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‘Your king is coming.’



Vicar’s blog: the palms What does salvation look like? What does your king look like? For generations the people of Israel and Judah passed down ancient texts and prophecies that brought them some degree of clarity on this matter. The prophet Isaiah would have led them to check that this coming king, this Messiah, was born of a virgin. The prophet Micah would have encouraged them to look for a connection with Bethlehem. And the prophet Zechariah brings some helpful specific detail. Zechariah makes it clear that Zion’s new king wouldn’t come mimicking the power of a Roman Emperor on a magnificent warrior’s stallion; he’d arrive quite differently: ‘Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ (Zechariah 9:9) We start to see the significance of Palm Sunday in Zechariah’s words. And how might Israel respond to this subversive arrival? With songs, with some words from the psalms ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (Psalm 118:25,26) Yes, but also with foliage. After the desecration of the Temple by the

Syrians, the response of Israel as they recover their holy city is recorded in the apocryphal 1 Maccabees 13:51,52: ‘On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy first year, the Jews entered the citadel with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing.’ Did you spot the greenery? There is a simplicity to Palm Sunday that the church embraces. It’s often outdoors, sometimes there is a star turn from a badly behaved animal, and there is lots of shouting ‘hosanna!’ (And us Anglicans have an annual quota of shouting in church to use up before the Annual Meeting each year.) But there is also a great seriousness to this day. We shout hosanna, save us, because the events of the following week, particularly the Friday to come, remind us that humanity needs saving, fixing. And the palm branches say that a King journeys into Jerusalem to crush and remove and enemy—a battle and a victory. How might we capture this? How might we remember that the noise of Palm Sunday is forever linked with the silent selfsacrifice of God on good Friday? We should hand out palms to everyone; but perhaps they should be shaped like a cross.

Abbey Diary THIS SUNDAY: PALM SUNDAY 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Outdoor Holy Communion 4pm Café Church, Junior Church & The Grid 6.30pm Prayer for North Korea MON 14th 9am Morning Prayer & HC 7.30pm The Phantom of the Opera (1925) with organ 10pm Night Prayer TUES 15th 9am Morning Prayer & HC 7.30pm Glory! 10pm Night Prayer WED 16th 9am Morning Prayer & HC 10.30am Communion 7.30pm God & Dinosaurs 2 10pm Night Prayer MAUNDY 9am Morning Prayer & HC THURS 7.30pm Riding Lights Inheritance GOOD 9am Morning Prayer FRIDAY 10.30am All age Service 12 noon March of Witness 6pm Faure Requiem 7.30pm Night Prayer EASTER 7pm BBC Wiltshire Service EVE NEXT SUNDAY: EASTER DAY 6am Dawn Service 8am BCP Holy Communion 10.30am Holy Communion with Bishop Lee Rayfield 4pm Easter Celebration & Easter Egg Hunt 6.30pm Choral Evensong

John 12:12-16 12

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’ 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written: 15 ‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’ 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realise that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. Additional Reading: Psalm 118:19-24 19

Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes. 24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Glory! THIS TUESDAY AT 7.30pm

Join us this Tuesday, 15th April at 7.30pm, for an evening of passionate, contemporary worship and prayer in the Abbey led by John Monaghan & Mandy Churcher. Not quite how the monks would have done it, but with the same commitment to God and his world.

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Read the John 12 passage together. Is the shouting (v13) cultural, prophetic, or simply over the top? How can our own culture inhibit or enable our own expression of worship? Read the vicar’s blog. What is the significance of the actions of Palm Sunday? Read Luke 19:28-44. As you do, note the details that Luke includes that John doesn’t and discuss the significance of their inclusion. Why might Luke wish us to hear the story of Zaccheus (Luke 19) before the events of Palm Sunday and John wish us to consider the story of Lazarus (John 11)? Which is more helpful to you, and why? Read verse 18. Does this verse imply it is OK for disciples of Jesus not to understand everything? What are you waiting to understand? Take some time together to consider the events and locations of the Holy Week story—don’t forget the tomb. Prepare yourselves prayerfully for the days ahead.

holy week readings MONDAY Lam 1:1-12a John 12:20-50

TUESDAY Lam 3:1-18 John 17

WEDNESDAY Jer 11:18-20 John 18

MAUN THURS Ex 12:1-14 John 13

GOOD FRIDAY Is 52:13-53:12 John 19:1-37

Café Church at 4pm//café open from 1pm The Palm Sunday service at 4pm will be slightly different from usual; it falls into 4 parts. First during a time of extended worship our young people will deliver palms to the congregation to accompany our ‘hosannas.’ Then the café will be open and over coffee we can also look at the Art Exhibition ‘stations of the Cross’ in the South Aisle. John Monagahan will then be speaking to us, and quizzing us, as we sit at coffee tables and consider the events of Palm Sunday. And then at 5pm we finish with a short service of Evening Prayer, monasticstyle, with silence, plainsong and liturgy—beginners welcome!

North Korea—Palm Sunday at 6.30pm Join us to pray for persecuted Christians in North Korea on Palm Sunday. Come along to St Aldhelm's Chapel in the Abbey on 13th April at 6.30pm to pray for about an hour. We will be using the booklets "Time to live like a North Korean" which are available at the back of the Abbey. This prayer time replaces the usual Monday evening meeting. More details from Mike Langtree.

Rent-a-Congregation On Easter Day, and in the week that follows, tens of thousands of people will be joining in Easter worship and hearing an Easter message from Malmesbury Abbey, broadcast on BBC Wiltshire. We need all our congregations to have singing lessons and arrive, at 6.30pm on Saturday 19th April, prepared to belt out Thine be the Glory etc. at the top of their voice. Tickets are still available for £3 from the Abbey Bookshop, and should be available on the door; all proceeds to the work of the May Moore Trust.

Electoral Roll The Electoral Roll of Malmesbury Abbey is the formal list we keep of all those adults who consider the Abbey to be their normal place of worship. Those on the Electoral Roll can vote in our annual elections for churchwardens and church council members, and they are also eligible to stand for election themselves. We are currently updating the list, which is also useful communications data for us, and would really want to encourage everybody who isn’t on the Electoral Roll to fill in a form at the Abbey this Sunday. If you are reading this while away on holiday and would like to be added to the roll, please e-mail Sandie,, and we’ll make a note and catch up with the paperwork on your return. Many thanks.

MALMESBURY ABBEY MAUNDY THURSDAY 7.30pm £10 ADULTS, £5 STUDENTS/UNDER 18 Tickets available from the Abbey Bookshop

Contact ABBEY OFFICE Mon &Tues (9.30am-12noon) Weds, Thurs ,Fri, (9.30am-2.30pm) 01666 826666 Staff members can be contacted by NORMAL CAFÉ HOURS Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9am-4.30pm Wednesday: 12-4.30pm Sunday: Closed all day

Vision Sunday/AGM Our annual Vision Sunday and Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday April 27th. After coffee together from 10.30am there will be a Festival Communion at 11am, including children’s activities, a picnic lunch together, hopefully outside, and then the formal Annual Meeting takes place from 1.30pm-2.30pm. During that meeting we will be electing our two Abbey churchwardens for the year ahead, and also seeking to elect 4 people to both our Deanery Synod and PCC, and 3 others to our PCC. These a crucial roles in the spiritual oversight of the Abbey so please talk to Neill if you are interested in serving for 3 years on this important decision making body for our church. The agenda and a variety of ministry reports are available at the back of the abbey from Palm Sunday or to read on



Abbey News Sheet Palm Sunday 2014

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