The Benefice of
Pilton with Croscombe,
North Wootton and
Festivals and celebrations
The season of Advent marks the start of the Christian year, and is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church looks forward to celebrating the birth of Christ and the real meaning of the season. This year we are planning to make opportunities to create space during our preparations for Christmas with prayer stations in each church.
Lighting successive candles on our Advent rings involves children and reminds us all of the symbol of light at this dark time of the year. In our Christingle services everyone makes their own Christingles and supports the work of the Children's Society at the same time.
The celebration of Christ's coming among us at Christmas, the incarnation, is one of the main festivals of the Church.
Carol services are held in all our villages and carol singing is advertised in the magazines. Children are invited to decorate the Christmas trees a warm welcome is extended to villagers and visitors to join our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services which are child-friendly and inclusive.
The Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th January marks the beginning of the season of Epiphany. Epiphany means manifestation and the traditional observation begins with the celebration of the visit of wise men from the East. It then explores other ways in which Christ reveals himself to be the Son of God.
The end of the season is marked by the Feast of the Presentation on the 2nd February. Jesus is brought to the Temple by his parents; this is often known as Candlemas.
Lent and Holy Week
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the observation of Lent the most solemn time of the Christian Year. Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence: from the Middle Ages it became the custom to begin Lent by marking Christians with the sign of the cross in ash on their foreheads. The season is traditionally marked by self-examination, fasting and preparation for Easter. It is a time when Christians reflect on the biblical account of Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13).
Lent groups are held in all of our villages. We may use a video or follow a book or study the bible to enable people to think more deeply about the Christian faith in a disciplined way.
This year we considered "who is my neighbour" with some invited speakers.
Bible readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ's suffering and death. Holy Week begins with Christ's entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This is the beginning of a journey of the imagination which takes us to the Upper Room for the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, through Jesus' betrayal, trial and crucifixion on Good Friday.
The service of Compline is said at North Wootton at 7.30pm on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week; on Maundy Thursday there is a service of Holy Communion at Croscombe Church at 7.30pm and this may include hand-washing to symbolise Jesus washing the feet if the disciples. Contemplative services are held on Good Friday.
On Easter Day, one of the main festivals of the Church year, the resurrection of Christ is celebrated in all of our churces with services of Holy Communion and Easter Praise and beautiful flowers. The renewal of Baptismal vows may be included.
The feast of Pentecost celebrates the account of the Holy Spirit coming on the disciples empowering them for mission (Acts 2:1-47). Ascension and Pentecost are closely linked.
Liturgical year - taken from the website of the Church of England