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Sunday, 21 March 2021

‘The Taking of Christ’, Caravaggio, 1602,
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Dear Friends

On this Passion Sunday, for which the lectionary readings are Hebrews 5:5-10 and John 12:20-33, we are invited to meditate once more upon the obedience which Christ offered to the Father in accepting crucifixion and death for our sake, and especially upon the love which impelled that acceptance.  So I would commend, for your personal reflections and devotions, the following collection of Scriptural sentences and prayers which offer a memorial, entitled Ad Crucem, of the crucifixion:-

‘When I am lifted up, I will draw everyone to myself.’
‘Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’
‘This day you will be with me in paradise.’
‘You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’
‘Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’
‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’
‘Truly this was the Son of God.’
‘O Lord Jesus Christ, 
who promised to refresh all who come to you in travail, 
we offer you our prayer
as we approach the time of your most bitter passion;
mercifully grant that all we have begun in your strength
may be finished for the glory of your Name.  Amen.’
‘We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you
because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.’

And, as we hear again on this Passion Sunday the invitation to in the Gospel to follow Jesus like faithful servants, we can reflect, too, upon our own obedience to God, and that this is simply a response to and of the love that has already been shown to us – as the hymn puts it, ‘love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.’

Fr Stephen

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 Hebrews 5:5-10

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews.

Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, 
but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son,     today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, 
Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, 
with loud cries and tears, 
to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 

Although he was a Son, 
he learned obedience through what he suffered; 

and having been made perfect, 
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 

having been designated by God 
a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

John 12:20-33

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 

They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, 
and said to him, 
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 

Philip went and told Andrew; 
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 

Jesus answered them, 
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 

Very truly, I tell you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, 
it remains just a single grain; 
but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 

Those who love their life lose it, 
and those who hate their life in this world 
will keep it for eternal life. 

Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there will my servant be also. 
Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

“Now my soul is troubled. 
And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? 
No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 

Father, glorify your name.” 
Then a voice came from heaven, 
“I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 

The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. 
Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 

Jesus answered, 
“This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 

Now is the judgment of this world; 
now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all people to myself.” 

He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

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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