LAETARE SUNDAY & MOTHERING SUNDAY This Sunday is often called “Laetare Sunday.” Today’s theme is one of hope and rejoicing that Easter is drawing near. The Entrance Antiphon for Mass today begins with the Latin word “laetare” meaning ‘rejoice’ and the vestments worn by the celebrant are often rose-colored which is traditionally associated with a sense of joy amidst a season of penance. Let us rejoice indeed that our salvation is near at hand. The Preface (before the ‘Holy, Holy…’) explains: “By the mystery of the Incarnation, [Christ] has led the human race that walked in darkness into the radiance of the faith”. Even as Christ draws closer to his Passion, John’s Gospel highlights the paradox that the deeper the darkness, the closer he is to glory, salvation for the whole world. The tradition of Mothering Sunday also falls on the 4th Sunday of Lent, when those in paid service had leave to visit their mothers or the mother church of the diocese, the Cathedral. We are aware of the demands this last year has placed on mothers (and fathers) and wish them a special blessing on this day. We pray for all our Mothers, whether living or departed.
LITURGIES IN HOLY WEEK AND AT EASTER Fr Michael is hoping to be free from having to shield from 31st March. This will be confirmed by the government soon. We are therefore hoping to be able to celebrate the Triduum and Easter Day Mass. We will need to have a booking system once again, to ensure the safety of everyone. Details of how to book will follow in due course when the exit from shielding is confirmed. Please see the on line bulletin for updates. We had hoped to be able to begin a streaming service from St Patricks but sadly in the present crisis our finance committee has decided that this will prove too expensive for us at this time.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER 2021 Friday 5th March. Due to Covid restrictions we will not be holding this service in Corsham this year. However, there will be services on-line including one direct from VANUATU which is this year’s focus country. The link to a video of Vanuatu’s service is not yet available but nearer the time it will be at the World Day of Prayer website: https://www.wwdp.org.uk. Booklets for the service are available free. Please phone 01249 716277 or call at 6 Church Street, Corsham, for a copy.
A LENT RESOURCE for the whole Diocese. Bishop Declan invites each one of us to take time during this coming Lent to reflect on the life of our Diocese as we move forward out of the pandemic. Inspired by the writings of Pope Francis, ‘Dare to Dream’ encourages us to think about God’s invitation to each one of us to shape the future of the Church, particularly in this corner of the world. Each reflection is accompanied by a video which we encourage you to watch before engaging with the scripture offered. This resource can be used by individuals, by families or by already established on-line parish groups. As we move towards Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, an introductory session will help to orientate us for the weeks ahead. Each session has a similar framework to follow. The reflections and videos will appear on the Diocesan Website under the banner – ‘Dare to Dream’. Click here.