Rector’s message 6th April 2023

How we are celebrating this holy weekend – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday

We are sending out our e- newsletter a day earlier than usual because of Easter. The details of our services from Maundy Thursday through to Easter Day are included. You can see the details here. 

Each of the days of this holy weekend have a special focus in the story of what happened to Jesus and what that means for us. On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, the founding event of our Eucharist or Communion services. As well as instituting the sharing of the bread and wine , Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as an example of service. Then he led them out to the Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested. On Maundy Thursday evening a Communion service  at 7.45pm commemorates these events and some of the congregation offer and receive the washing of their feet as a moving visual reminder of what Jesus did.

On Good Friday we will start our worship with prayers at 9am which is “the third hour”, ie after dawn, when Jesus was nailed to the cross. The Solemn Liturgy service following immediately after that  (this year at 9.15am)  includes the proclamation of the cross; when every member of the congregation is invited to come and take a turn to stand holding the wooden cross before the congregation. This year as last year we have a simple cross made from two tree branches. After that everyone is welcome to share hot cross buns with tea and coffee before the Family Service 11.15am with Good Friday themed craft activities.  Once again this year our Easter Garden will be in the flower bed outside the front of The Cornerstone.

At midday on Good Friday all the churches of Wokingham will join together in Wokingham Market Place before a large wooden cross to remember Jesus and prayer for God’s world. This year the cross will be carried into the Market Place from Rose Street Methodist Church. You can join the procession there and have coffee beforehand from 11.30am. After the Market Place the cross will be carried to Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church where a short service will be held.

On Saturday (properly called Holy Saturday or Easter Eve)  we recall Jesus lying dead in his tomb. We have no services or celebrations. This is a quiet day of waiting.

Sunday, Easter Day, is a day of joy, celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The first service of the day starts before dawn at 6am .  Come whilst it is still dark to the churchyard, just as the first witnesses of Jesus’ empty tomb came before dawn. The new fire will be lit from which we will take the light of Christ, and carry the paschal candle into the first communion service of Easter. (Please gather in the Cornerstone foyer at 5.55am if you would like to be part of this service.) There will be breakfast in The Cornerstone after the Dawn service. Other services follow at 8am , at 9.30am and at 11.15am. The 9.30am Parish Communion will be a lively service for all ages; and the 11.15am Family Service is perfect for families with younger children. Whichever service children and young people come to there will be a hunt of sorts (indoors this year because of the restricted access to the churchyard) which may well involve chocolate!

To conclude Easter Day there will be a service of Celtic Evening Prayer at 6.30pm. This is a quiet meditative prayer service, which will of f course this Sunday be focused on the new life in Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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