On Good Friday in 1991, Pope John Paul II celebrated a Spiritual Way of the Cross in the Colosseum in Rome. It was different from the normal Way of the Cross in that it is based on the passion narratives of the Gospels, and especially Matthew's Gospel which we are reading this year in Sunday Liturgical Cycle A. You might like to use this at home this year during Holy Week with your families as we cannot get to church to celebrate the Stations of the Cross as we would normally do.
Before each station reading, we say the prayer:
We adore thee, O Christ and we bless thee, because by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.
Then read the specified passage from the Gospel defined in the text here.
Follow the reading with a short period of silence for reflection and then the prayer:
I love thee, Jesus, My Love above all things. I repent with my whole heart for having offended thee. Never permit me to separate myself from thee again. Grant that I may love thee always and then do with me what thou wilt.
Our Father...... Hail Mary.......... Glory be .........
May this Holy Week be truly blessed and filled with grace for us all as we follow our Saviour to the Cross. We do so at a time when our world has changed, our lives have been turned upside down and the whole world is experiencing a time of fear and grief, great suffering, the loss of so many loved ones. Yet we bring all of this and our own fears and concerns to our Crucified and Risen Saviour as we pray the Stations of the Cross with hope and trust in Him who is our true life and hope of resurrection.
Further to the tightened restrictions announced by the government last week, the church authorities have further revised instructions to the clergy and further changes are now necessary.
Home visits by priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are no longer permitted. Where pastoral or spiritual contact with the parish priest is required, this will be by telephone. If you want or need to speak to Fr Mathew there are a number of contact options:
The Chrism Mass scheduled for Tuesday 7th April has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a future date yet to be decided.
First Holy Communions and Confirmations have been cancelled for this year.
All weddings are cancelled and no further arrangements will be made until further notice.
Funerals will still take place, but subject to the strict government guidelines.
There is an increasing number of churches in the Diocese which are streaming Masses and a new directory of these has been set up on the Diocesan web site. You can check here to find details of parishes in the Diocese which are providing streamed services, or as advised in the last update, you can check here for a global directory of on line Masses and services in English.
Om Fridays during Lent, we normally celebrate Stations of the Cross after morning Mass. Clearly, in the current climate that is not happening, but you might like to make your own private devotion for this beautiful Lenten service. Click here to follow a YouTube programe of the Stations of the Cross which includes some scenes from Jerusalem of the actual Via Dolorosa.
A number of parishioners have been asking how they can make their weekly offering and especially their Easter offering to Fr. Mathew whilst the church is closed, and this information has been put together for parishioners and other donors to assist them with making their regular offering to God and the Work of his Church.
The parish costs approximately £700 per week to run and normally just about manages with a combination of your offertory (inc tax reclaimed from Gift Aid), hall rental income and 150 club support. Efforts are being made to maintain the 150 club but the hall is now closed and that has left us with a greater funding gap.
Ways in which you can continue to contribute financially and aid the church during these difficult times are as follows:
(a) Click here to make a donation by debit or credit card using a new website recently set up by the church to provide an easy method of payment.You can elect to have your donation included in the Gift Aid scheme
(b) Set up a standing order from your bank account. Those with online or telephone banking facilities can do this remotely. The parish bank account details are as follows:
Account name: St Mary Magdalen RC Parish, Sort Code 20-44-51
Account No: 70777323
(c) Make payments by bank transfer to the above account.
If you normally use Gift aid envelopes and decide to use either of the above methods please put your envelope number in the reference field.
(d) Send a cheque to Fr. Mathew made payable to St Mary Magdalen RC Parish at 468 Norwich Road, Ipswich IP1 6JS.
(e) Put your offering in an envelope (Gift aid if you have one) and post it through the presbytery letter box.
You can of course visit your bank to set up a standing order or make a transfer over the counter but as with (e) above, unless it is part of your daily exercise please do not make a special journey or put yourself at risk. You may prefer to just set your offering aside for when the church eventually reopens.
Tomorrow (Friday 3rd April) is the Day of Prayer for the Victims and Survivors of Abuse in England and Wales. There is a dedicated page on the CBCEW website with resources: this can be found here.
Cardinal Nichols has also recorded a video of the Stations of the Cross which features the Day of Prayer in its introduction. This can also be found on the CBCEW website.
Many of our people will be aware of their Easter Duties – to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season and by custom to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation beforehand. As it is not possible for the faithful to receive Holy Communion at this time and into the future weeks, the Bishops of England and Wales have dispensed the Easter Duties for the year 2020. The Bishops have asked that all should make a Perfect Act of Contrition at this time – that is true and real sorrow for sins when we realise the immense love of God for us. We express this contrition when we realise how we offended God by our sinful words, deeds and omissions in contrast to his immeasurable love and mercy that he continually shows us.
The Act of Contrition that has been suggested for use is as follows:
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy. Amen
Fr. Mathew will celebrate the Rites of Holy Week without the presence of people at St. Mary Magdalen. The times of the celebrations are given below and will be placed on the notice board at the church so that people can prayerfully join in the rites through prayer at home.
Palm Sunday -5th April
10.00 am -The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem and The Mass of the Passion of the Lord
Holy Thursday -9th April
7.30 pm -Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Good Friday 10th April- Day of Fast and Abstinence
3.00 pm: Liturgy of the passion
Holy Saturday – 11th April
8.30 pm -The Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday – 12th April
10.00 am -Holy Mass
Easter Monday 13th April
10.00 am -Holy Mass
Please also note that the Bishop will be celebrating each of the Liturgies in the cathedral and they will be live streamed.
Julian Wong of St Mark's parish has been appointed as the newRegional Port Chaplain for Felixstowe and the Haven Ports. Julian writes: "I am very pleased, blessed and humbled to tell you all that I have been appointed as the Regional Port Chaplain for Felixstowe and the Haven ports which include Ipswich, Lowestoft, King's Lynn, Mistley and Harwich ports. I officially start on Monday 30th March 2020. It is a huge responsibility and it is a full time post. As some of you already know, I have been a volunteer ship visitor for about 5 years, but over the last year, my role had expanded to almost that of a port chaplain. The previous port chaplain, Pat Ezra, had moved to a new position within Stella Maris (previously known as Apostleship of the Sea). Please keep me in your prayers and please support Stella Maris which now has port chaplains in almost every port around the world, providing practical, spiritual and pastoral support to seafarers. Thank you and God bless."
The April edition of the Diocesan newspaper, Catholic East Anglia, is now available. Click the image to the left to down load a copy or to read it on-line. Printed copies are available in church and can be collected once the current movement restrictions, enforce to fight the spread of the Coronavirus, are lifted.
It is with great sadness that we advise you of the death of Roger Mayhew, husband of Molly, who passed away yesterday at Ipswich Heath Road hospital. Roger had suffered with illness for many years and his condition had recently deteriorated. Please pray for the repose of his soul and remember Molly, their son Dale together with the rest of their extended family in your prayers.
May the souls of all the faith full departed through the mercy of Godrest in peace.
A number of high-profile events around the Diocese of East Anglia have been cancelled or postponed following the measures put in place on March 16th by the government in an attempt to contain Coronavirus.
These include the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham (which is due to be rescheduled for later in the year), the Children’s Pilgrimage to Walsingham at the end of May and the Ignite Festival at Swaffham, also in May.
The first Caritas Festival, which was due to be held at St George’s in Norwich on March 28th, has also been cancelled.
Caritas development worker, Jacinta Goode, said: “Please pray for those who were to take part and those they serve, and especially anyone who is suffering the effects of the coronavirus in any way. Caritas is here to serve the poor and marginalised and clearly now is a time when the people of God can share His love in helping those in need.”