- Our Monday evening Services of Compline with Address at 8.00 pm in the Abbey end tomorrow evening, when I will sing the Office with the Gentleman of the Choir following the last address, which will be given by The Reverend Lesley McCreadie. She will bring to a close our reflections on the Letter of Paul to the Philippians. The passage tomorrow is chapter 4, verses 2 to the end.
- Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. But it is also the day on which British Summer Time begins. Don’t forget to adjust your clocks on Saturday evening. Remember: we “spring forward”. That means we lose an hour. Go to bed early!
- Weather permitting, the Abbey’s Palm Sunday Procession will leave from The Green at 9.15 am next Sunday. If you would like to be part of the Procession, please be at The Green in good time to join the Choir and Clergy. If not, be in your usual place in the Abbey.
- The next day, Monday 26 March, we have in the Abbey our traditional Holy Week Meditation at 7.30 pm. Paul Ellis and members of Sherborne Chamber Choir supply the music. I have chosen the readings in between. It is a moving and inspiring occasion.
- Meanwhile, The Reverend Lesley McCreadie needs 12 feet to wash at the Abbey’s Maundy Thursday Eucharist at 7.00 pm on Thursday 29 March. Please sign up on the list at the back of the Abbey if you are willing to take part. After the Eucharist the Watch of the Passion is kept in the Lady Chapel until midnight. People come and go by the south-east door. We need to be sure of at least two people being there at any one time, and so there is a list at the back of the Abbey divided into half-hour ‘slots’. If you would like to help observe the Watch – entering into the feelings and agonies of Jesus in the garden before his arrest and “trial” – please sign the list. The Watch is a time to pray, to meditate, to contemplate….
- I will be preaching at the Maundy Thursday Eucharist, and will then conduct the Abbey’s Good Friday Three Hours’ Devotion. It is many years since I have given the Good Friday addresses. I haven’t run out of much more able and eminent preachers to invite. I just felt I wanted to do it myself this year.
As usual, we ask people attending the Three Hours, which begins at 12 noon, to arrive or depart on the half-hour, which will be marked by a hymn. Then at 2.00 pm we celebrate the Liturgy of the Cross with an adult choir drawn from our own Gentlemen and members of the Sherborne Chamber Choir.
- The Easter Eve ceremonies on Holy Saturday (31 March at 8.00 pm) are quite simply amongst the most inspiring and moving of the year. I see that last year I wrote that “I never cease to be surprised by how many people don’t come. You simply do not know what you are missing.” And many people rose to the challenge, and came, and were thrilled that they had done so. Do please join them this year.
- Each year during Lent we support two projects, one overseas and one closer to home, through our prayers, interest and gifts. This year’s projects are Tinneys Youth Club here in Sherborne and CRANE, the Children at Risk Action Network in Kampala, Uganda, where our Mission Partner Helen Burningham is currently working. There is a yellow leaflet which gives further information about the work of these two organisations and the specific projects which we will be supporting. Copies are still available in our churches, or from the Parish Office.
- Accommodation in the Limerick Diocese for Sisters Ann-Marie and Isabel has now been identified, so they now hope to have their final day with us on Sunday 15 April. More news later!
10. Our Confirmation Service due to have been held on Saturday 3 March was, of necessity, cancelled because of the snow. It has now been rescheduled for Saturday 19 May at 11.00 am. It occurs to me that there is still time to prepare those of you who are adults and still unconfirmed, and I would be glad to do this myself. I can’t help noticing a fair number of adults at the Abbey’s Parish Eucharist who present for a blessing only. Isn’t it time to do something about that? I can tailor-make dates and times with you or, if you prefer, other members of the clergy team would be only too pleased to help. Over to you….