What is St Mary’s about? Your Parish Priest offers his thoughts…..
- To offer fitting worship to Almighty God
- To be a signpost, and a foretaste of God’s kingdom
- To serve our parish, and to be hospitable and inclusive
At the heart of St Mary’s life is the Eucharist – the Mass or Holy Communion. When we do the Eucharist, we are offering ourselves to God. Jesus taught us that it is when we give our life away that we find it. Actions speak far louder than words, and Jesus made his words real by dying and rising for us. The Eucharist is the means he left us in order that we can be part of his offering of himself. In the Eucharist he becomes mystically present on the altar, so when we receive him in the bread and wine, we are joined to him. We identify with his death and resurrection. We die to our old selves, and rise up again as part of his new body. Just as Jesus’ words were fulfilled in the event of Easter, so the teaching of the Church becomes concrete in the sacrifice of the Eucharist, where we become the body of Christ. Words are fulfilled in action. Thus we are formed by God for Christian living.
At 8.00 the rite used goes back to 1552. It is from the Book of Common Prayer.
At 11.00 the rite is from Common Worship, in modern English, with the music sung by choir and people. We have a band of young servers to assist.
Rather like the game of cricket, if you’re starting from scratch, there’s quite a bit to learn before Church, and the Eucharist, make much sense. You don’t learn to appreciate cricket by inventing something else instead. So how do we grow people, including children, into the life of the Church, its faith and its worship?
All age worship is a user-friendly once a month service. It aims to be immediate, accessible, and interactive. Music tends to be modern rather than traditional, and the junior choir takes a full part in the proceedings. There is usually a hands-on activity for the young for about 15 minutes. During this time, adults may take part in a discussion related to our mission and the theme of the service. So it is a worship forum where we can all learn and grow, with teaching made more explicit than is usual in worship. And it’s fun!