A Pastoral Letter for Entering into the season of Lent

by Bishop Paul Swarbrick
A PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF LANCASTER FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

Appointed to be read at all weekend Public Masses in the Diocese of Lancaster on the weekend of 9/10 March 2019

My Dear People,
We need the holy season of Lent, both personally and for the Church. It is a gift given to us by Jesus Himself. It will be our way to Easter. It will be where we find mercy and healing and hope. We need the discipline of the desert if we are to become the disciples of Jesus. It is not optional. We know that some wounds do not heal themselves. If a wound is to be made better it must be taken to the doctor, and uncovered and cleaned.

We are told that Jesus was led by the Spirit through the wilderness. What was His purpose in entering such an inhospitable place, and why did He stay so long? To answer that question and understand we must go back to the beginning, to the story of Creation. We know it well, we were there.

We are told that the Lord God fashioned man out of the dust of the earth, and breathed life into him, giving the first ever ‘kiss of Life’. The Lord God created a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve, and His habit was to walk there with them in the cool of the evening. Each evening of the days of creation God looked at what He had made and said it was good. Somewhere deep within the soul of each of us lies the memory of that garden and those walks, and those words.

Day Event Location and time  
Palm Sunday Masses Usual times  
Palm Sunday Stations of the Cross Cathedral 4:00pm  
  Sung Vespers for Palm Sunday Cathedral 4:30pm  
Monday Mass Cathedral 12:15pm  
Tuesday Mass Cathedral 12:15pm  
    Nazareth House 9.30am  
Wednesday Mass Cathedral 12:15pm  
Maundy Thursday Chrism Mass Cathedral 11:30am  
Maundy Thursday MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER Cathedral 7:30pm  
Maundy Thursday Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, after Mass until midnight  
Good Friday Stations of the Cross Cathedral 10:00am  
Good Friday Confessions Cathedral 11am-noon  
Good Friday SOLEMN LITURGY OF THE LORD'S PASSION Cathedral 3:00pm  
Saturday EASTER VIGIL AND FIRST MASS OF THE RESURRECTION Cathedral 8.00pm  
Easter Sunday Easter Mass Cathedral 10:30am, 6:30pm  
Easter Sunday Easter Mass St Thomas More 9:30am