8th April 2020
My dear friends,
I’m writing this in the middle of Holy Week, that most solemn time when we remember the last days of the earthly life of Jesus.
So much was turned upside down that week. The crowd which was throwing down cloaks to create a carpet for the coming Messiah, waving palm branches and singing Hosanna was only a few days later shouting ‘crucify him’ at that same Messiah. One from his closest circle of friends and followers would betray him, another would deny knowing him. What a difference a week makes!
At Christ the Saviour we celebrate these great days as we are invited to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. This year, that invitation is still offered but its celebration is so different. We cannot gather as a community of faith, as the Body of Christ to celebrate the Mass as Jesus celebrated his Last Supper with his friends. We cannot walk in witness on Good Friday, nor can we approach the Cross to venerate and adore the one who died to save us. We cannot light the New Fire as the Light of the Risen Christ shines into the darkness.
In recent weeks we have been unable to gather as we seek to keep our communities safe, as we seek to support and encourage one another at a distance. What a difference a week makes!
Our building may be closed for the time being, but our hearts are open to worship and outreach as we share the Love of Christ differently. May we discover God’s blessing as we live in the strange and often disconcerting ways which we are experiencing just now.
The invitation is still offered. I have been saying Mass every day at 9.30am here in The Clergy House for all who live or work in this parish of Christ the Saviour, for the children staff and parents at Christ the Saviour School for all on whom we rely for our daily needs, for all who are anxious or fearful, for those affected by the Coronavirus and for the ongoing life of our parish, congregation, nation and world.
On Maundy Thursday I shall celebrate the Mass at 7pm, on Good Friday at 12noon the Stations of the Cross and at 2pm the Solemn Liturgy will be celebrated. Then on Holy Saturday I shall light the Paschal Candle and celebrate the Vigil and First Mass of the Resurrection at 8pm. On Easter Day and each day thereafter, I shall celebrate Mass at 9.30am.
I hope that, knowing the times when worship is being offered here in The Clergy House you will feel able to join in prayer and fellowship in you own homes. The websites of the Church of England (https://www.churchofengland.org/) and the Diocese of London (https://www.london.anglican.org/) have worship resources which will help you to do this.
We continue to reach out to members of the community who are isolated. Please advise us of people whom you are aware who would appreciate our calls by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In all that we face together, may you know the Light of Christ, shining in the darkness and may that light bring you joy and peace.
With my love and prayers,
God of love and light, In this time of fear, give us your peace. In this time of isolation, give us your presence. In this time of sickness, give us your healing. In this time of uncertainty, give us your wisdom. In this time of darkness, shine your light upon us all. In Jesus’ name.