The Parish of
From the vicar
At no time in our devotions, during Lent or at any other time of the year, are we closer to the Cross than when we approach the altar. The cross or crucifix may stir our thoughts and spirits to remembrance and adoration, but it is the altar in our midst which brings the events of God’s salvation into our lives.
The altar of the living God is treated by Christians with the utmost respect. It is a fact so obvious that it hardly needs stating. But it is not the repose of an idol, ‘the work of men’s hands’ or even the work of their minds. This is where heaven and earth meet and the wonderful truth of God’s love and mercy is apprehended; here we behold his majesty. This is true regardless of the material the altar is made from or the form it takes.
Altars come in a vast array of shapes and sizes, some of wood, some of stone. Properly the stone which forms the top of the altar is incised with five crosses, one in the centre and one in each corner to represent to five wounds of Christ. An altar made of wood or the stone set within a wooden altar are marked similarly. All altars or altar stones should be consecrated by a bishop, such is their importance.
The significance of an altar is not always understood partly because it has a practical function in the eucharistic celebration. Even so the altar is a sacred object which represents the one who is both priest and victim; Christ who is the lamb of God and our great high priest who ever lives to intercede for us. For this reason the altar is properly dressed with undercloths and a fair linen and then usually adorned with a frontal and superfrontal according to the season. On or above the altar will be found a cross or crucifix and an appropriate number of candles.
Our attitude towards an altar shows a great deal about us. When moving in front of an altar it is correct to reverence it and during the liturgy it may be kissed and incensed. There is an exclusivity about an altar which must never be used as a repository for ecclesiastical detritus or have items placed upon it which are not to be immediately blessed or used forthwith in the mass.
An altar represents the meeting between heaven and earth, a sign of God’s graciousness towards his people as it is shown definitively in Jesus.
‘Never did a cross redeem nature from the curse: never was a Lamb set upon the altar that could take away the sins of the world, until God took on him the nature of a servant.’ (St. Proclus of Constantinople, 5thCentury). This is awesome; approach with care.
8.00am Said Mass (Book of Common Prayer) 9.30am Parish Mass (Modern Rite)
Blessing of Pilgrims, 10.30am at St. Peter’s, Bushey Heath
Mass, 12 noon at St. Albans Cathedral
Followed by a picnic and bible study in the Bishop’s garden.
Bring your own food. Drinks provided.
Pray that the Church may receive a renewed vision for mission and service.
From the diary
Wednesday 3rdJuly, 10.00am Morning Prayer (Officiant: Sr. Diana)
Sunday 7th July, 8.00am no service
9.30am Parish Mass (Celebrant: Fr. Roger Stokes)
Wednesday 10th July, 10.00am Morning Prayer (Officiant: Sr. Diana)
Sunday 14thJuly, 8.00am no service
9.30am Parish Mass (Celebrant: Fr. Robert Van de Weyer)
11.15am Family Service
Wednesday 17thJuly, 10.00am Mass
Monday 22ndJuly, 10.00am Mass (St. Mary Magdalene)
Wednesday 24thJuly, 10.00am no service
Thursday 25thJuly, 10.00am Mass (St. James, Apostle)
Tuesday 6thAugust, 7.00pm Mass (Transfiguration of Our Lord)
Wednesday 7thAugust, 10.00am Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
Saturday 10thAugust, 12 noon Richborough Family Mass
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday 18thAugust, 9.30am
Friday 23rdAugust, 7.00pm Mass (St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
From the Registers
4thJune Geoffrey Thompson (aged 93 years)
10thJune Irene Taylor-Gooby (aged 97 years)
The Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross
Vigil Mass for the Feast of Title
Friday 13thSeptember, 7.00pm at Holy Cross, Marsh Farm.
Preacher: Father Andrew Burton SSC
‘Lift High the Cross’
TheRichborough Family Festival
Festal Mass on Saturday 14thSeptember, 12 noon at Rochester Cathedral.
Quiet Day at Ascot Priory
Saturday 28thSeptember 2019
‘Aspects of the Beatitudes’
Addresses by Father Andrew Burton
The cost will be £20 per person. Please book with Fr. Andrew.
Vicar: Fr. Andrew Burton SSC, a priest of the Society. (020 8950 1424). Usual day off Monday.
Churchwarden: Mrs. Anne Swerling (020 8950 8923).