Friday, 4 March 2011

Lent and the Parish of Elland

In 2011, we are marking 400 years of the Authorized Version (AV) of the Bible, also known as the King James Version. Although it was by no means the first translation of the Scriptures into the English language, this version, translated by a gifted collection of scholars and Saints, and based on what had gone before, has become known and loved throughout the English speaking world and beyond. It is still read by many and used in a number of Churches, including the monthly Evensong at S.Mary’s. Elsewhere on this blog you can read an article by Tony Murphy about Sir Henry Savile, the Elland Parishioner who helped to translate this Bible.

Each generation has an opportunity to rediscover the message of the Scriptures. The Bible is indeed the Book of Life, for in its pages, we encounter our Lord Jesus. One way to study together is based around Lectio Divina, a traditional and rewarding way of reading and praying with the Scriptures, used by Religious Communities, in Parish Communities and Groups, and by individuals. It forms the heart of the Lent Course we will be using this year, entitled Praying the Scriptures. The Course has been put together by a group representing the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Leeds and Hallam, as well as our own Diocese of Wakefield.

ASH WEDNESDAY, the first day of Lent, falls on 9th March. It is a day when each one of us should be in Church, to receive the Sign of the Cross in Ash, and to dedicate our observance of this holy season to the Lord. There will be a said Mass that day in All Saints at 12 noon, and the Parish Eucharist in S.Mary’s at 7.30pm. In addition our School will be marking the beginning of Lent in S.Mary’s at 1.30pm, and there will be an opportunity to be ‘ashed’ at this service as well.

On the First Sunday of Lent, we will launch our LENT APPEAL. This year we are supporting OVERGATE HOSPICE, and we hope everyone will take a collecting box away with them, and return them to Church on Maundy Thursday. Our Preacher on March 20th will be Dr Eilidh Gunson, who is one of the Doctors at the Hospice, and also a Methodist Local Preacher. All care given by the Hospice is free, but to fund that, each and every day the Hospice needs to find £5000.

Many people make the effort to attend an extra act of worship in Lent. Perhaps it is by coming along to one of the daily masses, an extra Sunday evening service, or the STATIONS OF THE CROSS, every Friday in Lent in All Saints, beginning on 8th February at 7pm. This simple yet moving devotional service takes around 30 minutes, and helps us to walk with our Lord on the way to Calvary, and the empty tomb.

Lent is a time when we are challenged to think about our financial giving to God’s Church. As a Parish we have a number of financial needs, together with development work, and it is absolutely crucial that we meet our obligations to the mission of God’s Church through our Share of Diocesan costs. 

Lent is also a time when all of us are challenged to take to heart the call to repentance proclaimed in the Gospel. Perhaps, this year, it would be right for you to arrange to meet with me, or with any of priests to think about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that is, Confession. Any one of our priests would be delighted to give you an opportunity to talk over any of the events listed here, or any aspect of the Faith. Lent is God’s springtime, God’s gift to all of us, helping us to prepare for our celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love.