Worshipping in Lent
Ash Wednesday is on 6 March, and marks the beginning of the 46 day journey of Lent (40 days plus six Sundays). There is a 10.30 am Eucharist at St James, and a 7.00 pm Eucharist at St Clement. Both services offer the imposition of ashes on the forehead by the celebrant - with the words: 'Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.' Ash Wednesday is a vitally important day in the Christian year, when we remember that we are weak and fragile, and yet loved by God.
There are then five Sundays, leading to Palm Sunday, and Holy Week.
On Palm Sunday, we recall the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, with the blessing of palms, and a short procession at each church. From Monday - Wednesday in Holy Week, there is a Eucharist at each church on each day (see the calendar for more information).
At 7.30 pm at St Clement's church on Maundy Thursday, we recall the Last Supper, with the optional washing of feet, and at the end of the mass there is an hour's vigil in the Lady Chapel, when remember Jesus's time of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, as we pray in silence before the Blessed Sacrament.
On Good Friday there is a simple Children's Service, 12 noon at St James. At 1.30 pm, the Stations of the Cross at St Clement leads directly into the Liturgy, with a Passion Reading, Reproaches and Veneration of the Cross, and communion from the Reserved Sacrament.
The profound events of Holy Week take us to an Easter Day vigil at 6.00 am at St Clement - with the lighting of the Easter fire, the blessing of the font, vigil readings and our first mass of the Resurrection of Christ. This is then followed by Festival Eucharists at the usual times at both churches.
Each year, we have the opportunity - not to be missed - to go deeper into the loving heart of the Holy Trinity, by faithfully undertaking the journey through Lent to Holy Week and Easter.