The Crown of the Year
Holy Week and Easter 2012
A Prayer for Holy Week
Lord Jesus Christ, in this week when with you we turn towards the cross and see again the depth and mystery of your all embracing, redeeming love, grant us courage to follow where you go, to notice where you stumble, to listen when you cry, to hurt as you suffer, to bow our heads in sorrow as you die, so that, when you are raised to life again, we may share in your everlasting joy. Amen.
Palm Sunday (1st April)
We start Holy Week by recalling the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, welcomed with the waving of palm branches, but also hear the story of his arrest, trial and crucifixion.
Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday
The Easter Triduum
The Great Three Days
(A triduum is a special period of three days of prayer)
Maundy Thursday (5th April)
This is the day when we recall the Last Supper, at which Jesus told his disciples (including the one who went on to betray him) to break bread and take wine in remembrance of him. We also recall how he washed his disciples’ feet (Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, the commandment of Jesus that we love and serve one another). We also enter into his agonising in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Watch before the Altar of Repose where the sacrament is reserved. The stripping of the altars reminds us of how Jesus was stripped and humiliated after his arrest.
A prayer for Maundy Thursday
Lord Jesus Christ, for the gift of yourself in holy bread and wine, signs of your awesome grace, your sacrificial love and your daily presence within each one of us, accept our praise and thanks. Lord, here you give yourself to us, help us to give ourselves to you. Show us how to make you known at home...at work...at play. Lord, by your grace, may we know, and be, your presence in the world. Amen.
Good Friday (6th April)
A “Good” day because by giving his life for us, Jesus shows us how much God loves us. On this day we venerate the cross, as by it we are reconciled to God, and Holy Communion is taken from the sacrament that was reserved the night before. At the Liturgy in the afternoon we also mark the actual time when Jesus died.
A Prayer for Good Friday
Lord, it is so easy to ignore this holy day when you died for each one of us, yes for me too. Many people try to avoid going with you to the cross because it is so stark a revelation of the depth of your love that you would die for each of us that we and the world might be reconciled with the Father. Help us to see this day not as one of mourning, but as the day of your triumphant passion. Accept our thanksgiving for all that your endured, and give us the courage to come to the foot of the cross in worship and to stay with you until it is finished. For your name’s sake. Amen.
Use the prayer above as a Prayer of Preparation before coming to one of the acts of worship in church, or as thanksgiving afterwards.
Holy Saturday (7th April)
We begin our joyful celebration of the resurrection through one of the most wonderful services in the Christian Year. With Christians all over the world, we gather in a dark Church where the Easter Candle will be lit and from which our candles will be lit. In the words sung by the Deacon we shall hear the truth that this is “most blessed of all nights, when wickedness is put to flight, sin is washed away and mourning turned to joy...and all creation reconciled to God”
A Prayer for Holy Saturday
Lord, on this day your body lay in the cold, dark tomb. As we hear again the saving deeds of our God recorded in scripture, renew our baptismal promises and sing our Alleluias once more, open our hearts to celebrate your resurrection with deep joy and to express in our lives the love we celebrate. Risen Lord we praise and adore you: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Easter Day (8th April)
We celebrate the risen life of Jesus present with us, the centre of our faith and hope.
on this day of celebration, make us joyful in our praise;
on this day of resurrection, bring us to new life;
on this day of new creation, open our hearts to your love,
that our lives may show your light and peace to the world.