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St Martin's is a welcoming community in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England.
Lent- Its meaning and significance
Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence
Special Services and Devotions
Since the days of the early church, Christians have observed a special time to "prepare" for Jesus’ death and Resurrection. The season of Lent (from the word "lengthen," since days grow longer in the spring) commemorates the final days of Jesus’ ministry and His preparation to travel to Jerusalem to die. There He would face the most gruesome death possible – Crucifixion – and the most anguish ever experienced as He suffered for all the sins of all the people of the world.
The 40 days of Lent are a holy time when we as Christians spiritually make that pilgrimage to the cross with Jesus, remembering His words:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).
The goal of Lent is to stay focused on the cross ahead and to come to personally understand Jesus’ supreme sacrifice of love.
Lent gives us a blessed opportunity to practice confession, repentance, prayer, fasting, special offerings and acts of love to others. We try to walk in our Saviour’s footsteps and we also encourage others to keep their eyes on the end-point of this journey – the cross and our salvation. We set aside time for peaceful meditation throughout Lent, we join in its meaningful liturgical celebrations and devotions, asking God to deepen our faith and to give us a greater realisation of how our sin sent Jesus to the cross.
Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence
It is helpful to take the days prior to Lent, or the first days of Lent itself, to reflect carefully on an appropriate Lenten Rule, so that our preparation for the Christian Pasch may be a time of true strengthening of our Christian discipleship, a deepening of our relationship with Jesus and real conversion of our lives.
The traditional categories to consider are three: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. It may be that Lent will best be a time of rededication to an already established Rule of Life, in which we may have become lax over the year, or a time of focusing on a particular area of our Life in Christ. It is better to aim at a minimal addition to our Rule, or the establishment of a simple one if we don't already have one, rather than taking on or giving up so much that we succumb to despair.
Whatever the Lord leads you into in your prayers for guidance in developing your Lenten Rule, here are some things to consider in each of the areas:
1.The Daily Offices
Offering Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer corporately, if possible, or privately, if necessary. The Book of Common Prayer may be a good place to start for some – there are other more modern and accessible versions too, such as the one we use daily in church which is available online at: universalis.com
2. Eucharistic Devotion
Attendance at Mass and making your communion on Sundays and Holy Days. As a minimum requirement: attendance at an additional weekday Mass. Serious preparation before Mass to enable deeper participation. Sending time before Jesus in his Blessed Sacrament. Coming to Eucharistic Adoration before Mass on Wednesdays.
3. Personal Scripture Reading and Prayer
Reading Scripture daily according to some organised plan; for example, the tables at the front of the Prayer Book, or from a Lectionary or those supplied by the BibleSociety. Meditation on a particular theme during Lent, such as our Lord's Passion. A programme of intercessory prayer. [You can use the Weekly Intercession Sheet given out every Sunday].
Confession – The Sacrament of Reconciliation
A programme of regular self-examination, making a regular Confession. [Confessions at Saint Martin’s are heard in the Church between 10:30 - 11.00 a.m. on Saturdays, at other times as advertised on the Sunday Bulletin or by appointment with Father Victor or Father Ian]
1. Observance of the Ash Wednesday & Good Friday fasts
One meat free meal only on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday if you are physically able. Abstinence from flesh meat on all Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent.
2. Discipline in eating habits in general
Eating less at meals, eating more slowly. Cultivating discipline in other habits, "fasting" from television, entertainment's and shallow pursuits. Moving towards a generally simpler lifestyle.
3. Offering the fast for a specific intention
Peace, unity of the Church, identification with the poor and hungry, reparation. Making a financial or other contribution to an organisation or group [such as our own parish Food Basket Project or to Ruvuma] addressing the problems of hunger and the homeless.
4. Dealing seriously with a besetting sin (the one that we keep committing again and again)
Striving for a particular virtue in our Christian journey.
1. Becoming a good steward
Of all the God has given you. Tithing of your income, or working towards the tithing standard. Giving sacrificially to the mission of the Parish.
2. Acts of mercy and generosity
In the Name of Christ to those less fortunate. Going beyond your current involvements.
PALM SUNDAY - 28th March
8.00 am Low Mass
10.00 am THE BLESSING OF PALMS AND PARISH - MASS
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY - 29th-31st March
7.00 pm Low Mass and Meditation
MAUNDY THURSDAY - 1st April
7.00 pm MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
GOOD FRIDAY - 2nd April
1.00 pm Children’s Service
3.00 pm LITURGY OF THE LORD’S PASSION
HOLY SATURDAY - 3rd April
10.00 am Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
8.00 pm BLESSINGOF THE EASTER CANDLE, VIGIL - AND FIRST MASS OF EASTER
EASTER SUNDAY- 4th April
8.00 am Low Mass
11.00 am SOLEMN PONTIFICAL MASS
- with the Rt. Reverend Jonathan Goodall - our Bishop
PLEASE NOTE-ON THIS SUNDAY THE 11am START
Sunday 26th March - Saturday 3rd April
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe. The great joy that began last Sunday continues. Every day since, including today, is encapsulated within the Octave. The Church from ancient times has extended the celebration of Easter Day over eight days. One day is not enough to contain the joy, hope and expectation that this Feast of Feasts brings. It is the pledge of future glory, of unending life to those who have faith and who, through baptism, have entered the family of God. And yes, even if we cannot see God, we are nonetheless, encouraged by the triumph of Our Lord’s resurrection and we profess our faith that God will raise us too.
It is in that faith and hope that we travel through this life and commend those we have loved and lost in death. It is in that hope of sharing in Christ’s resurrection that we say our goodbyes to those who have been such a significant part of our lives.
So it is in this present time of national mourning as we remember with gratitude the unstinting service and dedication of His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to our nation and its people and of course to its Queen, over the course of so many years.
And in the midst of remembering this remarkable man and giving thanks for his achievements and his life amongst us, at the heart of all that we will do will be to commend a child of God, Philip, to the love and mercy of that same God, trusting in the promise and pledge of eternal life that was won for us in this very Feast we celebrate. For we may be kings or commoners, powerful movers of international affairs or of more humbler station, yet in death we all come before the judgment seat of God trusting that in the end, with penitent hearts and with the prayers of the Church behind us, He may welcome us to our eternal home.
This is our faith and our hope which this Octave celebrates. And so we give thanks in joy and in that hope commend The Prince Philip and all the faithful departed to the love and mercy of God. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARTIN’S
SUNDAY - 11th April
8.00 am Low Mass
10.00 am PARISH MASS
7.00 pm Low Mass
NO Mass today
NO Mass today
10.00 am Low Mass (B.C.P.)
10.00 am Low Mass
SUNDAY- 18th April
8.00 am Low Mass
10.00 am PARISH MASS
PLEASE NOTE, THAT SERVICES WILL BE BROADCAST AGAIN FROM SUNDAY THE 18th APRIL.
TO TUNE IN VIA FACEBOOK TO JOIN IN OUR WORSHIP PLEASE OPEN THE FACEBOOK APP ON YOUR PHONE OR DEVICE AND SEARCH FOR:
“St Martin’s Parish Church, Fenny Stratford “
WE HAD A WONDERFUL TURNOUT ON EASTER SUNDAY AND SO NOW THAT THE INFECTION RATE HAS FALLEN SIGNIFICANTLY, SOCIETY IS NOW IN THE PROCESS OF EXITING LOCKDOWN AND THAT NEARLY ALL THOSE CLASSED AS VULNERABLE HAVE RECEIVED THEIR FIRST, AND IN MANY CASES, SECOND VACCINATION, IT IS TO BE HOPED THAT WE MAY COME TOGETHER IN PERSON ONCE AGAIN AS A PARISH FAMILY.
A big thank you to those who helped to get everything ready for our celebration of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. It turned out to be a wonderful and worthy offering of praise to the Almighty.
Thank you too, to those who have already responded with generosity to the appeal for funds that was made recently. We will be embarking shortly on work on the fabric of the Church and Vestry Hall as stage one of a three stage program of repairs identified in our last quinquennial report. Things have been difficult over this last year because of the Pandemic and the repeated lockdowns while we still had to continue to meet all the usual expenses of running our Church and buildings.
IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE A DONATION TOWARDS THE COST OF THE FORTHCOMING REPAIRS.
CHEQUES CAN BE MADE PAYABLE TO:
Saint Martin’s P. C. C. No. 1 A/c
MANY THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR CONTINUED GENEROSITY.
PLEASE don’t forget to contact me if you have any prayer requests or Mass intentions you would like me to offer at Mass or if would like someone added to our parish prayer list of the Sick or Departed.
My contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 01908 372825
I am also available in person during Surgery Hour on Saturday’s in Church between 10.30am - 12 noon.
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION AND RECONCILIATION is also available at this time.
Please continue to remember the following in your prayers:
For a joy filled keeping of Eastertide.
For a continued drop in the rate of Covid infections and in the number of hospitalised victims.
For our society and people that we may continue to work together, that we may see the gradual and permanent ending of Lockdown.
For the continued rapid dissemination of the Vaccines for Covid 19 and for all working for this end.
Those who have found themselves out of work, particularly those who have families or other dependents to support.
Those who are despairing at the future of their businesses and those that work for them.
Those who continue to live in fear of Covid and are living with anxiety and depression.
For the Government in their seeking solutions for the common good at this time.
For peace to reign within our homes and amongst one another.
For the elderly, housebound and those living in residential and nursing homes.
For our Ambulance Service and for our other Emergency Service Staff and for Milton Keynes Hospital and all who work there.
For Bishop Jonathan and all our parish clergy as they seek to continue to make present in our midst the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, the Sacraments of Christ and offer continuing Pastoral care.
For Genesis Abbey, the Mother House of the Monastic Community of the House of Initia Nova of the Order of Saint Benedict. For it’s Abbot Michael-John Austin, the community and for those new to its life.
For the Sick:
For Amie Reed, Rhodie Howard, Paul Ward, Jean Holden, Peter White, Roger D’Elia, Norman Kent, Denis & Yvonne Simpson, David Lingham, Sandra Walduck, and Doris Weatherley.
For the Departed:
For the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and all who have died recently, and for all those who have died of Covid 19.
We pray too for all whose years mind falls at this time, among them Margaret Power, Dorothy Russell, Denzil Pateman and Arthur Eames. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord.
And let Light Perpetual shine upon them.
May God bless you and keep you as you walk with Christ through this Great Week.
Join us in a period of stillness as we take time out of our lives and offer them back to God, asking Him to aid us in our lives and offering thanksgiving for His abundant goodness.
Prayers are said daily at Saint Martin’s at the following times:
Morning (Tuesday – Friday) : 9.00am
Evening (Tuesday – Friday) : 6.00pm
and other Prayer Resources during this time of Coronavirus.
The Church ever reminds us that if one is unable to actually consume the consecrated body and blood of Our Lord due to extreme sickness or disability, or because we cannot presently come to church due to this Coronavirus pandemic, the desire is enough for God to grant all the benefits of communion. When being present at a celebration of the Eucharist is absolutely impossible, this act of prayer and meditation can provide the means by which you can associate yourself with the Eucharistic Action and open yourself to God’s grace and blessing.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let the power of the Holy Spirit come upon me, O Lord, to mercifully cleanse my heart and defend me from all adversities; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle: Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door I will come in to you and eat with you and you with me.
The Psalm: Psalm 23:5-6
You prepare a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The Gospel: John 15:5
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me, you can do nothing.
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe in Jesus Christ, Your Son, who became man and died for our sins, and who will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because You have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
Act of Hope
O my God, trusting in Your infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because You are all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for love of You. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.
In your own words, pray for your own needs, for those on your heart, for the peace of the world, and for the Church. After offering these intercessions, continue with the
Act of Contrition
O God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you and for all the wrongs I have done and the good I have not done. Especially I confess....Forgive me for Jesus’ sake, and grant me strength and wisdom to amend my life. Amen.
The Act of Spiritual Reception
In union, blessed Jesus, with the faithful gathered at every altar of your Church where your blessed Body and Blood are offered this day, (and remembering particularly my own parish and those worshiping there) I long to offer you praise and thanksgiving, for creation and all the blessings of this life, for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection, for the means of grace and the hope of glory.
And particularly for the blessings given me.... I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament, and, since I cannot at this time receive communion, I pray you to come into my heart. I unite myself with you and embrace you with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. Let nothing separate me from you; let me serve you in this life until, by your grace, I come to your glorious kingdom and unending peace. Amen.
Come Lord Jesus, and dwell in my heart in the fullness of your strength; be my wisdom and guide me in right pathways; conform my life and actions to the image of your holiness; and, in the power of your gracious might, rule over every hostile power that threatens or disturbs the growth of your kingdom, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
And may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep my heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ my Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, + the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with me now and always. Amen.