Night Prayer for Holy Week
May the Lord grant you a quiet night and a perfect end.
Each evening during Holy Week
@ 8pm (9:30 on Thurs & Sat)
Palm Sunday Night to Easter Sunday Night
Join us for a short recitation of the the
Night Prayer of the Church on Zoom, link here
“When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing’. Then they cast lots to share out his clothing”.
BUILT WITH BOLDGRID
- Daily Mass Readings
When you come upon a homeless person on the street, take some time to speak with him/her. Buy them a tea or coffee rather than give them money
renew in us today
a spirit of service
to our homeless sisters and brothers.
Let us remember them
and their need in our prayer,
let our Lenten sacrifice enable us
to support them in our almsgiving.
Most of all,
when the opportunity
let us meet
and serve them directly
so that we may see
the face of your son
Jesus Christ in the face
of those we serve.
Christ is crucified today
in our prosperous cities.
When you sleep rough, that is, on the street, your body quickly gets grubby and your clothes get soiled. A shower and some clean clobber makes a huge difference.
The crucifixion of Jesus and the lottery for his clothing reminds me of The Passage. For thirty years I have been chaplain at this centre for homeless women and men in central London. The Passage is located in the house of St Vincent-de-Paul’s Daughters of Charity. Each day about 150 homeless people come to The Passage. Their needs are basic: a lavatory, a shower, a change of clothes, breakfast and, hopefully, a sympathetic staffer or volunteer who will listen to the tragic stories of shattered lives.
Here is something I wrote in 1991. At the time rough-sleeper numbers had rocketed. Four of us beginners had started a temporary (as we thought) Night Shelter in the hall of Westminster Cathedral which opened from 10pm until 7am every night.
“Vincent de Paul had a penetrating way of observing the poor person. The visible reality, he saw was often raw, dirty, and ugly. But as he put it, when you turn the coin around and gaze at the deeper reality behind the rough façade, what you see is nothing less than the face of Jesus. Seen like that the poor person is worthy of respect, even reverence.
I work as a member of staff in the Passage Night Shelter and visit The Passage Day Centre. I see my ministry as one of presence. I circulate. I am available. I am a listening ear. I hang around ready to engage anyone who wants to talk or chat. It is a meagre offering but quite rewarding just the same.
Each person in the Night Shelter and at the Day Centre has a story to tell. Some do not want to tell it; I respect their silence. Some tell it hesitantly I encourage them. Some tell the story readily and fluently, I listen. Their experiences include stories of lost childhood, shattered family life, school, broken relationships, work (or lack of it) and, frequently prison. Almost always there is the theme of abuse, tragedy, failure, and rejection. A person whose life “like a leaf that the seasons tear up and condemn” has a poor sense of self-worth. “Father I am the black sheep of the family.” Their stories vary from sad to joyful (Fred: “Father, I got it” as he exhibits the key to his first home in years). Simply and directly related these are chronicles of women and men who know like Jesus the feeling of being “a worm and no man”. I believe they need to speak about that experience. I try to listen as they speak for and against themselves.”
The successor of the Night Shelter is Passage House, a 40 single-bedroom hostel. The physical accommodation may be better, but the residents still come with their individual brokenness.