Pentecost Family Nature Trail

Services for Holy Week and Easter 2018

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on 25 March. At the 9:30am Eucharist we start outside the church (if fine) for the blessing of palms. There is no sermon, but the dramatic Passion gospel is read. At 11:15am there is a service of Morning Prayer and Holy Baptism. The parish choir are giving a free concert at 5:30pm, including Stainer’s Crucifixion and other anthems and choral pieces. There is no set charge, but donations will be gratefully received on the evening in aid of the parish choir’s forthcoming trips to sing at Portsmouth and Chichester cathedrals.

There are simple services of Holy Communion on Monday 26 at 7:30pm, on Tuesday 27 at 10am, and on Wednesday 28 at 12 noon.

Maundy Thursday (29 March) is the day of the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest. Our liturgy begins at 8pm with the reception of the holy oils, blessed by the bishop that morning, which will be used in the parish during the year ahead. We recall Jesus’ commandment to love one another and the footwashing of the disciples. Receiving Holy Communion is very special on this day, the day Jesus instituted the Eucharist. After communion, the altar is stripped and we move to the altar of repose for a silent watch till late in the evening. Please feel free to come and go during the evening.

Good Friday is on 30 March. Our children’s stations of the cross is at 11am, and will be outside the church if fine. This is always a very popular children’s service that helps all ages to understand what Good Friday is about. From 12noon till 1:30pm, there will be readings, music, hymns, and reflections- please feel free to attend for part or all of this time. The choral liturgy of Good Friday starts at 2pm, with veneration of the cross and communion from the reserved sacrament. It ends at 3pm, the time Jesus died on the cross.

The church is then quiet for a time, until our Easter Vigil begins on Saturday evening at 8:30pm. We meet in the church hall, then gather for the blessing of the new fire outside church. We enter the church, which is in darkness lit only by our candles, reading of the prophecies. Then, in a burst of light and music, the first Eucharist of Easter begins. This service includes the annual opportunity for us to renew our baptismal vows, and our Easter candle is blessed. As I probably write every year, this is my favourite service of the whole year, and I recommend anyone who had never been to come along.

On Easter Day itself, Sunday 1 April, we begin celebrate at our 8am Holy Communion and 9:30am Sung Eucharist. We continue to celebrate at our Praise@11 all-age service which is at 11am. After Praise@11, there is an Easter egg hunt in the church grounds!

The full list of all services in Holy Week and Easter at St Mary’s is as follows:

8;00am Holy Communion
9:30am Blessing of Palms and Sung Eucharist
11:15am Morning Prayer and Holy Baptism
5:30pm Parish Choir Concert – Music for Passiontide

26 March: Holy Monday
7:30pm Celtic Holy Communion

27 March: Holy Tuesday
10am Holy Communion

28 March: Holy Wednesday
12noon Holy Communion

8:00pm Liturgy of the Last Supper followed by a watch till 11pm

11:00am Children’s Stations of the Cross
12noon Readings, hymns, music & reflection till 1:30pm
2:00pm Sung Liturgy of Good Friday

8:30pm Easter Vigil with the blessing of the new fire, renewals of baptismal vows, and the first Eucharist of Easter

8:00am Holy Communion
9:30am Sung Eucharist
11:00am Praise@11 all-age service for Easter day, followed by an Easter egg hunt.