Holy Week has begun!
Today we celebrated Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the countdown has begun towards the heart of the Christian year, the Triduum Sacrum, the sacred three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
The Week begins quietly with Stations of the Cross at 7pm on Monday, confessions on Tuesday at 6pm, followed by Mass at 7pm and on Wednesday a Mass at 11.30am and Sung Plainchant Compline at 9pm. Then we are into the heart of the matter.
On Maundy Thursday at 7.30pm, we celebrate ‘the Last Supper’ when Christ washed the feet of his disciples, gave us a new commandment, ‘Love one another as I have loved you,’ and gave us the Eucharist as a continuing reminder of His presence with us and of our communion with Him and with one another. We process to the Altar of Repose and watch and wait and pray with him during the ‘agony in the garden’ until midnight and the moment of his arrest when He is taken from us.
On Good Friday, we gather at 1.30pm for the Liturgy of Good Friday. We hear the Passion according to St. John and then the crucifix is carried into the church, ‘Behold the wood of the Cross on which was held the Saviour of the world!’ We kneel and kiss the feet of Christ who has brought us forgiveness, reconciled us with God the Father, and given us a place in Heaven. In the evening, at 7.30pm, there is a concert of Penitential music to mark the day.
Holy Saturday brings us the heart of the week and the heart of the Christian year. We gather in darkness outside of the church by the Easter Fire. The Paschal Candle is lit from the flames. ‘May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds!’ We all process into the church in silence and light our candles from the Paschal candle, claiming Christ’s light in our own lives. In the candlelight of the church we hear the story of salvation history through readings, music and prayers. Then we move to the font and renew our baptismal vows; as we recall Christ’s sacrifice for us and God’s love for us, we cast off our sinful selves and claim new life him. The lights come on as the light of Christ breaks into our lives and renews us and uplifts us. Thus we move into the first mass of Easter, cleansed, reconciled, renewed and once more in communion with our God.
On Easter Sunday, almost an after-thought, at 10.30am we celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection and recall how Mary Magdalene met with the Risen Christ in the quiet of the garden.
Holy Week is intense and exhausting but I would like to encourage you to take part in every possible moment you are able. Let Christ speak to you through this week and may you come to know the power of the Resurrection in the quiet of the garden.
Everyone is welcome at St. Anne’s from the deeply faithful to the questioning and the curious. Wherever you fall, I hope that you will find a safe place of prayer and friendship where you may encounter something of the God who loves us all.
Every week at St. Anne’s
8am – Said Eucharist
10.30am – Parish Eucharist with Children’s Church
Every Tuesday 8am
Morning Prayer and breakfast
11.30am – Eucharist
Coming up soon
‘Women at the well’
A place for exploring and deepening our spirituality as we grow older. We will reflect on Scripture and other input as relating to our present stage of life, to try to discern what we may offer in response to God’s love and care for us.
Thursday 7th February – 10am coffee and followed by lunch
Compline with Address
A short service of Night prayer.
Wednesday 13th February – 8pm
Sung Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes.
Wednesday 6th March – 7.30pm
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