The services of Holy Week and Easter are, without question, the most important of the year as we enter ‘real time’ and immerse ourselves in the events of the last days of Jesus’s life in Jerusalem; events that take us from the upper room with his friends to his betrayal in Gethsemane, from his trial and crucifixion to his glorious and triumphant rising to new life on that first Easter morning.
We invite you to join us as we make this journey together, and all are welcome at any of our services:
Palm Sunday – 10th April
We meet at the Cricket Pavilion car park at 9.15am and then process to St Mary’s singing and waving our palms, as we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem and being greeted by the crowds.
When we arrive at St Mary’s, the service includes a dramatised reading of the Passion account with members of the congregation taking the parts of the various characters in the Biblical story.
At 6.30 pm we offer The Way of The Cross – a service with choir anthems and congregational hymns interspersed with prayers, scripture and poetry as we mark the start of Holy Week.
Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th April
8.00 pm Holy Eucharist with Devotional Address
Preacher: The Venerable Jonathan Smith
On the first three evenings of Holy Week, we gather for a communion service and our guest preacher for these there evenings is The Venerable Jonathan Smith, former Archdeacon of St Albans who will be exploring the theme of ‘Restoration’
Maundy Thursday – 14th April
8.00 pm The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper with foot washing
9.00 pm The Vigil of Gethsemane until midnight, concluding with
11.50 pm Compline
A service that portrays Jesus gathering with his disciples in the Upper Room. During the Last Supper Jesus kneels and washes their feet as an example to them of humble, loving service. He also inaugurates the Eucharist by taking the bread and wine of the meal they were sharing and commands them to continue to take bread and wine and share them as a special way of remembering him.
At the end of the service, we process to a side-chapel decorated in greenery to represent the Garden of Gethsemane and there we sit, and pray and watch as we remember Jesus praying in the garden and then recall his betrayal by Judas and arrest. We offer the short service of Compline at 11.50 pm to end the Vigil at midnight.
GOOD FRIDAY – 15th April
10.00 am All Age Service
11.30 am Ecumenical Walk of Witness from St John Fisher RC Church to the Common
1.30 pm Good Friday Liturgy with Communion
Our service at 10.00 am is for all ages and remembers the last events of Jesus’s life as he his arrested, and put on trial and led out to die on a cross for us. We sing and pray and share in activities that help us understand more deeply into this amazing sacrificial love that Jesus shows on the cross.
At 11.30 am we gather at the Catholic Church in Peppard Close, with Christians from St John Fisher, Redbourn Methodist Church and St Mary’s to share in this shared act of witness to our common faith as we walk, following a large wooden cross, through the village offering hymns prayers and Bible readings and we finish with hot cross buns and refreshments at the Methodist Church on North Common.
At 1.30 pm we gather for this stark and solemn act of worship at the very time that Jesus was on the Cross. In the service we hear the story of his crucifixion, we offer our prayers and share in communion together, finishing at 3 pm – at the very time that Jesus breathed his last.
EASTER DAY – 17th April
6.00 am Dawn Vigil with Easter Ceremonies including Parish Breakfast, leading into
8.00 am The First Communion of Easter (Book of Common Prayer)
9.30 am Online Easter Broadcast via www.stmasrysredbourn.org
10.00 am All Age Easter Eucharist followed by Refreshments and Easter Egg Hunt
11.30 am Morning Praise with Holy Baptism
Our dawn vigil starts in the early light and in a sequence of readings we recall the story of our salvation history. We bless and light our Easter candle and then carry it into the church as the first light of Easter, representing the rising of Christ. We conclude this dawn service by affirming our baptismal promises and then share breakfast together.
Our 8am Easter Day service will be led by Bishop Robin and will include a couple of rousing Easter hymns as well as sharing in communion together.
Our 10 am Easter service will be outside on the church lawn if the weather is dry, or in church if wet. A joyful celebration of Easter with hymns, prayers and an All-Age talk. The service will be followed by refreshments and an Easter Egg hunt in the churchyard.
As well as our morning services in person, we offer a special Easter broadcast online via our St Mary’s website and YouTube that recalls the story of Easter in a series of powerful flashbacks. It will be well worth a look, whether you are able to come to some of the other services in person or not.
EASTER MONDAY – 18th April
10.30 am Meet at St Mary’s for the Pilgrimage to St Albans – All welcome
Picnic Lunch on the Abbey Orchard followed by service at 3.00 pm
The Easter Monday Pilgrimage has been a tradition for over 50 years and we invite you to join us. All are welcome. We will gather for breakfast baps at 10.30 am and then set off at around 11.15 am for the gentle 6 mile walk, following the River Ver, through the Gorhambury Estate and Verulamium to the Abbey for a picnic lunch outside and an Easter celebration service with the Bishops in the Cathedral at 3 pm. We can arrange some lifts back for those who only want to walk there and not back again afterwards!