

Take a look at our worship calendar for the current month.
 

 
 

Special Services

 
 

Find out what special services are coming up by downloading our service posters.
 

 

 

Music Lists

 

 

Discover what music has been planned for the current month. You can also view music for previous months.
 

 

 

Weekday Scripture Readings

 

 

Step forward in your discipleship and join others in weekday scripture readings.
 

 

 

Healing Ministry

 
 

Learn about the theological background to the Ministry of Healing and Wholeness.

 
   
 

Walsingham Cell

 
 

Learn about the Parish Cell of the Society of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham

 
     
    Walsingham Cell Gallery
   

View photos relating to the Walsingham Cell.

 
     
  Baptisms & Weddings  
 

Learn about Baptisms & Weddings at St Matthew's church and the Initial Enquiries Evenings that take place.

 
 

 

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