As the very name ‘Holy Week’ suggests, the coming days represent a special time, a sacred moment for Christians everywhere. We will commemorate and celebrate the central moments of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus by which we have been saved and brought to new life. The distinctive liturgies and ceremonies of these days invite us to enter more fully into these sacred mysteries.
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, commemorating the night Christ gave us the Eucharist as the gift of his enduring presence. We also re-enact Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet as a dramatic reminder of Christ’s insistence that we must be a people of service who put the care of others at the very heart of living out our faith. Mass is followed by an opportunity for people to spend some quiet time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, remembering Christ’s invitation to the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane to stay awake and pray with him.
Jesus once proclaimed that a person can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. On Good Friday we remember the day on which Christ proved the depth of his love for us. The central liturgy of the day, the Passion of Our Lord, consists of three parts: the Proclamation of the Passion from St John’s Gospel, The Veneration of the Cross together with the offering of the Universal Prayers of petition for the needs of our world and finally the Rite of Holy Communion. The Stations of the Cross are a traditional devotion close to the heart of many people and they allow us an opportunity to reflect step by step on the different moments of Christ’s Passion and Death and to connect them to our own trials and sufferings in life. In order to allow ceremonies to take place in each of our churches, we have in recent years combined the Stations of the Cross and the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion into a single combined service.
On Holy Saturday night, we celebrate the Easter Vigil, the highpoint of the Church’s Prayer throughout the year. The Paschal Fire symbolises the light of God breaking through the darkness of death, goodness triumphing over evil and life prevailing over death. It is a celebration of great joy and hope in which we affirm our baptismal belief in the power of goodness and renew our faith and trust in the God of Life.
We welcome you to join us for our Holy Week ceremonies over the coming week.
The Parish Clergy and the Parish Assembly