Services in Lent & Holy Week

Traditionally a time of penitence involving acts of self-denial such as fasting and abstinence, Lent may be more generally thought of in terms of the Greek word, metanoia.  This word, which most versions of the Bible translate as 'repentance', literally means 'to turn around', or 'turn back'.  During Lent, we re-orient our lives to God, turning back from self-obsession and self-centredness.  This may involve the shedding of layers of self-serving habit, the giving away of material comforts and psychic crutches which have come to substitute for radical reliance on God as the true centre of our life.

Lent begins with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday.  In this service we are reminded of our mortality and of the link between repentance and spirituality, and we are encouraged to enter with trust into the darkness and quietness of Lenten observance.  In other words, Lent is not just a 'season' of the Church in which the liturgical colour changes into the deep purple hue of repentance and the ornaments of the Church are minimalised, but a journey we take together. 

Holy Week begins with Passion (or Palm) Sunday with services held at the regular times of 8am and 9.30am.  During these services we remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of the final week of his life, as the opposition that has surrounded him during his ministry coalesces into a plot to end his life.  Holy Week culminates in the Triduum (Great Three Days) of Maundy (or Commandment) Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day.  These services form a triptych depiction of the events of the last night of Jesus' life when he washed his disciples feet and passed on to them the great commandment to love one another, his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman occupation army, and the enigma of the empty tomb discovered by his followers on Easter morning. 

All are welcome to join with us in our Lent and Holy Week services:

Ash Wednesday (18 February) 7 pm
'Five Fridays in Lent' (Fridays 10, 17, 24, 31 March and 7 April) 7 pm - Brief (30-40 min) services of readings, contemplative prayer and the music of Taize
Passion Sunday (9 April) 8 am and 9.30 am - with the procession of the palms
Maundy Thursday (13 April) 7pm - a commemoration of Jesus final meal with his friends and the washing of feet
Good Friday (14 April) 9am - solemn liturgy and Holy Communion
Good Friday (14 April) 7 pm - the Stations of the Cross
Easter Day (16 April) 6am - the Easter vigil
Easter Day (16 April) 9 am - Eucharist with the renewal of baptism vows