NEWS FROM S. MARY’S
It is uncertain when Christians first began to make an annual memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ, over time, the Pascha (Passover) developed into the articulated structure of Holy Week and Easter. Through the participation in the whole sequence of services, Christians share in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the empty tomb on Easter morning. The procession with palms, which was already observed in Jerusalem in the fourth century, is accompanied by the reading or singing of the Passion Narrative, in which the whole story of the week is anticipated. Maundy Thursday (meaning Commandment) contains a rich complex of themes: humble Christian service expressed through Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist, the perfection of Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.
After keeping vigil, Thursday passes into Good Friday with its characteristic episodes, the first being the veneration of the Cross. It is custom for there not to be a celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, but for the consecrated bread and wine remaining from the Maundy Thursday Eucharist to be given in communion. The church remains stripped of all decoration. It continues bare and empty through the following day, which is a day without a liturgy: there can be no adequate way of recalling the death of the Son of God, other than silence and desolation. But within the silence there grows a sense of peace and completion, and then rising excitement as the Easter Vigil draws near.
From earliest times Christians have gathered through the night of Easter to recall the story of God’s saving work, from creation through to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Easter Liturgy is not merely a presentation of God’s work. It is meant to be a real experience of new life for the worshipper, a passing from darkness to light which offers hope to all the faithful. It is therefore important that the preparation is prayerful and thorough. The Easter Vigil marks the end of the emptiness of Holy Saturday, and leads into the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
Adapted from Times and Seasons – Common Worship
Please see separate advertisement for Holy Week and Easter. You are welcome at all of the services.
THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE
In support of the ‘Green Canopy’ as part of the
Jubilee celebrations, St. Mary’s will be planting a number of trees in the churchyard and Community Garden. If you would like support this initiative by sponsoring a tree, please contact:
Colin Woolgrove – Tel: 01825 830076
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
AT S. MARY’S
10th PALM SUNDAY – 11.15 a.m. Parish Mass
13th WEDNESDAY – 10.30 a.m. Stations of the Cross
15th GOOD FRIDAY – 3.00 p.m. Liturgy of the Passion
16th EASTER EVE – 7.30 p.m. Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter
17th EASTER SUNDAY – 11.15 a.m. Parish Mass