Holy Week and Easter
Easter and Holy Week Services
Despite the interregnum, we will maintain the full Holy Week liturgy starting with Palm Sunday and culminating in the keeping of the Easter Triduum, the three days which begin with Maundy Thursday and end with Easter Day.
Palm Sunday this year is on 1 April and our service, as usual, is at 9.30 am. We shall meet at the door of the church, when palm crosses will be blessed, after which we shall process into church each of us carrying one of them. We shall hear the story of the Passion, read by seven people from the congregation, this year according to Saint Matthew. We shall then celebrate the Eucharist.
After the Communion, the altar is stripped and the Sacrament is taken to the Altar of Repose (symbolising Christ’s walk from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prayed to do his Father’s will). There we shall watch with him for an hour.
On Good Friday there is no Eucharist; instead at 10.00 am, after we have heard the Passion story from Saint John, we bring in a great cross and make an act of veneration before: each of us will have been given a nail which are asked to bring up to place at the foot of the cross. We then pray for the world for which Christ came to die. Finally, we receive the communion from what was saved from the night before which is then disposed of so nothing is left; as so it seemed at the time.
The Easter Vigil, at 8.30 pm on Saturday 7 April, is the last great service before the celebrations of Easter. It sets the story of Christ’s passion in the context of the whole Bible, from which we hear a number of passages. After we have heard the Old Testament promises, we return to the church door to light a new fire from which a huge candle is lit symbolizing, as it does, the light of Christ from which each of us his or her small candle lit. We renew our baptismal vows remembering that baptism symbolizes death and resurrection.