Holy Week and Easter 2022

The events of Holy Week moved frighteningly quickly for Jesus and his disciples. If we miss out on the action at church after Palm Sunday we may also miss some of the glory of Easter Sunday. There are several services this week, and while the format is sometimes different from our normal Sunday worship, there are service sheets to guide you and much will be familiar. One woman who had attended church all her life was quite incredulous that services were even held on Maundy Thursday – what was all that about? ‘But that’s when it all began’, replied the wise, gentle neighbour. ‘That’s when Jesus first blessed the bread and wine.’

Holy Week services bring our faith to life like no other time of the year. If you’ve never taken part before, do come and check them out. If you’re familiar with the rhythm of Holy Week services, then be like that neighbour and encourage someone else to join in.

Palm Sunday, 10 April
9.30 am    Parish Eucharist with procession of palms, dramatic Passion reading and children’s activities at St Paul’s
11.15 am   Mattins and Passion reading at St Matthew’s
4 pm          Family service with story, craft, songs and tea at St Paul’s

Maundy Thursday, 14 April
7.30 pm     Holy Communion with foot-washing, stripping of the altar and watch at St Paul’s

Good Friday, 15 April
10 am        Family service for all ages at St Paul’s
12 noon     Devotional service at St Paul’s
2 pm          Devotional service at St Matthew’s

Holy Saturday, 16 April
10 am        Easter garden preparation by children at St Paul’s
8 pm          Vigil and first light of Easter at St Paul’s

Easter Sunday, 17 April
8 am          Holy Communion at St Matthew’s
9.30 am     Family Eucharist, with Easter egg hunt for children, at St Paul’s
11.15 am   Mattins and Holy Communion at St Matthew’s

In the alarming times in which we live it can be hard to believe that there is any good news or indeed any hope. We are still reeling from the impact of Covid and there is so much fear and suffering around. We believe that over two thousand years ago in a country occupied by a foreign and often brutal power and amid religious and cultural tensions, out of sight, God in Jesus defeated death. While the rest of the world went on as normal, God was working in an extraordinary way so that death will not have the last word over any of us. This is why we find love and hope in our churches, which exist to proclaim this good news. We pray that this gives you hope and comfort too.

The Cross of Nails is made of 14th-century nails found in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral. It was sent as a gesture of goodwill after World War 2 by the Provost of Coventry to the Dean of Napier Cathedral, New Zealand, where the cathedral had been destroyed by an earthquake. With a confident faith in restoration, the accompanying message was, ‘We shall rise again’.