Passion Sunday

Passion Sunday Hymns 92, 79, 82, 445

FIRST READING Ezekiel 37.1-14 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’


Response: With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive; to the voice of my pleading. R.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt; Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you. R.

My soul is waiting for the Lord: I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak:
Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord. R.

Because with the Lord there is mercy: and fullness of redemption.
Israel indeed he will redeem: from all its iniquity. R.

SECOND READING Romans 8.6-11 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

GOSPEL John 11.1-45 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’ When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’ When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’ Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome to Fr Paul, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be celebrating Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us for tea or coffee in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting is on Sunday 30th April after Mass. In preparation for it, we have to update the church Electoral Roll. If you have joined or rejoined St Michael's during the past year, and would like to be on the Roll, please speak to Martyn and fill in a form (at back of church). Please also see Martyn If you wish to update your details, or check that they are correct.

Join Bishop Norman for the Chrism Mass in Canterbury Cathedral on Tuesday, 4th April, at 12 noon. Could you offer a lift to someone? (Eleanor has 3 places in her car). Bishop Norman, always a good friend to St Michael's, retires later this year. He will celebrate Mass in Canterbury Cathedral for the last time on June 10th and his last Richborough Family Festival in St Albans will be on August 5th. More details later, but put the dates in your diary!

More Dates – agreed at the last PCC Meeting: Our Coronation Big Lunch will be a bring-and-share lunch after Mass on Sunday, May 7th. And we look forward to our Strawberry Fair on Saturday, July 1st – please contact Sara with fair ideas and offers of help.

Thanks to Fr Derek for so kindly leading our Quiet Day in the beautiful surroundings of The Friars.

Readers' List for April: if unable to read on the day listed, please feel free to arrange a swap with another reader. New readers always welcome!

Palm Sunday OT Alison Heywood NT Katja Svarts
Maundy Thursday OT Mike Trout NT Ralph Baldock
Good Friday OT and psalm Eleanor Relle
Holy Saturday Vigil readings (4? tbc) , Mass reading Catherine Garland
Easter Day Paul Jones, Margaret Gatehouse
Sunday 16 Eleanor Relle, Catherine Garland
Sunday 23 Eta/Zangi Katja Svarts
Sunday 30 Paul Jones, Mike Trout

Easter Lilies: If you would like to make a donation towards a lily or lilies – perhaps in memory of a loved one – please put it in the tin in church, or speak to Margaret Gatehouse. Other flowers and greenery for the Easter decorations will be much appreciated during Holy Week – have a look in your garden and see what you could bring!

From Our Tower

Kent County Association: Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels
Sunday, 19 March 2023 in 40m (6-1-24 in C)

1272 Surprise Minor (2m) 
553 London, 720 Cambridge.

  1. Terry Barnard
  2. Rona Joiner
  3. Peter Richardson
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Rupert Cheeseman
  6. Neil Jones (C) 

Rung on Mothering Sunday.

Elizabeth Bryson, who pioneered Anna Chaplaincy in Canterbury Diocese, will be commissioned on 23rd April as the first Anna Chaplain in Ely Diocese. Anna Chaplains and Anna Friends, who minister particularly to the residents of care homes, are still needed here in Maidstone. If you think God might be calling you to train for this ministry, Katja can tell you more.

Palm Sunday (Sunday 2 April): NB the Procession begins in the Parish Hall at 10.15.

Could you pass this sheet on to someone else who might like to see it?