Ash Wednesday marked with combined worship

Parishioners from St Patrick’s Catholic Church, St Matthew’s, St Alban’s, Tauweru, and Church of the Epiphany packed St Patrick’s, Masterton, for a highly successful combined Ash Wednesday liturgy, with imposition of ashes.

The service was preceded by a shared meal in Moore House, where everyone had an opportunity to meet and get to know each other.

The service was jointly led by Fr Julian Wagg, the Reverend Stephen Kimberley (preacher) and the Reverend Peter Brown.

The Vicar of Masterton, Reverend Stephen Kimberley’s, sermon can be found here.

Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent

Cross of ashes on a girl's forehead

On Ash Wednesday the ashes of last year’s palm crosses are burned and
the ash used to place a cross on the forehead of each person in the congregation.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent.  Ashes were used in Old Testament times as a way of expressing sorrow for sin and faults.

Ash Wednesday also marks the start of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying and ends on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.

Christians mark this time in prayer, repentance, study, some fast (eating no meat or dairy products) and many give up luxuries.

Ash Wednesday services

Parish Ash Wednesday services are:

12.10 pm   Ash Wednesday Midday Service, St Matthew’s

5.30 pm   Contemplative Service and Imposition of Ashes, St Andrew’s in the Paddock, Fernridge

5.30 pm    Combined Anglican/Roman Catholic Ash Wednesday service at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, begins with Lenten food in Moore House (behind St Patrick’s, followed by a combined Ash Wednesday Service in St Patrick’s (the Liturgy of the Word and the Imposition of Ashes).

News – February 3, 2013 – Presentation in the Temple

Presentation of Christ in the temple - Menologion of Basil

This icon shows Mary handing the Baby Jesus to Simeon, while in the background Joseph holds the two turtle doves for the sacrifice. 

When he was eight days’ old Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the temple to meet the requirements of the Law of Moses. They brought with them two turtle doves as a sacrifice, as the law required.

The devout, elderly Simeon, who was “guided by the Spirit,” was at the temple when they arrived.  God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen Christ (Luke 2:26)

Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms and uttered the much-loved words we know today as the Nunc DimittisAt St Matthew’s it is sung each month at Choral Evensong and is sometimes said or sung at funerals.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

In a modern translation

‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’

For those who love choral music, listen to Eccard’s beautiful anthem which tells the story of the baby Jesus and Simeon – When to the temple Mary went.  (Sorry, we couldn’t find a contemporary music example.)

Vicar’s Blog

The next instalment of A Time of Increase is up on Steve’s new blog.

You can add your thoughts to Steve’s writing by making a comment at the bottom of the web page.  These comments are screened to remove internet nasties and probably won’t appear for an hour or so until the webmaster releases it.

Here’s this week’s episode, which has some lovely photos from around the parish – A Time of Increase – Part II.

Testing continues for a new church projector

Did those of you who attend the 10 am service at St Matthew’s notice the difference (clarity) with the screen display last Sunday (January 27th)?

For the technically minded, we tried a projector with a bulb that  produces 5,000 lumens (our present projector is 3,000 lumens.)  For the financially minded this will cost around $3,000.

Next we are going to try a projector with 7,000 lumens.

Accommodation needed

Do you have a single room available for rent or board? Please let the office know.

Ash Wednesday – 13 February

The combined Anglican/Roman-Catholic Ash Wednesday Service, is being hosted by St Patrick’s Church.

Hospitality starts at 5.30 pm in Moore House (behind St Patrick’s Church), with the service beginning at 6.30 pm in the Church.

St Andrew’s in the Paddock holds a contemplative service for Ash Wednesday at 5.30 pm.

Ash Wednesday service details for St Matthew’s will be advised in next week’s update

Parish Magazine deadline approaching

The deadline for any articles or items for the next edition of the Parish Magazine is Friday, 15 February. Can you please email your item directly to the editor or the Parish Office.

Parish Inventory under way

All our churches, halls and other buildings are being surveyed and an inventory is being compiled of their contents.

If, by any chance, you should happen to have any parish equipment, tea towels, prayer books, etc., would you mind returning them either to the Parish Office or their proper home.


We have an opportunity to send a family on a retreat weekend in April. We need to raise $300 to cover retreat costs. If you can help please see the Parish Office.

Outdoor Adventure Firewood Fundraiser

The going rate for firewood is about $150 for 3 square metres (almost a cord). If you get firewood from the parish, you can make a donation of what you can afford and they’ll even deliver it for you. It’s even cheaper if you pick it up yourself.

Keep yourself warm this winter – and help our Outdoor Adventure Group – by getting your firewood from them. Contact the Parish Office if you’re interested.

Prayer pointers

As we step into a new year, let us pray for the Breath of God to be upon us, to bring fresh inspiration by the Holy Spirit, that we may be right in the centre of God’s will for us as a church family.

  • Lenten studies, that all those taking part will be encouraged by God’s Word.
  • Please pray for our nation as we celebrate Waitangi Day this Wednesday. Pray for God’s righteousness at all levels of society, and also an increasing unity in the Holy Spirit amongst all Christians in our country.
  • Isora – new study group for youth – pray God’s blessing, that our young people will be impacted by the gospel, also pray for God’s anointing upon Kat and Gareth as they lead.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people – Psalm 19 (NIV)

For your diary

 February 16 3pm – 5.30 pm, Community Hall: 4F’s – Free Family Fun & Food.
 February 23 9 am – 3 pm – KidZ WorkZ Team Retreat/Planning Day @ Black Rock Rd.
 March 2 7.30 am – 9.30 am, Men’s Breakfast, Community Hall
 March 2 10 am -12 pm, Community Hall—Matt’s Place
 March 9 8.30 am – 10.30 am, Women’s Breakfast, Community Hall
 March 16 11 am – 4 pm: Parish Fair, St Matthew’s Community Hall and grounds

If you have an event you’d like added to the list, please email the Parish Office, or phone 06 370 8589.

This week’s Koinonia is available here