During Holy Week Mother Anna will be saying the Mass from home, praying with and for the community and parish of St Aldhelm’s. Please join her in prayer at 8pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 8pm to midnight on Thursday and from 12 noon to 3pm on Friday.
Mother Anna will be saying the Easter Vigil at dawn on Easter Day, from 6am, followed by the first Eucharist of Easter.
Palm Sunday, 5 April
Mother Anna writes:
Earlier this week a friend sent me a copy of a little booklet called Holy Week at Home. I liked it so much I emailed the person who wrote it to get her permission to copy it and on Wednesday I mailed it out to everyone on the electoral roll. Hopefully by now you have received your copy but, if not, you can find it online here.
It’s a prayer resource, aimed at encouraging all of us to take time each day this week to read the Bible, pray, think about God, our loved ones and the world around us – and to draw closer to God by keeping this Holy Week as holy as possible.
I hope you find it helpful, but I will be the first to admit that I’m not looking forward to this strange, lonely Holy Week. It is going to be hard – I want Holy Week to be prayerful, calm, sombre, a time to reflect on the horrors of the cross and then the unfathomable joy of the resurrection. But instead of spending time at church, with you, I will be spending it at home, surrounded by the noise and distractions of family life. And I fear that I will find it really hard to stay focussed, to stay prayerful, to motivate myself to spend time with God when I could be watching Netflix with my family. I’m probably not alone in that.
Let’s face it, we disciples have always found it hard to stay focussed on prayer, right from the earliest times. In Sunday’s telling of the Passion narrative we hear about Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. But even though this was a holy season for them as well, even though they had just shared what must have been a deeply moving, if puzzling, Passover meal with Jesus, even though the mood on the streets of Jerusalem must have been really tense – even so, they still couldn’t stay awake and pray.
And while we may not be on the tense streets of Jerusalem, still the worries and stress of this present crisis make it hard for us to concentrate. If you are finding it hard to focus – so is everyone else. If your children are running around like mad things instead of doing their school work – all children are. If you’re just too tired or too worried or too fidgety to concentrate – we all are.
It is OK. These are strange times and God is with us. We are trying and God loves us for that. And if we sometimes fail, God loves us anyway. But nonetheless, let’s try. Let’s try to keep this Holy Week holy, let’s try to stay awake and watch with Jesus as he suffers. Knowing that, like Peter, James and John, we are forgiven if we fail.
I leave you with a piece of music which has been in my mind all week, as I have been getting ready for Holy Week, a reflection from The Crucifixion by the late-nineteenth century composer John Stainer. In it Jesus finds the disciples asleep and asks, “Could you not watch with me one brief hour?”, and the chorus, like you and me, prays, “teach us how to love Thee for Thy love. Help us to pray, and watch, and mourn with Thee.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ_T7J_O0v4
I pray that God may help us all to pray and watch and mourn this Holy Week.
The Collect for today
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
Keep in touch
While the church is closed Mother Anna is sending out reflections and prayers by email and updating the website and facebook page more frequently than usual. Please keep an eye on this website and the St Aldhelm’s facebook page for the latest information about what we are up to and if you would like to receive updates and reflections by email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the mailing list.
You can also contact Mother Anna on 07845 137233 and leave a message.
The parish of St Aldhelm Edmonton is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of London’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.