Saturday, 19 April 2014

Good Friday and Holy Saturday . . .

This was the scene greeting parishioners who joined together to pray the Office of Readings for Holy Saturday.  A bare church with a forceful reminder of what had happened yesterday on Good Friday - the Crucifix which we had venerated during the solemn liturgy taking centre stage on the stripped altar; our crucified Lord flanked on either side by the simplest of wooden candlesticks . . . 

It was encouraging to see a good number coming along to pray the Office together.  Not long afterwards our flower arrangers got to work to transform the barren space into a place of beauty, all ready to receive our Risen Lord at the Easter Vigil and the First Mass of the Resurrection this evening.

Here are just a few shots to give a flavour of how it looks but the photographs don't really do it justice.

Our Easter Garden . . . 
Still waiting  . . . 
St Ann . . .
And of course her daughter, Our Blessed Lady . . .

If you'd to see more, please join us for the Easter Vigil at 8pm this evening.  All are warmly invited!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Holy Thursday . . .

It is always a very moving liturgy on Holy Thursday, especially for the celebrating priest.  Last night's Holy Thursday Mass at St Ann's was no exception.  It was a very reverent Mass from the entrance procession, the Liturgy of the Word and the homily; the Washing of the Feet, or Mandatum; through to the procession to the Altar of Repose after Holy Communion and the Stripping of the Altar after the silent exit of the celebrant and altar servers.

Here are just a few shots of our Altar of Repose to give an idea of the prayerful scene as many stayed behind to watch with Our Lord until Midnight.

And here is our Altar of Repose just after midnight when the Blessed Sacrament had been removed to a place of safety overnight.  Hats off to our florists for a beautiful and fitting display!

Finally, the sanctuary looking suitably bereft and desolate after a very reverent Stripping of the Altar by our altar servers.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Veiling for Passiontide . . .

As promised a couple of photos taken after Mass this morning.

One has to be quick to take any photos after Mass at St Ann's.  Turn your back for five minutes and our very efficient altar servers have already set up for Benediction this afternoon!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Lent . . . Passiontide . . . The Easter Triduum . . .

Today after Mass, the ironing board was much in evidence as the veils were taken out and made ready for the veiling of the statues and the Crucifix.  

Hopefully we might have a photo or two to post tomorrow.

Our Lenten preparations move into a more intense phase as we enter Passiontide and move inexorably towards Our Lord's Passion, through Palm Sunday and the incredibly moving liturgies of the Easter Triduum culminating of course in Christ's triumph over death as we celebrate His resurrection at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.

I hope that we're going to see a full church for all our Easter liturgies.

Here are the details of the Easter Triduum at St Ann's.  I look forward to seeing you.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Times of Christmas Masses at St Ann's . . .

Just in case you were wondering, here are the details of our Christmas Masses . . . 

Please note that I will be available for Confession at the usual times on Saturdays but have also added a few other 'slots' when I shall be on call in the Confessional for any who wish to celebrate the Sacrament.

As usual, I am of course also available 'at call' for anyone who can't make any of the scheduled times.

Celebrating the Sacrament of Confession really is the best preparation for Christmas!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hall Annexe update . . .

Finally we see some signs of action on our Hall Annexe building project.

Don't forget to keep on eye on our special Annexe blog for updates which hopefully will be fairly frequent now.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Parish Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Augustine at Ramsgate

A few days ago we set off on a rather grey morning for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Augustine.

I think this was a first visit for all of us although some of us knew a little of the story of this beautiful shrine in Ramsgate.

We received a warm welcome by Fr Marcus Holden, Parish Priest and Custodian of the Shrine and members of the Friends of St Augustine who looked after us very well.

On the advice of our coach driver, we had allowed plenty of time for the journey from Banstead and so arrived with time to spare and were able to have a brief look around the church before we gathered for Mass at midday.

As we entered the Shrine and were directed left into the building, the first thing that we noticed was the very colourful and unusual Stations of the Cross.

On the opposite side of this corridor we passed St Joseph's Chapel containing the Blessed Sacrament.

And close by, another beautiful chapel with this wonderful Pietà.

Mass was celebrated by Fr Marcus and it was lovely to hear the parts of the Mass sung.  Our pilgrims responded well in singing the hymns and the parts of the Mass.  It was very moving to be able to celebrate Mass in this beautiful Church built by the well-known architect Augustus Pugin.  It was also interesting to see how people easily accommodated themselves to the reception of Holy Communion, under one kind, receiving in a line horizontally in front of the altar rail, many taking advantage of the opportunity to receive kneeling at the communion rail.

And the beautiful altar frontal . . .

After Mass we  had a break for lunch and went off in separate directions, some had brought packed lunches whilst others investigated the local cafés and pubs.  Judging by the numbers at the local pub, I think many of us had opted for this - and delicious food it was too!

We watched an excellent video, produced by Fr Marcus Holden and some of his family, on the history of the Shrine and some very helpful background information on St Augustine.  We also had time to watch a short video on Pugin's home, The Grange.   Maybe we'll keep that for another parish outing . . . 

We finished our pilgrimage with a very reverent Benediction conferred by Fr Marcus.  It was wonderful to hear everyone join in the O Salutaris, Tantum Ergo and the Adoremus in Aeternum. 

We were very privileged to be able to venerate the relic of St Augustine.  I must say, full credit to Fr Marcus, it can't be easy to remain dignified whilst climbing a step-ladder and wearing a cope!  He managed it superbly.

And the relic . . . 

Just before we finished our devotions and had a tour of the church, we joined in a rousing rendition of the Salve Regina.

All in all, a marvellous day and everyone seemed to get a lot out of our visit.