24th February 2023

Dear Parishioners,

It is good to be able to greet you along with weekly offering of the Newsletter and Readings for Holy Mass on the First Sunday of Lent. 

A number of parishioners after Mass on Ash Wednesday asked for the words used during the Mass as they were invited to pledge themselves each day of Lent to its gifts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The request has also come from some who were not at Mass but who subsequently heard about the invitation to connect the Season with their baptism. I make no claim on the words – although I have slightly adapted them – as I found them personally very helpful during the Lent of 2020 which was celebrated in Lockdown. Hopefully they will once more prove a useful spiritual tool as we embrace a collective experience of Lent in 2023. 

With an assurance of daily prayerful remembrance, kindest thought and affection.

As ever, Fr. Nicholas 

Prayer for Ash Wednesday.

God our Father,
on the day of Baptism we were claimed for Christ our Saviour by the sign of his cross. 

On this Ash Wednesday, and each and every day, we come before you desiring to fulfil our baptismal promises, by dying to selfishness and by living for Christ. 

And so, we pledge ourselves, in this Lenten Season, to pray, to fast, and to give alms. 

Father in your kindness, pour out your blessing upon us, as we make this threefold pledge:

(While making the pledge the forehead, right and left hands are signed with the Cross in turn with the thumb.)

I pledge myself to a time of prayer each day – as I do so, I sign my forehead + with the sign of the Cross.   

I pledge myself to fast by denying myself some luxury – as I do so, I sign my right hand + with the sign of the Cross.

I pledge myself to give to others, by supporting CAFOD, or some other charity – as I do so, I sign my left hand + with sign of the Cross.

By your grace, may I keep this Lenten pledge, in preparation for the joy of Easter. grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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