Holy Week and Easter at St Mary’s

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:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of Holy Week

8.00pm – Holy Eucharist with sermon

On the first three evenings of Holy Week, we gather for a quiet communion service. Our preacher for these three evenings is Bishop Robin Smith, who will be exploring the theme of ‘modern-day martyrs’.

Maundy Thursday

8.00pm – Lord’s Supper with foot washing and stripping of the altars, led by Bishop Robin Smith, followed by the Vigil of Gethsemane, and then Compline at 10.00pm

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 10.00 pm to end the Vigil.

Good Friday

10.00am – All-Age Service led by Sue May, Lay Leader of Worship

11.30am – Walk of Witness with Churches Together in Redbourn. Starts at St John Fisher Roman Catholic Church on Dunstable Road

1.30pm – Liturgy with Veneration of the Cross and Communion,  led by Revd Dennis Stamps, Rector of St Nicholas church Harpenden and Rural Dean of Wheathampstead

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 Sunday

6.00am – Dawn Vigil & Ceremonies led by Bishop Robin Smith, followed by breakfast

8.00am – The First Communion of Easter (Book of Common Prayer) led by Bishop Robin Smith

10.00am – All-Age Parish Eucharist (Common Worship), led by Rt Revd Jane Mainwaring, Bishop of Hertford

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 8.00am Easter Day service includes rousing Easter hymns as well as sharing in communion together.

Our 10.00am Easter service is a joyful celebration of Easter with hymns, prayers and an All-Age talk from Bishop Jane. The service will be followed by refreshments and an Easter Egg hunt in the churchyard.

Easter Monday

11.00am – Pilgrimage to St Albans, starting from the Transept

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 at 11.00am and then set off on 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 3.00pm.

We can arrange some lifts back for those who only want to walk there and not back again afterwards!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s