Palm Sunday gives us a foretaste of the rest of Holy Week: the traditional blessing and procession of palms gives us already a hint of Christ's glorification at Easter through his resurrection, before the rest of the Mass focuses on the sufferings of his Passion which will come on Good Friday. Here follows an adapted version of a homily preached by Fr Richard last year. Although we cannot celebrate in the church this year, we can reflect on the prayers and Bible readings at home.
‘The King’s standards advance.’ These are the opening words of one of the hymns for Passiontide. It envisages a situation in which the King, full of confidence in his strategy and his military strength, advances into battle against an enemy who is certain to be defeated. My Latin dictionary tells me that this standard (vexillum) is in particular ‘a red flag hoisted on the general’s tent as a signal for battle.’
This is the kind of ethos of the Palm Sunday Procession which the Church tells us is ‘in honour of Christ the King’. Although this year we can only do it in our mind's eye, we are the crowds of his loyal subjects who hail him and join in his procession as he goes into battle against the forces of evil. Already with its cries of Hosanna (‘save now’) the waving palm branches and red robes are a sign of confidence in Christ’s resurrection victory next Sunday. Then we shall be able to affirm: ‘Death with life hath contended in that combat stupendous. The Prince of life who died, reigns immortal;’ Today we sing in our hearts his praises in a kind of national anthem of Christendom: ‘All glory, laud and honour, to thee Redeemer King.’ This does not contradict the fact that Jesus enters the city as a King of peace, whose conquering ambitions only extend to the seat of power of Satan, in order to release us from his thrall and restore to us our true freedom and dignity as God’s sons and daughters.
The atmosphere in the actual cut and thrust of battle is rather different from that in which troops set out under their leader, and the temptation to desertion at that point is surely real. We who sing ‘Hosanna!’ today must remain close to Christ the Suffering Servant as he processes along the Way of Sorrows to Calvary on Good Friday. We must not abandon him like the disciples who all forsook him and fled, but be like Mary, the women of Jerusalem and Simon of Cyrene, who were alongside Jesus as he moved slowly forward. Victory will be snatched from the jaws of defeat as Jesus utters his victorious final word from the cross at the moment of death: ‘It is accomplished.’
The final part of the procession which we have begun in our hearts today will be a running to the tomb with Peter and John on Easter Sunday morning when we shall discover it to be empty, and then recognise the risen Saviour in our midst as he greets us by name, as he did Mary of Magdala. We shall follow him into the Galilee of our future life of witness to him, and eventually share in his triumphant Ascension procession into the heavenly kingdom where he is seated at the right hand of the Father. ‘Now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place at the right hand of divine majesty.’ (Hebrews 1:3.)
Saturday (Vigil) - 6pm
Sunday - 8.30am / 10am / 11.30am / 6pm
Syriac Rite Mass - Sunday 1pm
Daily Mass - 9.30am & 6pm
Holy Days - 9.30am / 12.30pm / 6pm
Monday to Friday 6.30pm
Saturday 10am - 10.30am / 5.15pm - 5.40pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Saturday 5pm - 5.45pm
First Friday 5pm-6pm
News and updates
Easter Duties of Confession and Holy Communion are removed this year
In these extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic when we are unable to gather together to celebrate the great feasts of Holy Week and Easter, Cardinal Vincent explains that the obligation of our Easter Duties to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion is removed from us. Instead, he says, we can make an Act of Perfect Contrition to express our deep sorrow at our sins against the goodness of God. We can then make an Act of Spiritual Communion at Easter.
In the Case of Serious illness...
The current health emergency has led to radical changes in our hospitals. To protect staff and patients, new rules essentially prevent almost all visits to in-patients. One side-effect of this is that priests will not have the same access to patients in hospitals they have always had up until now. In particular, patients with Covid-19 are strictly isolated even from their own families.
In recent days Pope Francis has approved a new decree which, during the current crisis, provides the option of a plenary indulgence (the remittance of all temporal punishment for sins forgiven) to those who cannot receive the Last Rites of the Church in practice this means that if a patient cannot get to confession because a priest cannot attend, then God, in his love for us offers us other means of forgiveness. As St Paul reminds us in his letter to Timothy, God desires all men and women to be saved. (cf 1 Timothy 2:4). Patients in these circumstances are urged to say the prayers below and make an act of perfect contrition – this means that we hate the sins we have committed, we are truly sorry for them, are resolved not to sin again and that we will confess our sins if we can, when that is possible. This prayer of sorrow will obtain forgiveness of both mortal and venial sin. The act of contrition can be in the patient’s own words – no specific formula is needed. It can be a simple phrase, “Lord, have pity on me, a sinner.”
The indulgence is also granted to every Catholic who, at the point of death, cannot receive the Last Rites (as may well be the case due to current health restrictions), and who, even if they cannot recite the prayers below, in their life, has tried to pray and to love God. Please make this information known to anyone currently in hospital or likely to be admitted.
Prayers to obtain the indulgence for those facing serious illness or danger of death:
The Apostles' Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with You, Amen
Pastoral Considerations during the ‘Lockdown’ Period.
In the present circumstances, it is not possible to bring Holy Communion to the housebound. This is because those housebound parishioners are usually elderly, perhaps over 70 years old, and may have a weakened immune system. These are the very people who should be self-isolating for 12 weeks. (N.B. When Holy Communion is not available; an act of spiritual communion can be made).
Similarly, we are unable to make pastoral visits to the homes of parishioners because everyone, including priests, should be staying at home in order not to spread infection. However, Father Richard and Father Mark are happy to offer pastoral support by telephone on 020 7603 3832 – then dial the extension of the priest to whom you wish to speak.
If the sacrament of reconciliation is not available for any reason, as explained by the Apostolic Penitentiary, forgiveness of sins is possible by making a good act of contrition.
List of live streamed Masses and other spiritual resources
Follow this link on the diocesan website for the list of parishes streaming, or live-streaming Mass, in our diocese: https://rcdow.org.uk/news/how-to-participate-in-mass-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
NEEDING AND OFFERING HELP IN THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
Some older people confined to home during the coronavirus emergency may not have anyone to get food shopping or prescriptions for them. If this is you, or someone close to you, please contact the Parish Office by phone or email and we will try and match you up with a parish volunteer who may be able to help.
If you are one of our adult parishioners willing to volunteer in this way, please also let us know. (A number of you already kindly have done so – thank you!) We will then contact you to acknowledge your offer, attempt to match you with someone who would like help, and give you a few guidelines.
New for parents and children from Sr Jenefer
Today is Palm Sunday. I hope the children will be waving their palms and doing their own procession while they watch a live streamed Mass at churchservices.tv
Mass Readings can be found at www.wednesdayword, with puzzles & games.
There are also stories & games for children at the cafod kidz website.
A children’s Liturgy & family prayers are available on www.tentenresouirces
And for adults: Much more on the Westminster Diocese website www.rcdow.org.uk including open access to films & videos with discussion questions with the suggestion of viewing them with friends & discussing by Skype etc.
Also an excellent lecture series: Journeying through the Bible with Matthew by Fr, Javier Ruiz-Ortiz.
Please note: Because of the Coronavirus crisis, Sr Jenefer’s office is closed until further notice, and she will not see any emails, or hear any voicemail messages, or be able to reply to them. For anything urgent, please contact one of the priests.
Canon Edward Matthews, RIP
Last Wednesday, 1st April, we received the sad news of the death earlier that day of Father Eddie, who was a much loved parish priest of Holy Trinity Brook Green, 1993-2003. Father Eddie died peacefully at the East Surrey Hospital following admission last Thursday. He was born in London on 9th February 1937 and ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Westminster at the English College Lisbon on 16th June 1962. Funeral arrangements will be in accordance with the protocols necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic. Memorial Requiem Masses will be celebrated when it is possible later in the year, including one here at Holy Trinity. Fr Richard and Fr Mark were able to offer Mass for the repose of his soul on the day of his death.
If you are in a financial position to make an Easter Offering towards the support of the clergy, we are most grateful. In that case, please place it in any envelope, which you should mark 'Easter Offering', and post it through the presbytery's secure letterbox. With grateful thanks. Alternatively you may make your offering via bank transfer to:
Acc name: WRCDT Brook Green Catholic Church
Acc No: 01308173
Sort code: 40-05-20
Please mark your donation as Easter Offering. Thank you.
Fr Mark writes: Some good news!
At the suggestion of some of our parishioners, and with their help, we have set up a Facebook page for the parish. The purpose of this is to pray and communicate with as many parishioners as possible, especially those who are feeling lonely or isolated and cut off from the church community. You do not need to have a Facebook account to access our page.
This is the link that you follow, or type in your browser:
If you connect to the above page at the following dates and times, you will see me on video and you are invited to pray with me for the needs of the parish, the community and the wider world.
Saturday 4th April 4pm Pray the Rosary together.
Sunday 5th April 12 noon Liturgy of the Word and Prayers
Tuesday 7th April 7.30pm Liturgy of the Word and Prayers
Friday 10th April 11am Good Friday Stations of the Cross
Sunday 12th April 11:45am Easter Liturgy of the Word and Prayers
Please download our newsletter for more information.
Christian Marriage: a journey of healing
On Friday 29th September the Church celebrated the Great Feast of the Three Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Can you identify them in the picture above?
Michael carries a sword in his hand to defend your marriage from the Devil who accuses us when we sin, lies to us about what makes us happy, and puts in our minds doubts about the love of God.
Gabriel carries a pregnant womb, the visible sign that every Word of God carries new life and can become flesh in your marriage, because ‘nothing is impossible to God’.
The third angel, in the middle, is Raphael, meaning ‘God’s healing’. This Angel carries the hand of a young man - called Tobias - and is walking with him towards the marriage with Sarah. Raphael is the Guardian Angel of Tobias and Sarah,and of EVERY married couple.
Planning to get married?
Marriage Preparation Course 2020
Our marriage preparation course began in February and concludes on 28th March. Our course is open to all couples intending to marry in a Catholic Church, regardless of which parish you live in. If you are interested in attending a course in the future please speak to Father Mark or e-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org