Thoughts from the Vicarage – 11

Good afternoon Friends

My thoughts today are basically sharing information, beginning with …

Preparing for Palm Sunday and Holy Week …

Palm Sunday is tomorrow and marks the beginning of Holy Week. The service I suggest we share is once again from the Diocese of Oxford and will be live-streamed as usual at 10.00.
https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/

How are your Palm crosses going? I’m off to do mine when I’ve finished today’s letter. Please do reply with photos of any of your crosses so that we can encourage each other and maybe put them on the website.

Zooming coffee after church …

Following Palm Sunday’s service there will be an after-church coffee on Zoom from 11.10. That will give you time to get ready, make a cuppa, link in and see one another for a get together as Holy Week begins.

If you haven’t zoomed yet, fear not. Simply click on the invitation attached to today’s email. You will be asked if you want to use audio and video. Please give it a try if you want! Belinda church mouse is so looking forward to seeing you 11.10 tomorrow.

Join Zoom Meeting

Click on this link: https://zoom.us/j/314236458?pwd=MGdUenF2SUlEdlJOUE5jdXljTUpadz09

Meeting ID: 314 236 458
Password: 018821

And please …

Do use the telephone if you would like a chat, some help or any other kind of support and if you would like prayer for you or someone else, please get in touch. We are happy to be contacted by phone or email either to myself or Christine.

Four Prayer pointers for Holy Week …

  • Some ideas where you may find support as you reflect and pray.
  • The Radio 4’s Daily Service features a Bible reading, prayer, and music which is always prayerful and will be great during this coming Holy Week.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wfsz
  • Church of England Daily Prayer is to be found here: These services of Daily Prayer are available in both contemporary and traditional forms and for all times of day.
  • Prayers and intercession for our Benefice and those concerning about the outbreak from the Church of England are attached today. I have found these very helpful to structure my thoughts and bring concerns to God.
  • And not forgetting “To sing is to pray twice” attributed to St Augustine you can join in with RSCM in singing their Hymn for the Day.
    https://www.rscm.org.uk/our-resources/hftd/
    A new video with music and lyrics is published every day, Monday to Saturday with what they call a self a service on Sunday!! Belinda church mouse thinks that’s cheese self service – I’ve had to disabuse her of that – so she’s sulking a bit today! But …

Belinda sniffs out a Bible Bargain …

There are a number of seriously free offers available at the moment. Along with The National Theatre weekly stream the offer that really caught my eye was this:
https://aimermedia.com/app/niv-audio-bible/
Be warned though, it includes the full 80 hours of audio for the NIV Bible read by the wonderful actor David Suchet. You will need 1.3GB free space on your device for it to install successfully and downloading may take some time to complete.

Holy Week …

We live in precarious times and we’ve never really been in a situation where Holy Week and Easter can’t happen in Church. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t still pray and share in the different liturgies and ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter and live out the story of Jesus.

  • Just to let you know about plans as we journey through Holy Week.
  • I am today attaching Holy Week Daily Activities – this is for you to use as you wish and has been shared by a friend of mine. Originally meant for younger friends I think it may help guide our reflections this year. It takes its focus as the daily Eucharist reading for each day. They begin on Monday.
  • Thoughts from The Vicarage will continue as usual with a daily Holy Week reflection from Christine and myself.
  • There will be a Holy Week service booklet for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and an Easter Vigil. These resources are offered and designed to give you some things to work with and to guide your devotions.
  • The booklet will be attached on Monday so that those without internet may participate in Holy Week. Additionally, some people may prefer to simply pray the liturgy quietly at home rather than join on with streaming.

And finally … for today

I think that it bears repeating, stay calm, stay at home and let those who are in high-risk groups or self-isolating know that you care for them. Phone calls, messages, letters, cards, food left on the doorstep are all signs of us being community together. Let’s continue to live hopefully, love generously and pray earnestly, blessing each other by the way we behave and by the way we share our love for one another.

Julie