Weekly Email – Easter Day
As I write, it is Maundy Thursday, on the cusp of the betrayal and Passion of Jesus. By the time you receive this email, we will be in the throes of Good Friday, celebrating through the liturgy the death of Christ.
It has been wonderful to have Bishop Rowan with us over the past few days preaching at all our Masses. He spoke movingly on Sunday at our Palm Sunday liturgy about Holy Week being a journey, a walking with Christ, that we live out in the liturgies of the Church. The way in which so many of the services we attend through these days involve movement and procession speaks to us of the way in which God chose to walk with us through the incarnation in Jesus Christ.
Bishop Rowan spoke on Palm Sunday of the way in which God enters into the contingent realities of human time and space in order to re-create and redeem us from within. We can only experience this as creatures of time. As Bishop Rowan put it, “We learn by the time through which we pass.”
Part of what we experience in Holy Week is the way in which the narrative of our redemption becomes ours afresh in time and space each year. Through the liturgy, Christ comes to meet us and walk with us.
I was particularly struck by a phrase Bishop Rowan used about God becoming man and the work of salvation in Holy Week – it is about God “pacing himself to the length of our stride,” so that gradually and more falteringly, we might pace ourselves to his.
The pain and anxiety of the earlier parts of Holy Week give way to other narratives involving walking and movement: the women hurrying to the tomb which is now empty; the two disciples of Jesus travelling on the Emmaus Road; the disciple Jesus loved who leapt out of the boat and splashed to shore at the sight of the Risen Christ.
This story of of God walking with us is a journey that ends with the news of the empty tomb, and the excitement and joy of the Resurrection. I pray that joy may be yours when we come to Easter Day, and that as a parish community we might be enabled to celebrate the destination of our liturgical pilgrimage – which is the Risen Christ himself.
It has been such a privilege and a joy to have Bishop Rowan with us as our Holy Week preacher. All his homilies can be found online and can be watched again here on our parish YouTube channel.
Holy Week and Easter Liturgies
Good Friday 15th April 2022
3.00 pm Solemn Liturgy with sermon
7.30 pm Stations of the Cross (Maria Desolata)
Holy Saturday 16th April 2022
9.00 pm Easter Vigil with baptisms, confirmations and sermon.
From Monday 18th April onwards, we return to our normal pattern of two Masses a day, at 12 noon and 6.15 pm.
Online teaching videos about Holy Week
St Stephen’s House, Oxford, is producing an excellent series of online lectures this week focussed on the rites of Holy Week, all given by Fr Robin Ward. They can be found here on the St Stephen’s House YouTube Channel. They are an excellent way to learn more about the history and theological significance of the liturgies we celebrate this week.
Receiving communion at the High Mass
From Easter Day onwards, it will be possible to receive holy communion in the form of the Precious Blood from the chalice again at all Masses. We will also return to using the communion rails in the sanctuary at High Masses.
In a slight departure from this parish’s practice before COVID, there will no longer be the large number of people employed to direct and micro-manage people at communion time.
We will simply rely on worshippers standing up and making their way to the High Altar on their own, using their common sense. There is no problem with a queue developing in the chancel, as the choir will not be singing at that point in the liturgy.
We will also not have the extensive array of people who used to stand by the chancel and north aisle gates to help people up and down. It will simply be assumed from now on that those who choose to make their way to the communion rail are capable of managing steps on their own.
The communion station at the Lady Altar will continue to be available at every High Mass and can be used by anyone who finds steps difficult. Communion at this station will be given in both kinds to people standing, and involves no steps and no kneeling.
We will also continue in our practice that communion can be brought, by prior arrangement, to the seat of anyone whose mobility genuinely makes it difficult for them to get to the Lady Altar.
I would urge anyone with mobility challenges to be realistic about the likelihood that the best and easiest way for them to receive communion will probably be to go to the station by the Lady Altar rather than to the High Altar, or to ask the clergy to bring communion to them in their place.
Saturday Evening Vigil Mass
From Saturday 23rd April onwards, there will be a Vigil Mass of Sunday celebrated each Saturday night at 6.15 pm.
In the Christian tradition, any great feast day begins the evening before, once Vespers has been celebrated. This tradition goes back to the habits and practice of our Jewish brothers and sisters for whom the sabbath begins with sunset on Friday evenings.
The idea of a Vigil Mass allows the Eucharist to be celebrated on Saturday evening as the first Mass of Sunday. It is particularly offered as a way of allowing those who might not be able to get to Mass on Sunday morning to make their communion and fulfil their Christian obligation to be present at the Mass on the Lord’s Day.
You might find this slot a convenient time to come to Mass if you work on Sundays, or there may be times when you have to travel on a Sunday, or will be out of town and might find it difficult to find a church. Whatever the case, the Saturday evening Vigil Mass is there to enable the largest possible number of people to celebrate the Day of Resurrection at the altar of All Saints’.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Easter Day High Mass is at the end of this email. Click here for the YouTube live stream.
Solemn Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm. The music includes Howells St Paul’s Service, Hadley My Beloved Spake, Stanford Te Deum in B flat, and Henschel Tantum ergo. Click here for the YouTube live stream.
Fr Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, David Robin, Martin Berka, Gloria Fleming, Sister Benedicta SLG, Sister Adrian SLG.
Those known to us recently departed
Simeon Sanders, Robert McEwin, Pr
Anniversaries of death
17th – Basil Harris, Margarita Clark
18th – Judith Barrett, Sadie Campbell, Tim Hewlett
19th – Hugh Whittow, Rex Halliwell, Irene Vile, Kathleen Bates, Hilary Waters
20th – Henry Mackay Pr (fifth vicar of All Saints), Margaret Forsyth, Constance Cavan, Alicia Bolton, Priscilla Black
21st – Constance Briscoe, David Mason Pr
22nd – Charles Messenger, Elenor Stanton, Arthur Sandeman Pr
23rd – Hannah Ebbs, John Burton-White
Supporting All Saints
Parish Giving Scheme
You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.
We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with GiftAid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.
Donations for general church purposes
To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:
PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
Parish Legacy Policy
We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):
All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)
or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).