Holy Week And Easter
Palm Sunday commemorates Christ's triumphant arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey, a beast of burden, to the cheers of the crowd. Palm Sunday, this year, falls on 17th April. There will be a Family service at All Saints' Church, Wickhambrook, beginning with a procession with Palm Crosses from the Benefice Hall at 9.30am. There are also services at 9.30am at Denston, Cowlinge and Lidgate. Services later in the day are at Ousden at 11.00am and at Stradishall at 6.00pm.
Holy Communion will be celebrated at 10.00am on Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week - 18th and 19th April, at All Saints' Church, Wickhambrook.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in the upper room and established the service now known as the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas with a kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word "Maundy" comes from the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that we should love one another. The service for Maundy Thursday, 21st April, will take place at 7.00pm at Ousden Church. This will be followed by the Watch of the Passion for one hour. People gather, for as long or short a time as they wish, to remember, in prayer, the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his brutal death for our sakes.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. Good Friday services, on 22nd April, begin with the Churches Together United Walk of Witness, with readings, prayers and hymns, setting out from the URC at 10.00am and walking together to the Methodist Church. Then there are two devotional services later in the day - "An Hour at the Cross" at Stradishall at 2.00pm and then "Stations of the Cross" at Lidgate at 6.00pm.
Holy Saturday, or Easter Eve, is the day before Easter Sunday - the day of the entombment of Christ. It is the Lord's Day of rest, when Christ's body lay in His tomb. The Easter Vigil, also called the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. On Easter Eve, 23rd April, we return to Lidgate Church, where we celebrate the Easter Vigil starting at 8.00pm. This is a service rich in symbolism and drama, as we rejoice that Jesus has burst from the tomb. We start with a new fire in the darkness of the churchyard to bless the Paschal Candle, and then we enter the Candlelit church, before we build up to the blaze of the church lights, which herald the Resurrection.
Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. Easter Day, 24th April, is the Sunday of Sundays. We joyfully celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, and the new life, which he brings to us.
The Benefice shares in the glory of the Risen Christ with a Eucharist at All Saints' Church, Wickhambrook at 10.00am. There is also an evening service at Denston beginning at 6.00pm.
Everyone is most welcome to attend any or all of our services.
With every blessing for a holy and joyful Easter,