EASTER AT HOME...

People are asking how we will observe Easter this year. Here you will find our content for Easter as we experience Christ's  Resurrection in our homes:

EASTER SUNDAY

The Resurrection of Jesus is the principle tenet of the Christian Faith; it proves that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He rose from the dead by His own power.

"It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead."

John 20:1-9

"In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
  Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’
  As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’

Acts 1:1-11

Resources for Easter  and Pentecost can be found, courtesy of our diocesan Pastoral Ministry Office at http://formationpathways.co.uk/resources-for-easter-and-pentecost/ There is a wealth of information for the whole family - - "Come, Holy Spirit!"

In anticipation of Pentecost Sunday, which this year falls on 31 May 2020, CHARIS (Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service) has thought for the this coming Pentecost to unite as many people as possible to pray all together invoking the one who has changed our lives, the Holy Spirit! As part of our Pentecost preparations, we invite you to read their Message in preparation for Pentecost 2020, written by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap, Preacher to the Papal Household: Fr Cantalamessa in preparation for Pentecost 2020 docx.pdf

There is a special focus of prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us and the world at Pentecost. Please find set out below, various Pentecost Novennas, which you might find of spiritual interest and aid your spiritual journey to Pentecost.

“Thy Kingdom Come” is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer. In 2019 Christians from 172 countries took part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ. During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will: Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ; Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus, and Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness. There is a lot more information and resources online at https://www.thykingdomcome.global, including a prayer journal with readings and reflections for every day.

Diocese of Northampton Please find below two Pentecost Novena prayers from the diocesan Liturgy Commission: This first Novena asks you to simply take time and reflect on some of the texts that are given in the liturgy of the Church on the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost:

PENTECOST NOVENA 1 .pdf

This second Novena offers you the traditional texts for use on the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost:

PENTECOST NOVENA 2 .pdf


ON PENTECOST SUNDAY

On this day there is a NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY where the Dioceses designated in their rosary hour encourage their people across the Diocese to pray the rosary either individually, in families, in prayer groups and parish groups (with care to observe social distancing guidelines and therefore remotely via social media or telephone where needed). Our Diocese (Northampton) has the 9am rosary hour; though it does not matter what time during the specified hour the rosary is prayed.

The Prayer Intentions of the national rosary rally are, as follows:

  • For Faith, Sanctity of Life, and peace to Prevail in our Nation
  • For and end to the COVID-!9 virus, the sickness it causes and its effects that prevent us living life in abundance (cf John 10:10)

  • For the protection of the common good, and people's economic livelihoods

  • That the Holy Spirit will preserve us from disaster and war

Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations and that be delivered from the global pandemic of COVID-19 

 

Other items of interest....

The Holy Father’s Easter Message and “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing, Easter Sunday 2020

Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi message on Easter Sunday challenges us to ban indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness during this time of Covid-19 – and to spread the “contagion” of hope.

At 12.10, from the gates to the Altar of the Confession, inside the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father addressed his Easter Message to the faithful listening via radio and television. Then, following the announcement of the indulgence given by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pope imparted his “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing.
The following is the Holy Father’s Easter Message:
 
Transcript of Urbi et Orbi Message of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!

Today the Church’s proclamation echoes throughout the world: “Jesus Christ is risen!” – “He is truly risen!”.

Like a new flame this Good News springs up in the night: the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family. In this night, the Church’s voice rings out: “Christ, my hope, has arisen!” (Easter Sequence).

This is a different “contagion”, a message transmitted from heart to heart – for every human heart awaits this Good News. It is the contagion of hope: “Christ, my hope, is risen!”. This is no magic formula that makes problems vanish. No, the resurrection of Christ is not that. Instead, it is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “by-pass” suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good: this is the unique hallmark of the power of God.

The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One, not someone else. In His glorious body He bears indelible wounds: wounds that have become windows of hope. Let us turn our gaze to Him that He may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity.

Today my thoughts turn in the first place to the many who have been directly affected by the coronavirus: the sick, those who have died and family members who mourn the loss of their loved ones, to whom, in some cases, they were unable even to bid a final farewell. May the Lord of life welcome the departed into his kingdom and grant comfort and hope to those still suffering, especially the elderly and those who are alone. May He never withdraw His consolation and help from those who are especially vulnerable, such as persons who work in nursing homes, or live in barracks and prisons. For many, this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties.

This disease has not only deprived us of human closeness, but also of the possibility of receiving in person the consolation that flows from the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation. In many countries, it has not been possible to approach them, but the Lord has not left us alone! United in our prayer, we are convinced that he has laid his hand upon us (cf. Ps 138:5), firmly reassuring us: Do not be afraid, “I have risen and I am with you still!” (cf. Roman Missal, Entrance Antiphon, Mass of Easter Sunday).

May Jesus, our Passover, grant strength and hope to doctors and nurses, who everywhere offer a witness of care and love for our neighbours, to the point of exhaustion and not infrequently at the expense of their own health. Our gratitude and affection go to them, to all who work diligently to guarantee the essential services necessary for civil society, and to the law enforcement and military personnel who in many countries have helped ease people’s difficulties and sufferings.

In these weeks, the lives of millions of people have suddenly changed. For many, remaining at home has been an opportunity to reflect, to withdraw from the frenetic pace of life, stay with loved ones and enjoy their company. For many, though, this is also a time of worry about an uncertain future, about jobs that are at risk and about other consequences of the current crisis. I encourage political leaders to work actively for the common good, to provide the means and resources needed to enable everyone to lead a dignified life and, when circumstances allow, to assist them in resuming their normal daily activities.

This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic. May the risen Jesus grant hope to all the poor, to those living on the peripheries, to refugees and the homeless. May these, the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters living in the cities and peripheries of every part of the world, not be abandoned. Let us ensure that they do not lack basic necessities (all the more difficult to find now that many businesses are closed) such as medicine and especially the possibility of adequate health care. In light of the present circumstances, may international sanctions be relaxed, since these make it difficult for countries on which they have been imposed to provide adequate support to their citizens, and may all nations be put in a position to meet the greatest needs of the moment through the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the poorest nations.

This is not a time for self-centredness, because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons. Among the many areas of the world affected by the coronavirus, I think in a special way of Europe. After the Second World War, this continent was able to rise again, thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past. It is more urgent than ever, especially in the present circumstances, that these rivalries do not regain force, but that all recognise themselves as part of a single family and support one another. The European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its future but that of the whole world. Let us not lose the opportunity to give further proof of solidarity, also by turning to innovative solutions. The only alternative is the selfishness of particular interests and the temptation of a return to the past, at the risk of severely damaging the peaceful coexistence and development of future generations.

This is not a time for division. May Christ our peace enlighten all who have responsibility in conflicts, that they may have the courage to support the appeal for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. This is not a time for continuing to manufacture and deal in arms, spending vast amounts of money that ought to be used to care for others and save lives. Rather, may this be a time for finally ending the long war that has caused such great bloodshed in beloved Syria, the conflict in Yemen and the hostilities in Iraq and in Lebanon. May this be the time when Israelis and Palestinians resume dialogue in order to find a stable and lasting solution that will allow both to live in peace. May the sufferings of the people who live in the eastern regions of Ukraine come to an end. May the terrorist attacks carried out against so many innocent people in different African countries come to an end.

This is not a time for forgetfulness. The crisis we are facing should not make us forget the many other crises that bring suffering to so many people. May the Lord of life be close to all those in Asia and Africa who are experiencing grave humanitarian crises, as in the Province of Cabo Delgado in the north of Mozambique. May He warm the hearts of the many refugees displaced because of wars, drought and famine. May He grant protection to migrants and refugees, many of them children, who are living in unbearable conditions, especially in Libya and on the border between Greece and Turkey. And I do not want to forget the island of Lesvos. In Venezuela, may He enable concrete and immediate solutions to be reached that can permit international assistance to a population suffering from the grave political, socio-economic and health situation.

Dear brothers and sisters,
Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words for ever! They seem to prevail when fear and death overwhelm us, that is, when we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives. May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day, a day that knows no end.

With these thoughts, I would like to wish all of you a happy Easter.

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Message from H.E. Cardinal Vincent Nichols

The Cardinal encourages us to renew our faith in the Living Christ and live by a ‘new horizon’ – the promise of an eternal life – that can console us as we worship from home during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0WQMGdIq1I

Easter Vigil 2020 Homily from the Rt Rev David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton

Please follow this link to read the Bishop's first homily on this night, as our new Bishop:

https://northamptondiocese.org/letters-and-homilies/

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This page will be updated regularly. Elsewhere on this website, you will find details about watching Mass through Live Streaming, etc. Although we are not yet able to meet together for public worship, please do remember that you can still contact Fr James by telephone (01295 660592) or by email (sacredheart_alw@btinternet.com).

Easter Blessings upon you and your loved ones!