St John the Baptist Parish Church
Holy Week and Easter
Holy Week and Easter this year will be like no other we have experienced. Many local churches are offering prayers and meditations. Thank you. Many others can’t do this or prefer to focus their energies elsewhere and to join in the streamed worship offered by the Diocese. Don’t subject yourself to unnecessary guilt.
We are now making plans to offer live streamed worship for the Diocese on Sundays and Holy Days in the coming months to complement what is offered locally. We want this Diocesan prayer and worship to be sustainable over the long haul, collaborative, creative, accessible to all traditions, reliable and prioritising not competing with the local.
Our principal Diocesan services will be at 10 am each Sunday as last week. Wherever possible this will be live with some pre-recorded elements. The full list of services and times for Holy Week and Easter is as follows:
Palm Sunday 10 am A Diocesan Eucharist with Bishop Olivia presiding
This will introduce Holy Week and point forward to a nationally provided and recorded dramatised Passion reading.
Maundy Thursday 11 am
The Renewal of Vows for Licensed and Ordained Ministry
Please would all licensed and ordained ministers gather for this Service of the Word with the traditional renewal of vows. Please retain your oils from last year as it will not be possible to bless or distribute new ones. I hope that Deanery Chapters or smaller groups might gather virtually before or after the service to give something of a sense of the fellowship we enjoy together.
Maundy Thursday 8.15 pm
A Diocesan Eucharist with Bishop Colin presiding
For Good Friday we will offer a series of six short addresses from myself, each with hymns and prayers as podcasts. These will be available from noon on Maundy Thursday to listen to on the website or download as a podcast. You may want to listen to them and keep the traditional three hours; or space them out across a whole day set aside for prayer; or use from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday; or just use the final two as you keep watch at the cross.
Easter Day at 10 am
A Diocesan Eucharist and I will preside and reflect.
These services are all advertised in this flyer (colour version or mono low ink version. Please do make them known to as many people as possible if you are not promoting your own services.
Again and again I have brought to mind in recent weeks the verse from the temptation stories: we do not live by bread alone. At this time more than at any time we need to offer spiritual resources for the challenges we face.
Through all of this, the heartbeat of prayer in the life of Christ Church, our Cathedral, will be sustained by Martyn our Dean (with Emma his wife who is Chaplain at Trinity College), with prayers said each day, and by the Chapter in their homes (although they will not be able to broadcast their prayers).
I am very grateful to the team of liturgists and communications staff who are working hard to make all this possible. There may well be hitches and glitches. Bear with us.
The Church of England app (currently #LiveLent) will carry my own reflections on the Lord’s Prayer with new introductions in this time of pandemic for the forty days of Easter beginning on Easter Day.