Lent 2006

Events for your diary during Lent

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Lent Groups It is our custom at St Mary's to have Lent Groups - some in the daytime, some in the evening. This year the groups will not be ecumenical but we shall be joining up with St Paul's so we hope to have mixed groups. Queries to Diana Spink.

The Lent Readings The Lent Sermons

The Eucharist in Lent Along with some other changes to the way we present the eucharist, we are proposing that throughout Lent the congregation be invited to stand to receive communion. It would be helpful, if this presents you with any difficulties, if you had a word with one of the clergy or churchwardens.


Ash Wednesday 1st March
1030am Holy Communion
8:00pm Sung Eucharist with imposition of Ashes.
Sundays in Lent
8:00am Holy Communion
9:30am Sung Eucharist
6:30pm Evening Service
Wednesdays In Lent
10:30am Holy Communion

Palm Sunday 9th April
8:00am Holy Communion
9:30am Sung Eucharist with Procession
6:30pm Evening Service - Stations of the Cross
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday in Holy Week
10th, 11Th, 12th April
8:00pm Night Prayer with Address
Maundy Thursday 13th April
8:00pm Sung Eucharist with foot washlng commemoration of the Last Supper and Vigil
Good Friday 14th April
11:00am Procession of Witness, Marlowes
1:30pm Liturgy of the Cross
Holy Saturday 15th April
10:00am - 12noon Easter Workshop
Easter Day 16th AprIl
5:00am Easter Liturgy
8:00am Holy Communion
10.00am family Eucharist
6:30pm Evening prayer

at 6.30pm:
Lent 1 5th March: Choral Evensong (Jointly with the choir of St Johns, Boxrnoor, at St Johns)
Lent 2 1 2th March: EvenIng prayer with Hymns
Lent 3 19th March: Service of Prayer for Healing
Lent 4 26th March: Sung Evensong
Lent 5 2nd April: A Choral Service for Passontide
Palm Sunday
9th AprIl: Stations of the Cross

ThIs year, the parish of St. Mary and St Paul are joining together for study during lent. it's a wonderful opportunity for the congregations of the two churches to work together and to get to know each other better. The groups begin the week of March 6th for five weeks.
One group, meeting on Monday evenings at 7:30pm, will be exploring faith and this can also be a preparation for adults considering confirmation. The group will be studying Emmaus material. There are four other groups meeting in different parts of the parish on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30pm and at 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoons. These groups will be studying one of two books. `Life Balance by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfleid, a five session course for Lent giving an opportunity to examine our patterns of rest, work and play and to look afresh at our values and life principles in the light of the Bibles teaching about the Sabbath. `Beginnings and Endings' by Nick Fawcett. This is concerned with what it is we, as Christians, see ourselves leaving behind and in what ways does life bring new beginnings.

Personal computers are much less personal than we sometimes think. Their language is the language of signs,
mathematical language, very precise and beautiful, but a sign language nevertheless; clear, sharp, directive, helping rational thought. It is impersonal and distinct from poetic language. The language of faith Is poetical, metaphorical, emotional, It helps us in imaginative enterprises - in the understanding of faith, of being of how we relate to all around us, Such language gives us a way of exploring the meaning of what we experience of people and things, of space and being, of beginning and ending, of prayer and meditation, of falling in and out of love. Lent offers us a time to experiment with such language, to discover new meaning in familiar expressions offaith. Here at St Mary's we shall have the chance to do this through our worship together, through our membership of small groups and in our time alone.

Lent info


During Lent some people may like, slowly and thoughtfully to read a book, A traditional practice it can be rewarding and illuminating, sometimes calming, sometimes disturbing. Here is a selection complied by Haney Smith. if you have queries, please contact him on 266377. All the books are availabie through the Mustard Seed except the two marked . These you can borrow from Harvey or from Peter Cotton.

When They Crucified my Lord Brother Ramon,
A popular and respected writer on prayer and spirituality.
`Soul Maicing**, Alan Jones
A personal, deeply spiritual journey with some good stories on the way.
`With Jesus In the Upper Room~ David Winter
An lndepth look at the teachings of Jesus on the night before he died.
`Poetry and Prayer', Richard Griffiths
Exploring and expressing faith through the arts, Silence and Honey Cakes, Rowan Williams,
A good read ftill of profound theology, elegance and enjoyment
`Lent with Luke David Thomson,
A reflective journey through Lent using images and paintings of scenes from Luke's gospel
`Free of Charge Miroslav Volt
Subtitled Giving and forgiving in a culture stripped of grace'; this is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book.

Buy books online

Changes to the Services

At the Sung Eucharist during Lent you will notice some temporary changes. First, as you come into church you will see the banners at the crossing-bold, matchIng, purple banners. For many people, the visual has always been Important In worship. Look at all the decorative, artistic work that has gone into our church building down the centuries. Fine artefacts in church speak of divine beauty and human creativity. The Lenten banners will do this and more. They will also help to focus our attention on the mystery of the sacrament we are celebrating. Next you will notice the holy table - a table, not a sideboard or a trolley; a table, as yet unlaid, around which we shall gather, as the service proceeds, for our sacramental meal. It is a sacramental rneal that is also sacrificial. Here we encounter the self- giving love of God in Jesus Christ: `this is my body, given for you. Here we are challenged to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. So it is not merely a table: it is an altar-table.

And notice as we assemble how the ministers gather round the altar-table. The character of our buildIng and Its furnishing precludes all of us from doing so. Yet that is the spirit In which we are met for worship. For it is the whole assembled company that is the real minister at the Eucharist it is in ourselves as a community that true priesthood resides. We are not here as the passive audience of a distant erformance. We are here as participants in a life-changing drama. The God revealed In Jesus is the author of that drama and we are the cast.

And lastly, as the offertory approaches, look out for the bread and the wine as they are brought to the altaptable. In silver dish and silver flagon they will become the one bread and one cup that symbolise the unity of Christ's people. Broken and poured out they will be for us the body and the blood of Christ through which God offers us healing for our brokenness and vulnerability.

And the intention of these changes? That we ourselves might be changed. Every act of worship can make a difference to the people taking part. Through our worship in the Eucharist all of us, individually and together, is opened afresh to living sacrificially and to discovering ourselves anew as Gods children in Christ. The the words of one writer May we find In Lent a Mule more of the wonder of heaven's golden light in earth's bread broken and wine outpoured'

The sermons of four of the Sundays of Lent will have aspects of the eucharist as their theme;

Lent 1: Bread and wine The Revd Harvey Smith
Lent 2: Altar and table The Revd Diana Spink
Lent 3: Priest and people The Revd Peter Cotton
Lent 5: One bread; one cup The Revd Trevor Barton



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