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Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
Today we have begun the celebrations of Holy Week in Houghton Regis with the Parish Mass for Palm Sunday. This is the day in which Christians remember the Lord’s entrance in Jerusalem accompanied by his disciples and a cheering crowd; however, this is also the day in which we read one of the Passion narratives from the gospels – the story of Jesus’ suffering and death of Calvary for our salvation. For these reasons, Palm Sunday is now mostly associated with the colour red in the Western Christian tradition – the colour of royalty and the of blood.
The service started in Bedford Square with the Blessing of Palm Crosses and a procession of All Saints’ Church via the Memorial Path. The preacher, who delivered a cracking and genuinely inspiring sermon, was the Rev’d Tim Haines, Pioneer Minister in the Bidwell West.
Photos courtesy of Dr Matthew Hurley
The Easter Vigil, which is the greatest and most noble of all solemnities, marks the end of the emptiness of Holy Saturday, and leads into the celebration of Christ’s victory over Death and Hell. The word ‘Alleluia’ (meaning “God be praised”) which has been silent throughout Lent, returns.
Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph,
his the victory alone! (William Chatterton Dix)
By most ancient tradition, this is the night of keeping vigil for the Lord (Ex 12:42), in which, following the Gospel admonition (Lk 12:35-37), the faithful, carrying lighted candles in their hands, should be like those looking for the Lord when he returns, so that at his coming he may find them awake and have them sit at his table.
The Vigil is arranged in such a way that after the Lucernarium (or lighting of the Paschal Candle) and the Exultet (or Easter Proclamation), we will meditate on the wonders the Lord God has done for his people from the beginning., focusing on the theme of “Renewal”. After this, we will be invited to renew our Baptismal commitments to the life the Christian life before being called to celebrate the Eucharist, the living memorial of his Death and Resurrection.