Holy Week 2012; the Centre of the Churches Year
We are invited to play our part in the salvation of the world by re-living the events which were the culmination of Jesus' life and in which He invites us to take part.
Maundy Thursday (Thursday 5th April)
We are invited in a special way to unite ourselves with Him in His Supper, which He longed to eat with us. We will have a Shared Supper in the Social Area at 7:00pm, which will begin with Jesus' own words to His friends. We will then go in our own time into church.
We will then celebrate Mass together at 8:00pm and enact the Gospel of the sign of Jesus' love, the washing of the feet, as it is read. At the end of Mass we go in torchlight procession to the Altar of Repose commemorating Jesus' walk to Gethsemane and His agony in the garden. The candles are extinguished and we depart in darkness as the church is stripped bare, remembering how the disciples all abandoned Jesus.
We are invited to "stay with Him and pray with Him" until Night Prayer at 11:55pm and His Passion began.
Good Friday (Friday 6th April)
3pm Mass, at the time of Jesus death on the Cross we remember His death for our sins as the Priest prostrates himself on the floor and we all pray in a time of silence. We listen to the description of what Jesus felt as He dies on the Cross. There is then a dramatic reading of the Passion of Jesus and we pray with Him for all people. A cross is then brought in, the sign of Jesus great love for us, and we are invited to venerate the cross as we come forward to receive communion.
Holy Saturday (Saturday 7th April)
No Mass will be celebrated as we remember the despair of the apostles as Jesus lay in the tomb.
Easter Night Vigil (8:00pm Saturday 7th April)
The Mass of the year as the third day begins at sundown, we celebrate the greatest event in history, the Resurrection of Jesus.
We begin in a darkened church, listening to the account of the events through history which prefigured and led to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, with pictures and music to illustrate them.
Outside of the church we will light the New Fire of Easter, bless and light the Easter Candle which all year symbolises the Light of the Risen Jesus and the breaking of the darkness of the world. We listen to the Gospel account of the Resurrection of Jesus.
On our return to the church, we light our candles to remind us that we are the light of Christ in the world today and unite in the hymn of praise of our Risen Lord. Baptismal water is blessed and we renew our Baptismal Promises and are sprinkled with it. We then celebrate the first Mass of Easter and are united in our Risen Lord in Holy Communion. We then will share in some festive refreshments.
Do try to make sure that you take part in all these services. They will be of help to all, from age 8 to 98+!. Let us live this week, and particularly the 3 days, as a community.
Services on Easter Sunday return to our normal schedule of 8:30am, 10:30am and 5:30pm.