As this weekend we enter into Passiontide when we turn with Jesus towards Jeruasalem and the Cross, it is timely to be able to let you know that St Mary's Lynton will host services for Palm Sunday and Holy Week: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Day (all details in the attached service list) It is profound to look forward remembering the events at the heart of our faith together in church, in a way that we were not able to last year. As we have become accustomed, we will need to modify our serviecs to keep each other safe, and we keep in love and prayers those who will feel more able to worship freely at home, but it seems fitting that we return to corporate worship in time to enter into the mystery of Easter. Other churches in the Mission Community are planning to open for private prayer on Easter Sunday, Revd Jean will lead the treasured Easter Dawn serviec in the churchyard at Countisbury, there will also be an Easter Day service at Parracombe, and I will give further details of re-opening for worship in our other churches in due course.
This week we also mark the anniversary of the first full lockdown, and Tuesday March 23rd will be a national day of reflection. We are being encouraged to keep silence at midday, or to light a candle in the evening. I will open St Mary's Lynton for an hour from 11.30-12.30 for private prayer and I have attached a form of prayer you might want to use, with some intercessions for that day. This is a day to hold in our prayers those who have died, and to make contact with those who have suffered bereavement and loss in the last year; as well as giving thanks for and to all who have made our lives better, kinder and safer this year. Who might you make a gentle call to, or write a letter to, saying you are thinking of them? In such little acts, we share love and compassion.
Our journey with Jesus into passiontide is a reminder that we do not offer compassion in our own strength alone, neither do we suffer alone, ever, even when that is what it feel like. Jesus opens his arms on the cross to draw everyone to himself - in our own struggles, and in our reaching out to others, may we feel his loving presence and strengthening embrace.
(Please see Liturgy for Day of Reflection and programme of services for Holy Week and Easter accompanying in News and Notices.)