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Dear friends,

Tomorrow St Mary's will be aglow with candlelight as we celebrate Candlemas: the great Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, and the final act in the drama of Christmas.  We'd love to see you for our celebrations tomorrow.  At the Parish Eucharist at 10am candles are distributed to the congregation and lit.  There'll be children's activities and wine afterwards as we launch Fr Val Hollands' book Saints Ancient & Modern.  In the evening there's the beautiful service of Festal Evensong at 6.30pm, including music by Lassus, Smith, Gibbons and Eccard.  Evensong begins with a Procession from the Crib.  There is no sermon.

At Candlemas we recall Mary and Joseph bringing the infant Jesus to the Temple to present him to the Lord.  They met the old man Simeon, who acclaimed Jesus as 'a light to lighten the Gentiles', and who warned his Mother that 'a sword will pierce your own soul too.'  With these words, foreshadowing her place at the foot of the Cross, we turn from our celebration of Christ's birth to prepare for his Passion, Death and Resurrection in the holy season of Lent.

Ash Wednesday falls on Wednesday 14 February this year and is the first day of Lent.  The Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes will be celebrated at 10am and 7.30pm.  Our programme for Lent has now been published, and you can download by clicking here.  We have a full and rich programme, including our Lent study series 'Faith at work' on Tuesday evenings, as well as Bible Study on Monday evenings, the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings, a series of Lent fellowship lunches and lots more.  Read the programme to find out all about it.

A varied selection of books for Lent reading will be on sale from tomorrow morning.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow as we celebrate the Light which shines in the darkness, which the darkness did not overcome.

All Sunday Club and Sunday Club Plus children, and their families, are invited to come to a Family Breakfast at in the Church Hall at 9am next Sunday, 4 February.  Please let Marion Dawe or the Church Office know if you hope to attend.

A Candlemas Carol:
'The queen of bliss and of beauty'


Behold what life that we run in,
Frail to fall and ever like to sin
Through our enemy's enticing;
Therefore we sing and cry to thee:
Revertere, revertere,
The queen of bliss and of beauty.


This holy day of Purification
To the temple thou bare our salvation,
Jesu Christ, thine own sweet Son,
To whom therefore now sing we:
Revertere, revertere,
The queen of bliss and of beauty.

Farewell, Christmas fair and free!
Farewell, New Year's Day with thee!
Farewell, the holy Epiphany!
And to Mary now sing we:
Revertere, revertere,
The queen of bliss and of beauty
.

From a mediaeval Candlemas carol

Snowdrops are the Candlemas flower, sometimes called 'Candlemas bells'.  There is an ancient tradition of bringing them into church for  Candlemas.  Their delicate purity reminds us of Our Lady; their appearance in winter is a sign that spring and Easter are on the way.  Here is a beautiful large pot of snowdrops in front of the altar of St Mary's for tomorrow.  There are also some in front of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Click the front cover above to read our Lent programme.
Click here to see some photos from last Saturday's Messy Church, exploring Noah and the Rainbow.
Tomorrow, join us for a glass of wine after the Parish Eucharist as we launch the new book collecting forty of Fr Val Hollands’ biographies of holy men and women. 'Saints Ancient & Modern: Articles written for the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Attleborough' will cost £5 (£6.50 with p&p), and copies will be on sale tomorrow or from the Church Office thereafter.

This lovely photo was taken by Kate Midgley at the end of the Epiphany Carol Service last Sunday evening.  During 'The First Nowell', the clergy and congregation processed to the Crib for the final prayers.

Worship with us


Every Sunday: 8am Holy Communion 10am The Parish Eucharist (with children's activities; coffee after the service6.30pm Evening Prayer

Every Thursday: 10am Holy Communion

Every day: 8.45am Morning Prayer 5pm Evening Prayer

St Mary's Church is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm every day for prayer, quiet and visiting.
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