Sunday 28 March 2021

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Message from Canon Kristian

Dear brothers and sisters

So we have arrived at the start of the most important week of our Church year – Holy (or Great) Week – which leads into the “one act of worship in three different moments” that we call the Sacred Paschal Triduum of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, the Celebration of the Passion on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.  If we were in different circumstances, I would be encouraging you all to take part is all three celebrations, not only so that you might experience the powerful spiritual impact of these solemn Liturgies but, more importantly, so that you would understand and share in the fullness of the Paschal Mystery, which includes both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, the dying and the rising of Christ – there cannot be one without the other.  However, due to the restrictions placed upon us by the pandemic, places in the churches are very limited and so, in order to give as many people as possible the chance to participate in at least a part of the Sacred Triduum, it has not always been possible to accommodate all the requests that have come to the Parish Office this week for places at particular Services.  Apart from the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday evening, all the Services of the Sacred Triduum, including the Masses on Easter Sunday morning are now full.  However, there is always the possibility that individuals may not be able to come on their allotted day or just might not turn up, so a place may be available on the day itself but there can be no guarantee of this.  If you do turn up to one of the Triduum or Easter Day Services and there is no space available, please accept my apology on behalf of the parish community.  We are bound by the limitations of the risk assessment in place in each of our churches for everyone’s safety and well-being.  I am sure that, in the strange circumstances in which we are living, you will understand.

Although, as you will read in the Newsletter, some of the usual liturgical acts of Holy Week will not be taking place due to Covid, in order to provide some additional spiritual enrichment, the publishers of Magnificat, a monthly booklet containing the texts for daily Mass alongside other daily prayers, devotions and faith-related information, are making their online Holy Week edition available free of charge to anyone who would like to benefit from it.  I know that some of our parishioners already subscribe to the printed version of Magnificat and find it very helpful, so I would encourage those who can to take advantage of this opportunity.  Please follow this link to access it:

We have not been able to hold the usual collection for the flowers that will adorn our churches at Easter, so there will be the opportunity to give a donation towards these at church over the next three weeks.  Likewise, as is customary, there will be a retiring collection for the Holy Places – our annual opportunity to show support in practical terms for the struggling Christians in the Holy Land – at the conclusion of the Good Friday Liturgy.

The participation in, and support for, the CAFOD Walk for Water Campaign in the parish has been terrific!  To give a bit more background information about why this campaign is so important, in their News Update this week the Parish CAFOD Group have given us an insight into the profound challenges facing people in Ethiopia at this time.  If you have still to donate to support the efforts of the Parish Team, then this information might encourage you to do so.

Taking the necessary precautions, I and Deacon Michael will this year be offering the traditional blessing of the Baskets of Easter Food – Święconka – on Holy Saturday, which is such an important part of Polish tradition and something precious to our much-valued Polish parishioners.  The Blessing will be available between 11.00am and 12.30pm at both St James in Tiverton and St Boniface in Cullompton.  Please take special care to follow the instructions given by the Stewards when you arrive in the church car parks, if you will be bringing food to be blessed.  It is vital that we try to keep everyone as safe as we can.

With this Newsletter, Monika Manser is offering us an aid to prayerful imaginative contemplation on the Gospel of the Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, which is read at the beginning of Mass this weekend.  There will also be the usual Thursday Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am, open to any parishioner who would like to pop in for a chat.  The access details are as available from the parish office as usual.

I look forward to seeing many of you during Holy Week and over the Easter.  Those of you who are unable to get to church for whatever reason will be certainly in our thoughts and prayers throughout this sacred time.  Let’s hope that next year we will all  be able to gather together to celebrate this most holy of all weeks of our year.

Be assured as always of my prayer for you all.

With every blessing

Canon Kristian

Coming to Church – “Hands/Face/Space”            

When coming to church for services, please observe the social distancing rules, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and sanitise your hands frequently. Please also maintain an appropriate distance from others at all times, both inside the church and outside in the carpark.

If you would like to come to Mass at the weekends, please contact the Parish Office to book a place, either by telephone on weekdays between 10.00am-1.00pm, or by email. There is no need to book a place at a weekday Mass but, on arrival at church, please give your details to one of the stewards.

Holy Week 2021

The celebration of this year’s Holy Week and Sacred Triduum Services will be somewhat different from previous years.  The main differences will be:

On Palm Sunday, the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem will take place inside the church.   Palms will be given out by the stewards wearing gloves as you arrive at church and these will be blessed in the usual way, but without the sprinkling of Holy Water.  The shorter form of the Passion from the Gospel of St Mark will be read by the deacon alone without other voices.

At the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday evening, the Washing of the Feet after the Gospel will not take place and there will be no procession to the Altar of Repose; the Reserved Sacrament will be returned to the Tabernacle. Due to Covid restrictions there cannot be any local Watching before the Altar of Repose, so the Bishop has assigned the Cathedral as a focus for Watching in the Diocese.  This “virtual” Watching will be live-streamed on the Plymouth Cathedral YouTube Channel for the whole evening until 12 midnight.

At the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the Passion according to the Gospel of St John will be read by the deacon alone without other voices. A special intention “For the afflicted in time of pandemic” will be inserted into the Universal Prayer.  The responses for the Unveiling of the Cross will be said, and only the priest will venerate the Cross personally, after which the Cross will be elevated and everyone present invited to adore in a short period of silent prayer, whilst either genuflecting or bowing in their places.

At the start of the Easter Vigil there will not be a fire, and the Paschal Candle will be enthroned in the church and lit before the people gather for the Vigil.  After the Greeting by the priest, the deacon will sing the Exsultet – The Easter Proclamation.  After the Liturgy of the Word, the baptismal water in the font will be blessed and all present invited to renew their baptismal promises.

Święconka – the Blessing of the Easter Baskets

The Blessing of the Easter Baskets on Holy Saturday is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish Easter traditions. The baskets, containing a sampling of Easter foods, are traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. The foods in the baskets have a symbolic meaning: eggs symbolise life and the Resurrection; bread represents Jesus, the Bread of Life; salt represents purification; horseradish is symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ; meat is symbolic of great joy and abundance.  The blessed food is used for the Easter Breakfast on Easter Sunday morning.

The Blessing of the Easter Baskets will take place this Holy Saturday from 11.00am-12.30pm in both St James and St Boniface.  Families are asked to remain outside in the church carpark.  The stewards, having taken “Track and Trace” details, will then invite a group of families to enter the church, carefully observing the hands/face/space rule, where the baskets of food will be blessed.  Once these families have left the church, another group will be invited to come in.  Please be patient.  We want to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible.

CAFOD Lent Challenge – Walk for Water

Our parish team of dedicated walkers is continuing the CAFOD “Walk for Water” challenge and has almost clocked up an impressive 3.5 million steps.  Amazingly, given the difficult financial times we are living through, we have already reached our goal of raising £1,000! With one more week of the challenge to go, it will be exciting to see how much we will have raised as our contribution to help provide access to clean water for our sisters and brothers in Afar, Ethiopia, who are still deprived of this fundamental human right.

If you have yet to contribute, please visit the Just Giving page set up for our Parish Team and give what you can.

In its sixth Lent Newsletter, our Parish CAFOD Group takes the opportunity to give us some more detailed information concerning the challenging circumstances of life, arising largely from internal armed conflict and famine, which the people of Ethiopia are facing at this time.  It is to help them that the CAFOD “Walk for Water” campaign is taking place this Lent.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Bishop Mark will be coming to our parish on Sunday 11 July to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation.  If there is any adult parishioner who did not receive the Sacrament when they were younger, perhaps now is the time to complete your Christian initiation and be confirmed!  Even if you are unsure whether you want to do this, do please have a word with Canon Kristian.

“A Precious Place of God’s Grace” – The Next Step

In January Bishop Mark issued A Precious Place of God’s Grace to help us reflect on the changes that will need to happen in the pastoral structures of our diocese over the next five years.  When circumstances permit, there will be opportunities for us to do this together as a parish community.

In the meantime, the Bishop has invited the internationally renowned speaker, Michael Dopp, to present two online formation sessions on Saturday 1 May, 11.00am – 12noon and 1.00pm – 2.00pm, for our clergy and laypeople together, on the missionary themes in the document, to help us explore how to carry out this mission concretely. Register to take part via the following link.

Holy Week Services and Events

 Saturday 27 March – Lent Weekday

  • Sacrament of Penance 10.00am-12noon
  • Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)

Sunday 28 March – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro populo
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)

Tuesday 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Requiem Mass for Caryl Rothwell RIP at 3.00pm in St George’s Anglican Church, Morebath, followed by burial in the churchyard

Wednesday 31 March – Wednesday of Holy Week

  • Holy Mass at 9.00am David Palmer RIP

The Sacred Paschal Triduum

Thursday 1 April – Maundy Thursday

  • Coffee Morning on Zoom at 11.00am
  • Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7.00pm

Friday 2 April – Good Friday (Day of Fasting and Abstinence)

  • Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 12noon (St Boniface)
  • Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3.00pm
  • Stations of the Cross at 7.00pm

Saturday 3 April – Holy Saturday

  • Święconka (Blessing of the Easter Baskets) from 11am-12.30pm at both St James and St Boniface
  • The Easter Vigil at 9.00pm

Sunday 4 April – Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

  • Holy Mass at 10.00am
  • Holy Mass at 11.30am (St Boniface)