A Message from Rev’d Stephen – The Passion

Date: April 9, 2020

Good afternoon,

With sundown, we begin the most solemn days in the Christian calendar –
and in circumstances that are rather peculiar.

Tonight we shall focus on Maundy Thursday, a night full of meaning. The
Institution of the Last Supper. Christ’s Farewell Discourse. The Washing of
the Feet. The Struggle in the Garden. The Betrayal by Judas. The Arrest.
The flight of the Disciples. ‘And it was night.’

It is normally one of the most moving liturgies in the Christian year, and
usually rather full of music. Attached you will find my effort at trying to
condense the service down to its essence. The service should go live on
Soundcloud later tonight, and my thanks to Rob and all who provided the
musical accompaniment.

For those who prefer words, I attach a famous piece of theological writing
fitting to this evening – infamous for the purple nature of the prose! My
brothers and sisters, without a hint of shame, I think it’s just great, and
I normally give it out as part of my Confirmation Class reading material on
the Eucharist. (I originally wanted my wife to read it out in her gentle
Scottish tones, but she is otherwise occupied elsewhere.)

If it was tricky to condense Maundy Thursday, then even more so the next
day. I attach also our liturgy for Good Friday, which will go online
tomorrow, also with musical accompaniment.

I also attach some meditations from the Fathers of the Church on these
great days. I usually use some of them on Good Friday, so you might see
them again next year – or the year after!

I might produce a little something for Easter eve, so do look online on
Saturday evening.

If you fancy something a little bit different, the Saltmine Theatre
Company (an evangelistic group) specialise in producing rather gritty,
contemporary accounts of the gospels. They have turned their 2019 Passion
Play into a radio drama, which can be found here
<https://saltminetrust.org.uk/isolationresources#drama>:

In normal circumstances, the clergy of the team would have gathered at the
Cathedral this morning, to reaffirm their ordination vows, and be so
charged by the bishop:

*At your ordination, you received the yoke of Christ, who came not to be
served but to serve. Will you continue faithfully in this ministry, to
build up God’s people in his truth and serve them in his name? You took
authority to watch over and care for God’s people, to absolve and bless
them in his name, to proclaim the gospel of salvation, and to minister the
sacraments of his New Covenant. Will you continue as faithful stewards of
the mysteries of God, preaching the gospel of Christ and ministering his
holy sacraments?*

In this very strange Holy Week, it remains my privilege to affirm that *By
the help of God, I will*.

With kind regards,

Stephen

Service times

Sunday

8:30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:15am Sung Eucharist

2nd Sunday of the month

10:15am All Welcome Service