Our evening service recalls the events of the Last Supper, the washing of feet and Jesus’ gift to us of the Eucharist. It starts with joy; but over it lies the shadow of the Cross, the Agony of Gethsemane and the torment of Good Friday. What begins as an occasion of rejoicing and thanksgiving ends on a different note in this extraordinarily powerful service. The Stripping of the Altars, the removal of all ornaments from the Sanctuary, the exit of choir, ministers and congregation in silence, all symbolise Christ’s isolation and loneliness.
Before that, however, there is the solemn procession to the Altar of Repose, symbolising the walk of Jesus and his disciples from the Upper Room out to the Garden of Gethsemane.
On arrival at the Altar of Repose the sacrament is placed on the Altar surrounded by flowers, reminding us of Gethsemane where Christ in his Sacrament waits; and we watch and pray with him in a vigil up until midnight…
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is a forty day period of prayer and preparation as we ready ourselves for the joy of Easter. There are lots of different ways to approach this season but beginning well is certainly key and so I encourage all of you to come to join us for a service on Ash Wednesday itself:
ASH WEDNESDAY – 1st MARCH
9.30 amMorning Prayer
11.30 amSaid Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
2.30 pmHoly Communion at St Matthew’s Care Home
5.00 pmEvening Prayer
8.00 pmSung Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
Then, what comes next is up to you, but we have plenty of choice on offer. The overall theme is entitled ‘Faith in Action’ as we reflect on the example of Jesus in his own life and ministry – what he did and said -and how we can emulate that as we seek to live out and share our faith in God:
SUNDAYS at 6.30 pm GIVING UP
One of the ways that many people keep Lent is by giving something up. It might be chocolate, or alcohol or sugar in your coffee. It isn’t a bad way of making us concentrate in Lent on what it is really all about. But what if we gave up some of those things that harm our relationship with God and diminish God’s purpose for us? What if we gave up some of our own priorities and started focusing on what God really offers. Each Sunday evening service will include a 10 minute address to help us think about these things.
The Way of the Cross
‘Giving up…Our Lives’
MONDAYS at 12 noon LIVING GOD’S LOVE
On Monday lunchtimes we meet in the Transept to enjoy some fellowship and lunch together, sharing a simple meal of soup, bread and fruit as we talk and encourage each other in faith. The Diocesan Initiative ‘Living God’s Love’ was launched in 2011 and holds together all that we seek to do in our churches, chaplaincies and schools to grow in faith and number, shaped by Jesus Christ. On these Mondays we’ll be exploring together how we can live out God’s love in our lives more fully, collectively and individually.
To live your life…
for the sake of the World
TUESDAYS at 9.00 pm QUESTIONS OF THE CROSS
On Tuesday evenings we gather in the Church and to hear a fifteen minute reflection on aspects of the Crucifixion, the ultimate moment of ‘Faith in Action’. This is then followed by a short Compline service.
A Question of Story
A Question of Trust
A Question of Purpose
A Question of Love
A Question of Our Story
God’s Story, God’s People, God’s World
The Awesome Trust of Jesus
What does it all mean? Why did it happen?
A Love that gives Everything
Not so much a question as a response
WEDNESDAYS at 7.30 pm SEEKING AFTER TRUTH
All year round we offer this simple Eucharist as a quiet counterpoint to the busyness of our Sunday services. During Lent we enhance it with a five or six minute ‘Thought for the Day’ – an inspiring reflection based on Matthew Chapter 20 where Jesus teaches on what it means to be a true disciple.
Matthew 20. 1-16
Matthew 20. 17-19
Matthew 20. 20-23
Matthew 20. 24-28
Matthew 20. 29-34
Wednesdays 10.00 am – New Forge Place
Seven sessions of discussion, fellowship and refreshment for all in our community. This year we follow the book ‘The Nail’ by the Stephen Cottrell. In our sessions we consider the Passion Story through the eyes of some of the by-standers and witnesses.
1st March Peter The Revd Will Gibbs
8th March The Roman Centurion The Revd Tim Vickers
15th March Pontius Pilate Grace Sawyer
22nd MarchCaiaphas The Revd Tim Vickers
29th March Judas Father Michael Mannion
5th April Mary Magdalene The Revd Gill Hulme
12th April Pilate’s Wife The Revd Will Gibbs
LORD, WHEN DID WE SEE YOU…
Thursdays 8.00 pm St Mary’s Church
Our visiting speakers offer inspiring talk to help us to reflect on the ways that the Christian ideas of service and care can be offered to the vulnerable and needy in society.
9th March ‘A stranger and welcome you’ Malcolm Ernst, Waterways Chaplain
16th March ‘In need and take care of you’ Janis Feely – ‘The Living Room’, Alcohol & Drug Dependency Support
23rd March ‘Crosslights’ Passion Play The Riding Lights Theatre Company. Tickets £10 in advance 7.30 pm at Redbourn Village Hall
30th March ‘Held captive and visit you’ Reona Joly, Yarl’sWoodImmigrationRemovalCentre
6th April ‘In debt and support you’ Rachel Martin, Christians Against Poverty
Fridays 12.00 pm Redbourn Methodist Church
On Friday lunchtimes, the Redbourn Churches will take it in turn to provide a simple lunch at the Methodist Church as we share together and socialise. Donations equivalent to the cost of your lunch are invited and these will be given away to the charities we’re supporting this Lent.
One man is missing – one who knows the truth…
Caught in the crosslight of the flickering candles at the last supper, the torches of Gethsemane, the firelight in the courtyard, by the searching gaze of his Lord, Simon ‘the rock’ is shattered. The disciple chosen to lead, is in pieces.
Crosslight draws us into the dramatic events of Christ’s Passion and into the experience of one disciple who failed, despite everything he believed so passionately.
Tickets at £10 and available in advance from Redbourn Methodist Church, St John Fisher Roman Catholic Church or St Mary’s Redbourn (01582 622 530 or click to e-mail Tim Vickers)