Thursday, March 26, 2015

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week and Easter

We come now to the Holiest time in the Christian Year: we enter Holy Week. On Palm Sunday we greet Jesus with Palm Branches and joy at his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. And then moments later we read the Passion Narrative and contemplate the mystery of his life and death.

On Maundy Thursday we commemorate the Institution of the Lord’s Supper and reenact the “maundy” or the foot washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus. Here Jesus turns the world upside down by telling us that the greatest among us is also to be the servant of all. The “Jesus Theme”; the first shall be last and the last first is acted out before our very eyes. And then the church is put into darkness as we strip the altar and prepare for the reality of Good Friday which no one will ever escape.

The Cross stands before us on Good Friday as a stark and yet glorious reminder of God’s power over sin and death which Jesus accomplishes in his Passion. The Love of God is triumphant in the Cross of Christ, as the haunting melody repeats itself each year; “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”.

At the Great Vigil, we watch with all those in every age have watched with those who have died in the hope of the Resurrection. Jesus is the first fruits of that hope. The Paschal Candle is lighted and carried into the church. From this single candle the Light then fills the church with its radiance and then bursts forth with a blaze of glory. 

Easter Day! Jesus Christ is Risen today! Welcome Happy Morning! And the host of saints in heaven and on earth break into song. 
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

Our Holy Week schedule is as follows:

Palm Sunday Services
5pm, Saturday, March 28
8am, Palm Sunday
10am, Palm Sunday

Maundy Thursday
7pm Holy Eucharist, Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

Good Friday
Noon; The Way of the Cross
7pm: Solemn Collect and the reading of John’s Passion Narrative

The Great Vigil of Easter
7pm: The Lighting of the Paschal Candle and Celebration of the First Eucharist of Easter

8am Easter Day Eucharist with Choir and Music

10am Festival Holy Eucharist

Everyone Invited!

Many of you know of somebody who has not been to church recently. Here’s an idea. Extend a simple invitation. Tell someone how much you love your church and of how important this time of year is to you. Extend a welcome invitation to someone in the family, among your friends or a neighbor.

If ever there is a time of the year to open the door of our hearts and our church this is it!

There are many ample opportunities for us to gather for worship this week. Make sure you take advantage of those opportunities.

And Happy Easter to one and all!

Fr Paul

No comments: