Holy Week (14th-20th April 2019) – the most important week of the year
With Easter Day being the most important day of the Christian calendar, Holy Week is the most important week. Easter this year falls on 21st April so Holy Week will begin with Palm Sunday, 14th April. To mark the week there are a number of services and events on offer at St Mary’s. You are welcome to join as many or as few as you can or as you wish.
On Palm Sunday (14th) we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The 10am service will feature in place of the sermon a dramatic reading of Luke’s account of Jesus’ Passion – words which speak for themselves. There will also be a service of Choral Evensong at 6:30pm.
On the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week (15th-17th) there will be a short meditation at 7pm, led in turn by different people on different themes, and followed by Compline.
On Maundy Thursday (18th) we commemorate the Last Supper, at which Jesus instituted Holy Communion (‘Do this in remembrance of me’). This moving service will feature the Washing of Feet, the stripping of the altar as the church is made ready for Good Friday, and a Watch of Prayer (‘Could you not watch with me for one hour?’).
On Good Friday (19th) there will be an ecumenical Walk of Witness, beginning at the Catholic Church at 10am, and concluding with a short service in the Market Place – followed by hot cross buns at the Methodist Church.
There will then be a Three Hours Service between 12noon and 3pm, led by Bishop John, as we sit at the foot of the cross at this most solemn of times. There will be a hymn every half-hour, and then a reading, a meditation, and plenty of silence for reflection. Please feel free to enter or leave during any of the hymns – or stay for the whole service.
For families who may have been out for the day a short All-Age Service at will be offered at 4pm.
Then, at 7pm our Choir will offer a Sung Meditation on the Passion.
On Holy Saturday (20th), as we contemplate the reality of Christ at rest in the tomb, there are traditionally no services.
However, with the arrival of darkness and Easter Eve we will hold our first service of Easter: the Easter Liturgy at 8pm. This wonderful service features the new Paschal Candle being brought in to the church and then what is known as the Service of Light. A Vigil follows in which we reflect upon key passages from the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection of Christ.
With the arrival of Easter Day we celebrate with special services at 8am and 10am (including the annual egg hunt and egg roll).