On the first day of Holy Week, in our Palm Sunday Service (25th March, 10.30am), we remember how Jesus and his friends enter Jerusalem. Riding abreast the humble donkey Jesus enters this holiest of cities in defiant criticism of the power that oppresses it and he confirms his role as the one who is destined to suffer at the hands of this same imperial power. While Jesus does promise kingship, he promises a different kind of kingship. One which willingly and non-violently accepts the judgement and violence of those who demand to be served for their own purposes. As we gather at the door of St Cross Church on Palm Sunday and as we process in, we align ourselves with this Jesus, and with this kind of kingship. We bear public witness to God’s rule, with its non-violent, creative movement of peace, justice and love.
On Monday (26th March) and Tuesday (27th March) evenings at 7.30pm and again on Friday (30th March) at 1pm we will walk the Stations of the Cross: Stations is a beautiful, meditative devotion often used at Passiontide. Its purpose is to help us engage with the path of suffering walked by Jesus, from Pilate’s house to Calvary. The Tuesday service has been adapted to be suitable for all ages including children.
During our service on Maundy Thursday (Thursday 29th March at 7.30pm) we remember afresh what God has done for us in instituting the Eucharist and what we are called to do for each other, symbolised so poignantly in the Washing of Feet.
During our Good Friday Liturgy at 2pm on Friday 30th March, we proclaim the power of Jesus to save; the power to save every single one of us, irrespective of the number and seriousness of our sins and irrespective of how late we leave our true moment of repentance. On the cross Jesus demonstrates the cornerstone of his royal power, which is the power and authority to forgive sin. This service will be preceded by a Children’s Good Friday service at 12noon and Stations at 1pm.
Although our Easter Vigil service (Saturday 31st March at 8pm) will begin in complete darkness, this is essentially a service of light; light from the New Fire, light from the Paschal candle, and finally, after the Easter Acclamation and the fanfare and during the Gloria, all the lights in the church will be turned on and all around there will be signs of life, in the form of beautiful flowers. These are some of the ways we try to capture the truth of Easter in our worship. During this Service of Light, we will be called to renew our baptismal promises, remembering that only through baptism are we brought into the power of the light of resurrection.
On Easter Morning (April 1st at 10.30am) we will celebrate the awesome reality of the resurrection, by which God invites us all to let Him live in our hearts and minds through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. At Easter we are invited to open ourselves afresh to the risen Jesus. To welcome Him as a friend, with trust, and to see that only He is life.