This week at St. Margaret’s (as in many other churches) is an invitation to participate, via our communal imagination, in the events of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem, his death and resurrection.
There is preaching, but there is also a lot of participating.
Today (Palm Sunday) at our 10.30 service we have a procession carrying Palm Crosses, as we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey’s colt, while the crowds call out ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’. Later in the service we have a communal reading of the story of the Cross from Mark’s Gospel, with members of the congregation reading the different parts.
On Maundy Thursday at 7.30 p.m. we gather with his disciples in the upper room as Jesus commands them to remember him in a meal of bread and wine. We also wash each others’ feet as he washed their feet.
On Good Friday at 10.30 we will have a communal reading of the story of the Cross from John’s Gospel. Later in the service we gather around the foot of the Cross as a needy people, bringing our prayers to our Saviour who died for us.
On Easter Sunday at 9.00 and 10.30 we gather in joy to worship the Risen Jesus, who we believe is alive and has promised to be with us until the end of the age. This is why we are a people of joy!
Many Anglican churches have additional services too – perhaps every day of Holy Week, and the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday too. However, at St. Margaret’s we’ve discovered over the years that things go better if we do less and do it well. By having fewer services, we make it possible for more people to come together for the main events of the week.
Long experience would indicate that the more you participate in this week, the more you will get out of it. The more you will find yourself transported in your imagination to that week two millennia ago, which we Christians believe transformed the world’s relationship with God. I would strongly encourage you to make this your priority this week. Come today to the Palm Sunday services. Join us during the week ahead for all the services – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday. You’ll be glad you did.
Have a blessed Holy Week.