Ashes are an ancient sign of penitence and from the Middle Ages it became the custom to begin the Season of Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. During Lent churches are kept bare of flowers and decoration, and the Gloria in Excelsis is not used. The Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare or Refreshment Sunday) was allowed as a relief from the rigour of Lent, and the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord always falls in Lent. These short breaks from austerity are the background to the later observance of Mothering Sunday on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. As Holy Week approaches the atmosphere of the Season darkens, the readings begin to anticipate the story of Christ’s suffering and death, and The Passion Narrative gives its name to the Fifth Sunday.
Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.
Holy Week and Easter – Sunday 5 April 2020 Palm Sunday to Sunday 12 April 2020 Easter Day
This most precious of weeks enables us to enter into the mystery of the Love that two thousand years ago gave us the gift of eternal life and every day brings the hope of forgiveness and new beginnings into our world.
On Palm Sunday we marked the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the blessing of palms. Tonight, on Maundy Thursday we recall the night when Jesus and his disciples gathered to celebrate the Passover. Here Jesus washed his disciple’s feet and celebrated the first Eucharist. Afterwards they went to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested.
The following day, Good Friday, Jesus was tried by Pilate and sentenced to be crucified. We remember this with a walk of witness, stark services and times of reflection. Holy Saturday is a day of bereavement and emptiness until gathering in the evening darkness outside the church we light the Easter fire and Paschal candle. Processing into the church, we celebrate the glorious miracle of the Resurrection through readings, hymns and candle-light. The church is once again filled with flowers as celebrations continue on Easter Day, and there is a tangible sense of love, joy and hope on this most precious of days.