Dear Friends in the Northwest,
Having marked the Feast of Candlemas last week, the end of our celebrations of the Christmas season, we are now in that short period of Ordinary Time that falls between Candlemas and Ash Wednesday, this year just two Sundays. In the Prayer Book, the three Sundays before Lent, if there were that many, were known as Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima- theoretically seventy, sixty and fifty days before Easter, but clearly the counting was approximate! So this Sunday would be Sexagesima, which makes slightly more sense to me in a period when we are changing our focus towards Lent, Christ’s Passion and then Easter, than the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – but this is what our calendar terms this Sunday.
I am proposing that a Lent Course should be available again this year for 5 weeks in Lent, starting the week after Ash Wednesday and finishing the week before Holy Week. It will look at The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount in St Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12). Clearly, we will not be able to meet in person for this, so materials will be sent out with the weekly mailings. They will be suitable for individual study or discussion within a household or with a friend by phone. I would also be happy to host an online discussion group using Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype or similar – the actual method will depend in part on how many people wish to participate. If you would be interested in participating in such a group, please let me know reasonably soon so that I have time to get it up and running. The timing of this would be flexible to suit those taking part.
Please hold Jane and Bishop Mark and their family in your prayers this week. Jane’s mother died on Wednesday morning. May she rest in peace.
Love and Prayers,
Please click the link below for this week’s reflection