May is Mary’s month, and a month full of Festivals and Celebrations, as we continue to celebrate Easter, and to live out God’s call to mercy in our lives. We begin with All Saints Art Exhibition, before turning to the Feast of the Ascension on Thursday 5th May. There will be a said Mass in All Saints at 12.15pm, and then the principle celebration for both of our Churches, in St Mary’s at 7.30pm, followed by Festive Refreshments.
Our Archbishops have asked us to mark the Novena, the 9 days of Prayer between Ascension Day, 5th May, and Pentecost as a particular time of Prayer, under the banner of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. They write
‘In the week leading up to Pentecost (May 8th - 15th, 2016) we long to see a great wave of prayer across our land, throughout the Church of England and many other Churches.
Our hope is
- for all Christians to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ
- for all of us to have confidence to share the Gospel
- for all to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow Him as disciples, to live out the Gospel and to seek God’s Kingdom from day to dayAt the heart of our prayers will be the words that Jesus Christ himself taught us - ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.’We will be keeping our Prayers focussed on this Theme throughout this period, together with 2 particular events to which all are welcome: Bishop Tony will be with us on Sunday 8th May, at 6pm in All Saints, to celebrate an Evening Liturgy, ’The Stations of Mercy’. There will also be a Holy Hour of Prayer, from 9.30am-10.30am, on Saturday 14th May, in All Saints. The Feast of Pentecost, 50 days on from Easter Day, follows on Sunday 15th May.The same day, Overgate Hospice are celebrating 35 years with a Garden Party in the Hospice Grounds, from 12noon to 4pm. Lynn Lord, our Reader, will be re-Licensed together with Readers from across the Dioceses of Leeds, in Bradford Cathedral on Monday 9th May. Please do pray for Lynn, as we give thanks for all she gives to our life in Elland.Christian Aid Week runs from 15th to 21st May, while the Parishes’ Walsingham Pilgrimage is from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May. Please do let me know of any Prayers you would like offered there. It was an absolute joy last year, to have so many candles to light there, on behalf of you all!The Festival of Corpus Christi, the Day of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist, is celebrated in All Saints on Thursday 26th May at 7.30pm, while the final celebration of the Month is the Visitation of Our Lady to Elizabeth, a festival of Holy Joy, on Tuesday 31st May.Finally, my thanks to all who hold Office as our Church Wardens and Church Council members, and thise with particular tasks and ministries, following our Parish Annual Meetings.May the Risen Christ Grant Us His Peace, Alleluia, Amen.Fr David