PALM SUNDAY AND HOLY WEEK
all are welcome
For details of services in Word format
9.30 am Mass (with procession)
11.30 am Sung Mass
4.00 pm Stations of the Cross and Benediction
5.00 pm Quiet Mass
Wednesday in Holy Week
St George’s Cathedral, Southwark
11.15am Chrism Mass,
(No morning Mass or exposition at St Raphael’s)
8.00pm Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Washing of disciples' feet, Procession to the Altar of Repose, Stripping of the Altar
Watching at the Altar of Repose until midnight
Compline at 11.45pm - night prayer: praying with Christ in the Garden
10.00am Stations of The Cross
3.00pm Solemn Liturgy.
Reading of the Passion, Veneration of the Cross & Holy Communion
8.00pm Stations of the Cross & Veneration of the relic of the True Cross
Good Friday is a day of fasting & abstinence.
All persons between the ages of 18 - 60 must fast;
anyone over the age of 14 must abstain from eating meat.
10.00am Ephphetha Rite (RCIA candidates)
10.30am -11.00am Confessions
8.00pm Solemn Easter Vigil
Blessing of the Easter Fire & Lighting of the Pascal Candle.
Vigil of Readings, Baptisms, Receptions into the Church, Confirmations.
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
9.30 am Family Mass
11.30am Sung Mass
5.00pm Quiet Mass
No Rosary and Benediction today
Sunday after Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
9.30 am Family Mass
11.30am Sung Mass
Divine Mercy Devotions and
Benediction at 3.00 pm
5.00pm Quiet Mass - Holy Souls
CONFESSIONS AFTER ALL SERVICES
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Sundays in Lent - 4.00 pm
Good Friday at 10.00 am and 8.00 pm
Reflect with Pope John Paul II
on the Way of the Cross
Pray with us on the Way of the Cross
NEWSLETTER FOR HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
MEDITATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS
Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, the most important week in the life of the Church. The liturgy this week is full of symbolism as it follows the footsteps of Our Lord in these sacred days. On Palm Sunday, we remember Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem when he was hailed as a King. The priest is robed in red, a reminder of Christ’s Kingship. The Passion of Our Lord is read from St. Mark’s Gospel, focusing us on the last days of Our Blessed Lord’s life.
In the liturgy for Maundy Thursday the Church moves to the upper room where we remember the Last Supper and the institution of the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Communion) and the Sacred Priesthood. During the singing of the Gloria, the bells ring out, and then remain silent; the church is in mourning until the Resurrection. After reading the passage from St John’s Gospel, which recounts the story of Our Lord washing the feet of his apostles, the priest takes off his mass vestment and follows Jesus’ example. The word Maundy comes from the Latin ‘Mandátum’ ‘I give you’ (a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you’). During the most sacred part of the Mass, the Canon, the words change slightly to remind us that tonight we remember the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, ‘…in memory of that night when Jesus Christ, Our Lord, gave us the mysteries of his body and blood.’ On this night we omit the Sign of Peace, to recall that Our Lord was betrayed by Judas with a kiss of friendship. After Holy Communion. as the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to the Altar of Repose, we follow Our Lord into the Garden of Gethsemane which the Altar of repose represents. There we remember that His apostles could not keep awake while he suffered the pain and anguish of that night, we watch with him in prayer until midnight.
On Good Friday the Church is bare, the Altar has been stripped, the starkness serves as a visible reminder of the grief which Our Lady and the Apostles felt after the death of Our Lord. There is no Mass today anywhere in the World. The Solemn Liturgy begins at 3pm, the time at which Our Lord died upon the cross. The Procession enters in silence, all kneel in silence and the priest prostrates himself on the floor before the altar. The ceremony proceeds with the reading of St John’s Passion. Then in a long list of intercessions, we pray for the Church and the whole World. The most moving part of the ceremony follows - the cross is slowly unveiled as all approach and venerate.
From then until Holy Saturday night the Church waits in anticipation of the Resurrection.
The Easter Vigil, Saturday night, begins in darkness, the Easter fire is blessed and the great Paschal Candle is lit and carried into a darkened church; the priest solemnly proclaims lumen Christi (The Light of Christ). After the Priest intones Lumen Christi for the second time, everyone in the Church who is baptised lights their baptismal candle from the Paschal Candle. The ceremony continues full of symbolism as the priest sings the great Easter Exsúltet – the Easter proclamation. The readings from scripture recall salvation history. The Baptismal Water is blessed and we renew our Baptismal Promises. Our Catechumens are baptised, those who are coming into full communion are received into the Church, and the candidates and catechumens are confirmed. The Gloria is accompanied by the ringing of the bells as the altar is decorated and preparations are made for the Eucharist.
The three days unfold like a triptych. This is the high point of the Church’s liturgical year. The Sacred Liturgies are magnificent as we enter into and celebrate the mystery which is Our Lord’s Passion, death and Resurrection.
I wish and your loved ones the blessing of the risen Lord,
Fr. Vincent Flynn
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