Holy week at St Mary's Church Richmond
Holy Week (5th-11th April) – 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 12th April so Holy Week will begin with Palm Sunday, 5th April. To mark the week we have a number of special services and events on offer. You are welcome to join as many (or as few) as you wish.
On Palm Sunday (5th) we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The 10am service will feature in place of the sermon a dramatic reading of Jesus’ Passion – a drama that speaks for itself.
At 6:30pm our Choir will perform Faure’s Requiem as a sung meditation.
On the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week (6th-8th) there will be a short meditation at 7pm, led in turn by different people on different themes, and followed by Compline.
On Maundy Thursday (9th) 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 (10th) 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 be a Three Hours Service between 12noon and 3pm. This will follow the pattern every half-hour of a hymn, a reading, and a reflection, with plenty of silence for contemplation at the foot of the Cross. Please feel free to enter or leave during a hymn on the hour or half-hour – or stay for the whole service.
For those who may have been out for the day a special Fun-Key Church will be offered at 4pm.
On Holy Saturday (11th), 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 lit from a fire outside and then brought in to the church. As we each hold a candle lit from the Paschal candle the dark church is illuminated by the light of Christ. A Vigil follows in which we reflect upon key Old Testament passages, telling the story of the history of our salvation in the light of the Resurrection of Christ.
We celebrate Easter Day with special services of Holy Communion at 8am and 10am. And after the 10am service we go outside for an egg hunt – and our traditional an egg roll competition!
For ‘early birds’ there will be an outdoor sunrise service held in the grounds of Easby Abbey, at 6:30am. This popular Easter service attracts people of all denominations and was established by Les Nevin, the Methodist minister. This will be Les’ last Easter before his retirement in the summer.
******The Lent Study groups across our group of churches and our community are where we hope we can meet with other Christians of other denominations. The leaflet below gives you more information. If you are using the "Saying Yes to Life" book you may find this page helpful. It has lots of resources.
Dates and times of services during Holy Week and Easter will follow shortly on this page.