In this weekend’s sermon our Parish Priest outlined for us the Lenten programme at Saint Peter’s. You can watch or read this below, or see the outline in this month’s Cross and Keys Newsletter.
You will have seen in the latest edition of the Cross and Keys Newsletter, that we are suggesting seven special ways to help us to do something different over the next forty days.
The first is to be present at one of our very simple and yet profound Eucharists on Ash Wednesday. As we did last year, we will be offering these in the early morning, mid-morning and in the evening to ensure that everyone is able to participate, as we again have ash placed on our foreheads to remind us of our mortality and our utter dependence upon God’s love for us, to give all of the worries of the past and the future over to him. And next week we will take that ash to the nursing homes and to those who are shut in in their homes as well so that no one misses out. Please be with us on Ash Wednesday.
Secondly, this Lent we are suggesting that we should all re-double our commitment to be together at weekend worship. To remember that we come to the Eucharist not primarily as a social event, or because ‘we like this kind of thing’ but in order to worship the God who has created us, and on whom we depend utterly for our vitality. Please make a re-commitment to regular weekend worship this Lent.
Thirdly, this Lent we are inviting everyone to join us in prayer, as we return to the Lord. It would be wonderful if as a conscious reminder to ourselves that being in God’s family is not a one hour at the weekend activity if you would make a commitment to join us at one of the short services of Morning and Evening Prayer or at one of the mid-week Eucharists during this season, as a way of deliberately focusing on your relationship with God, or alternatively to deliberately set aside time at home to do this in your own way. The services are easy to participate in, and you would be most welcome.
Fourthly, on each Monday evening during Lent (beginning next week) we will be focusing on the final moments of Jesus’ life through a simple re-tracing of the stages of the journey of Jesus to the Cross here in Church followed by night prayers. We have not done this for some years, and we will only be doing it during Lent, so please be a part of it.
Fifthly, on Thursday evenings (again beginning next week) we are going to meet to grow together in our faith and refresh ourselves in our baptismal promises through a time that I will lead of reflection and discussion together. Please sign up today at the back of Church if you would like to join us.
Sixthly, for those of you who are computer literate, we are inviting you to sign up to an excellent resource that you can use at home. The details about how to do it are in the newsletter, but it consists of a short video each day in Lent to help you to be aware of God’s presence with you, which you can access through your computer.
And finally, in this holy season we will be inviting everyone to confidentially fill in a form which will then be held sealed and unopened by me, and my successors, in which you give guidance to your families about what you expect to happen when you die. Now I am going to say more about that in two Sundays time, but I want simply to mention today that that is part of the agenda ahead of us this Lent for those who are willing to participate, to prepare responsibly for our own funerals so our families will be helped by our guidance when the time comes.
I pray for myself that I will not waste the opportunities of this holy season. And I pray too that that will be true for you as well.