Holy Week and Easter


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Palm Sunday: 20th March
8.00am Holy Communion,
9.30am Parish Eucharist of the Palms, with Procession and Palm Crosses
4.30pm Lent Evening Service.

 

Holy Week
7.30pm Mon., Tues.- Compline with Meditation

Wednesday 23rd March
9.30am Holy Communion
7.30pm Compline with Meditation in Church

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Maundy Thursday
7.30pm The Last Supper with Watch

 

easter4Good Friday
10.30am Family Service for Good Friday with activities and hot cross buns
2.00pm The Last Hour – readings, prayers and meditations for Good Friday

Holy Saturday
8.00pm Easter Vigil with lighting of the Easter Fire

Easter Sunday
8.00amHoly Communion,
9.30am Family Easter Praise Eucharist
6.00pm Easter Songs of Praise

easterIn the dark of the night before Easter Day we gather outside the church around a brazier, in which the ‘new fire’ is burning. We call this fire ‘new’ because, after having observed the events which led to Jesus death over Holy Week, it can seem as if the light of hope has been extinguished and the warmth of human love grown cold. And yet, on the eve of Easter we are celebrating the dawning of new hope which we symbolise by the lighting of the Paschal Candle which is lit outside and then carried through the dark church as the only light.

From the light of the Paschal Candle we each light a candle of our own, a sign of the news of the resurrection gradually getting out. In our services over the Easter period we use the refrain ‘Christ is risen indeed, alleluia!’ Often when we use “indeed” in conversation we mean to say that we have no doubt about something having happened, that we regard it as fact, but we also mean something more. We also mean what the word ‘indeed’ more obviously means when used as two separate words. When we say ‘He is risen in-deed’ we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead as an actual deed, an action, an event, which just like other actions and events came about and was actually experienced in the everyday, in the flesh.

This truly meaning-full word reminds us that the resurrection isn’t just a concept or a nice idea but it was something people saw, felt and even touched as the risen Jesus made himself known in the breaking of bread, as he spoke peace to fearful disciples, and as he rescued weary fisherman on the seashore, renewing the promise of his presence with them and of their new birth to come.

Over the course of our lives, through the twists and turns which they will take, we may know dark times too, we may well experience something of what Jesus experienced; perhaps betrayal, abandonment and even agony. At St. Aidan’s we accompany Jesus through all of events of that Holy Week which leads to his death, in order that we are able to participate more fully in the joy of Easter Day, but also take to heart the glimmering hope of the resurrection in the midst of our own trials and tribulations. Please check our Calendar for details of our activities and service times over Easter.

An Easter Prayer:

Christ, as a light, illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield, overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me, on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me, on my left and my right.

(from the Northumbria Community).