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Monday, 28 March 2016
Our 10:00am Eucharist on Easter Sunday was a glorious celebration of the Ressurection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In full daylight we could appreciate the wonderful floral decorations, including 88 white lilies, and it was lovely to see whole families of three generations joining us for this service. We opened with the Acclamation, 'Jesus Christ is Risen, Alleluia', and responded with,'He is risen indeed Alleluia! The service included the traditional Easter Hymns, and the Choir sang Blessed be the God and Father composed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley for the Choir of  Hereford Cathedral, first sung on  Easter Sunday 1834, and still a magnificent Easter Anthem.
We left the Church to Joanna playing Carillon de Longpont by Louis Vierne, and collected an Easter egg on the way out.

Happy Easter to all, at a time of such unhappiness in the world, the promise of the Risen Christ sustains us!

On Easter Saturday evening we held the Traditional service of the Easter Vigil with the Lighting of the Pascal Candle and the renewal of Baptismal vows, and on this occasion a baptism, followed by the first Eucharist of Easter.
It was a cold and rainy night so the lighting of the Pascal Candle had to take place in the Porch. The Porch and the church were decorated beautifully by the Flower Arranging team and after the stark appearance of Good Friday it looked magnificent. All the lights in the Church were dimmed and each member of the congregation was given a candle. In the porch a small fire was lit and blessed. Father Stephen then blessed, marked and inserted the five grains of incense into the new Pascal Candle. The Candle was lit from the fire, and then each individual candle was lit, we processed into the Church with the acclamation, 'The Light of Christ'. Remaining in candle light we then heard the readings from the Old and New Testament. At the singing of the Gloria we extinguished the candles and returned to full light!
The Baptismal candidate, Luke, helped Father Stephen to prepare the Font and was duly baptised, the congregation, affirming their baptismal vows, were sprinkled with water from the font.
This was followed by the Eucharist, The choir sang This Joyful Easter tide as the motet. Joanna played Marche Nuptiale from the 1st suite Pieces de fantaisie by Louis Verne at the end of the service.

We left the Church wishing each other Happy Easter.

On a glorious spring day we came together for our Service on Good Friday, which  was a contemplation of the Passion following the 'Cross of Christ'. After an opening prayer, 7 readings including Isaiah, the Good Friday Narrative from the Gospel of St John, and the letter of St Paul to the Phillipians, were interspersed with congregational Hymns and Motets sung by the Choir. These included Is it Nothing to You by Gore Ouseley, Oh Lord who Dares to smite Thee setting by Bach,
Ah Holy Jesu, setting by Cruger, and Oh Saviour of the World setting by Goss.

After the service Choir Practice was held at the home of Janet Harland, followed by tea and a choir photograph was taken!

On Wednesday Evening our first Holy Week Service was the Stations of the Cross followed by the evening office of Compline. The service was lead by Father Stephen, as we progressed around the church visiting the illustrations of each station and sharing a short meditation and prayer at each station. We sang a verse of a hymn between each station. This was followed by the evening office of Compline, also a meditative service, and we left the church thinking about the Passion of our Lord.

On Thursday evening we had the Eucharist of the last supper and the Gethsemane watch. The service marks the end of Lent and the Liturgical colour was white and gold, we sang the Gloria for the first time for 6 weeks, and bells were rung in celebration. Father Stephen explained that this was a ray of light between the contemplation of Lent and the darkness of the events of Good Friday, prefiguring the joy of the Resurrection on Sunday. After the Communion the mood changed, the Choir sang the Ave Verum Corpus in the setting by Byrd, and the service finished with the chanting of  Psalm 22 as the altar was striped bare and the reserved sacrament removed. The congregation either joined the Gethsemane watch in the side Chapel in the North Transept, or left the Church in silence.

Sunday, 20 March 2016
Palm Sunday commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, where he rode into town on a donkey as crowds of people gleefully greeted him and spread out palm branches in his path. Our morning service reflected this.

Jesus told two of His disciples to go into a nearby village and bring a donkey that would be waiting there

The service started with the blessing of our palm crosses, we then processed around the outside of the church with palm crosses in hand. A token group of people represented the crowds welcoming Jesus as he approached Jerusalem.

Some of the people waved branches of palm trees, a sign of victory
During the service we had a dramatic reading about our Lord's passion.

The anthem for this week was O Saviour of the World  by Arthur Somervell. The words appear in the little-used Office for the Visitation of the Sick in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, taken originally from an older Roman Rite, and have been set to music by many composers over the years. Arthur Somervell was one of the leading figures in the English music renaissance of the 1890s-1900s: among his many works is Maud, a song cycle formed from Tennyson's eponymous poem, which today is best known for the song at the end, Come into the garden, Maud.
The communion hymn was Let all mortal flesh keep silence the words are a translation by Gerard Moultrie.  There is no date for the Byzantine liturgy from whence the text has been taken. The tune's earliest written version is 17th century, but is is probably far older. This French melody was arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Although this is the second Sunday in March we had Matins as our 10:00am service, This is because next Sunday will be Palm Sunday and a Eucharistic Service. So for Passion Sunday we had Sung Matins, with readings from the King James version of the Bible. The canticles and the psalm were those for Lent, and the Choir sang the Jubilate Deo in the setting by CV Stanford in C major. The Gospel was the story of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus' feet with costly ointment, and in his sermon Father Stephen talked about this event pointing towards Jesus' Passion to come. We had been discussing death and the afterlife in the Lent Group, in what he described as a rather jolly and positive way, a universal belief in the resurrection in Jesus links all Christians, and living or dead we are all in the arms of Our Lord.
The Choir sang the Ave Verum setting by WA Mozart as the anthem.There was coffee after the service.

The Music Sale yesterday raised £203, thanks to every one who took part!

Please do look at the Calendar for our Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Services
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Our Family service for the first Sunday of the month coincided with Mothering Sunday. Our service was lead by the Sunday School, who gave us a presentation where two young people from the Sunday school and their Mums played a version of 'Mr and Mrs' to see how well the youngsters knew their Mums! It underlined the important theme of appreciating our Mothers, and also our Mother Church.

We also had the pleasure of admitting James as our newest young chorister. He was presented to Father Stephen by Mrs Chivers-Gibbs and Miss Rodd, given his cassock, and certificate of membership, and then joined the other junior choristers to sing Lead me Lord, with the support of selected members of the senior choir.

The Choir sang the Magnificat in the setting by C.V.Stanford in B flat as the anthem.

After the Eucharist the Sunday School members distributed posies of flowers to their mothers and to other ladies of the congregation. There was coffee after the service.

Next Saturday morning in the Church Hall there will be a sale of Music, (CDs and sheet music) from 10 to 12 there will be  refreshments served, do join us and browse the stalls and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Proceeds to the Church New Rooms Project!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016
This last Sunday in February our 10 o'clock Eucharist was celebrated by Father Stephen. The Gospel story today was about the fig tree that did not bear fruit, and the owner wished to cut it down, the gardener argued for it to be given another year, and he would tend it to encourage it to fruit. In his sermon Father Stephen discussed perfection and renewal, and he told us that God is like the gardener in the parable and he is patient with us if we strive to be better.
Father Stephen also mentioned an item that had come up in discussion at the Lent group, he asked that we come into Church quietly and talk to God first before the service, keeping our conversation with friends for afterwards during coffee.
The Choir sang 'Call to Remembrance' by Richard Farrant as the Anthem, and Coffee was served afterwards, thanks to Barbara Green.

Next Sunday is Mothering Sunday, and as the first Sunday in March will be our Family Service, do come along with all your family.

Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. St Mary's Facebook page
  2. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  3. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  4. Prayer for today.
  5. The C of E youtube channel.
  6. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  7. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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