Thoughts from The Vicarage – a Holy Week Bonus with Brahms Requiem
Greetings on this beautiful sunny day with a Holy Week extra Thoughts, Holy Week Pews News and Stations of The Cross
This week, Palm Sunday to Easter Day is the most important week in the year for Christians, for the Church family and for the whole of creation. It matters more than anything else, all the more so after the disruption we are still recovering from in all of our lives and in every community. It’s the week which changes everything and binds us forever to our gracious God. The events of Holy Week show us the truth which lies behind everything we see and experience. They tell us everything we need to know about love and resurrection, of endurance, service and grace. They are the truths against which our daily lives can be understood. The more you put into Easter, the more closely you walk with Jesus, the more you will get out of it, and the more firmly you will be rooted in the Christian pilgrimage.
Maundy Thursday takes its name from the Latin mandatum, which means ‘commandment’. Jesus told his disciples, ‘A new commandment I give to you – that you love another as I have loved you’ (Jn. 13:34). We give ourselves in love and become Christ’s hands and feet to a needy world. The service starts off joyfully but as we follow Jesus from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane, the mood changes.
The altar will be stripped, and the sacrament is taken to a part of the church, decorated as a garden with candles, and there just, like in Gethsemane, disciples are invited to watch with Christ for one hour.
Good Friday – we wait at the foot of the cross and witness how much God loves us, the price God pays. The churches are quiet and cold, like the grave.
The walk of Witness leaves at 10am from the Sacred Heart church to St Michael & All Angels – all are welcome to join in and to stay for the stations of the cross in St Michael’s. We will be using the attached prayers by Padraig Ó Tuama with artwork by Sieger Köder. Even if you aren’t able to join in please do use these in your private reflections that are very meaningful.
All are welcome to the Sacred Heart at midday for the veneration of the cross – a short 20 minutes of quiet at the foot of the cross and at 2pm the Last Hour service is at St James in Eastbury.
Finally on Good Friday there is a performance of the Brahms Requiem in St Michael & All Angels with three piano pieces by Brahms, played by Sylvia Ardron and Susan Norman, at 7.30 pm.
Holy Saturday – a day of waiting, anticipation, and preparation for Easter. Jesus is in the Tomb. “Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.”
A quiet spoken service from 7pm in St Michael & All Angels.
Easter Day – the most exciting and important day of the year celebrating the rising of Jesus in all three of the Valley churches – with Paschal candles, joyful singing and in Lambourn baptisms!
Finally, please find attached the Stations of The Cross we will be using on Good Friday,