Thursday, 17 April 2014


On Holy Thursday the Church gathers to celebrate the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. 
This Mass recalls Our Lord's Institution of the Mass and the Ordination of the first priests of the Church. 
At the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament is carried in solemn procession to the Altar of Repose and the high altar is then stripped of its furnishings.
The church remains open for sometime after Mass for the faithful to keep watch with the Lord as he prays for the strength to endure all this is going to happen.
The Altar of Repose at St Joseph's Church

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


As we have seen in the last few posts the children of our primary schools have led us prayerfully in the Events of Holy Week.

We gather in Church to commemorate those events week too.  This year the Holy Week Services will take place at St Joseph's Church.

Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper and Watch at the Altar of Repose
Celebration of the Lord's Passion
(Confessions will be available after the service)
Stations of the Cross at St Marie's Church
Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Solemn Vigil
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
and First Mass of Easter
Holy Mass in St Joseph's Church
Holy Mass in St Marie's Church


This morning the children of St Marie's School led us by means of drama and song through the events of Holy Week.

We began with Jesus and His Apostles gathering in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover

As we know Jesus gave a new meaning to the events of Passover when he surprised the Apostles by taking break and saying 'This is my Body' and taking the wine and saying 'This is my Blood.  Do this in memory of Me.' 

From the Last Supper celebration with His Apostles Jesus is then arrested and condemned to death by Pilate and led to His death on the Cross. 

The soldiers accompany Him to Calvary where He suffers and dies on the cross.

The dead body of Our Lord is placed in the tomb.  The women go to anoint His body and stay for a while by the tomb. 

As Christians we know that Good Friday was not the end. 
 Our Lord was to rise from the dead on the third day. 
 It is the central event of our Faith and we celebrate His Glorious Resurrection on Easter Day

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


W sobotę 19ego kwietnia o godzinie 12:30 odbędzie się świecenie pokarmów Wielkanocnych w kościele naszym (St Marie's, Bury). Gorąco zapraszamy państwa i prosimy o rozpowiedzeniu znajomym. Bóg zapłać.
The traditional blessing of Food will take place on Holy Saturday 19th April at 12:30pm in St Marie's Church.  All are welcome to be part of this celebration.


This afternoon I attend a wonderful dramatization of the central events of our Faith - the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. 
Through prayer, drama and song the children of St Joseph's school helped us to meditate on the real meaning of Easter. 
Thank you to all the children and staff who have worked so hard in preparing today's service.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Passover as a family.  They remember the escape from slavery at the time of Moses and this sustains them and reminds them of God's everlasting love. 
The children explained the meaning and significance of the different elements of the Jewish Passover celebration and how the Jews remember how God rescued them from slavery.
They then reflected on how Jesus as a devout Jew came to celebrate the Passover with his disciples.  Jesus however gave a new meaning to the Passover when he took bread and wine, distributed them among His disciples saying that it was His Body and Blood and that when ever they met together they were to remember Him.
Through the use of different colours the children helped us to focus on different aspects of the life of Jesus and his Passion.

White is the colour of holiness and perfection, the colour of peace and new beginnings.

We thought about the Suffering Servant as written about by the Prophet Isaiah. 
''Long before Jesus was born a prophet spoke of a time that was to come, things that were to happen.  A person who would save people who were lost - lost like sheep, lost and far from God. He will be beaten and not cry out.  He will be like a lamb going to die.  He will be accused without reason and sent to die though nothing wicked had been in his heart or on his lips.  This is the one who will turn darkness into light and his light will lead us home. 

Dark colours make us think about sadness and injustice, about times in our lives and in the world when things go wrong. Things are beginning to go wrong when Jesus prays in the garden. 
This eventually lead to his arrest, crucifixion and death. 

As Christians we know that the death of Jesus was not the end of everything.  It is called Good Friday for a reason.
We believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is living with us now.
Some of our younger children helped us to reflect on the Resurrection by talking about and showing us many examples of new life that we see all around us each day.
Our celebration was concluded by the youngest members
of our school community singing a delightful song for us.

Sunday, 13 April 2014


The old translation of the introduction to the Palm Sunday liturgy used to say 'For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing by works of self sacrifice....'  Many times I have wanted to add the word 'long 'so that it reads 'for five long weeks of Lent...'
With the New Translation the Church spurs us from having such unholy thoughts as now we pray 'since the beginning of Lent until now we have prepared our hearts....'
As we enter this Holy Week it is an indication that the penances and disciplines of Lent that we have taken upon ourselves will soon be over.  However this does not mean that we simply return to the way things were.  The whole point of 'giving something up for Lent' is to help us focus on the things that really matter.
Let us continue to pray for each other in this Great Week that we will come closer to the Lord in His Passion so that we may truly share in in Resurrection.


Palm Sunday is often remembered for the procession and the 'long gospel.'  At Mass today we read the Passion according to St Matthew.  The events of the Passion are at one and the same time familiar and unfamiliar to us.  They are familiar in the sense that we have heard the story so many times that we think we know it.  There are unfamiliar in the sense of something new always seems to catch our attention each time that we hear them.
As I was reading the Passion this morning I was struck by the line 'Friend, do what you are here for.'  Those words were spoken by Jesus to Judas.  It is amazing to think that Jesus, knowing all that Judas was about to do (and indeed how all the other apostles would react in the Passion events) addresses him as friend.  I wonder how we would have reacted if we knew that Judas was to betray us to death.  We are more than likely to be thinking along the lines of 'come on you old so and so. get one with what you have to do.  Betray me and then we can move on.'  Thankfully the Lord is more merciful than we are and addresses Judas as His friend.
That same injunction is given to us as well as we stand on the threshold of this Holy Week.  Our Lord says to us 'Friend do what you are here for.'  Will we walk with the Lord?  Will be accompany Him into the Garden of Gethsemane?  Will we be with Him as He is nailed to the Cross?  Will we enter into the tomb with Him so as to rise with Him on Easter Day?
Friend do what you are here for.
As a child I used to think that there were two crowds.  There was the crowd that gathered, cut branches from the trees, spread their cloaks in the road and joyfully welcomed the Lord as he rode into Jerusalem.
Then there was a different crowd of people that pitched up on Good Friday wanted the Lord to be done away with. Their cry was not 'Hosanna to the Son of David' but 'Crucify Him, crucify Him.'
It came as a revelation to discover in my teens that there weren't two crowds.  It was the same group of people.  The crowds that joyfully welcome the Lord into the city had now turned on Him and were crying for His blood.  How fickle people can be.  Isn't it so easy to go with the crowd?
As we enter into the events of this Great Week what will you do.  How will you react to that command of the Lord: Friend do what you are here for?