Holy Week and Easter
Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, 9th April, 2017. This week marks the most important week of the Christian year, as we follow the events of Our Lord’s Passion and death, leading to the great celebration of the resurrection on Easter Day.
Palm Sunday (9th April)
The week begins with Palm Sunday, the day which recalls Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem, to be greeted with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ as the crowds welcomed him as a king. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the crowds waved branches of palm leaves to salute him.
Our Palm Sunday service begins with the blessing and distribution of palm crosses, which are given to each member of the congregation to carry in a procession into church in honour of Jesus.
- 8.00am Low Mass at St Martin’s Church
- 9.30am Blessing of Palm Crossses at St Martin’s Church Hall and Procession into Church and Sung Parish Mass at St Martin’s Church
- 11.15am Blessing of Palm Crossses and Sung Parish Eucharist at St Mary’s Church
Monday and Tuesday in Holy Week
Two days of quiet contemplation at the start of a busy week.
- Monday, 7.30pm Compline and meditation at St Martin’s Church
- Tuesday, 7.30pm Compline and meditation at ST Mary’s Church
Wednesday in Holy Week
On the Wednesday in Holy Week, 12th April, will be holding a Christian Passover in St Martin’s Church Hall, starting at 6.00pm. An event for the whole United Parish of Haverfordwest and Camrose.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to experience something of the traditional Passover meal within the context of the Christian faith. In simple terms, it tells the story of the Jewish history and their salvation from slavery in Egypt, and for us Christians also puts into context the event of the Last Supper, which Jesus shared with his disciples. It is a joyful occasion, a family meal, and we hope that everyone will feel welcome and able to join us. There is food and drink, music and a little storytelling! All welcome.
- 6.00pm Passover Meal at St Martin’s Church Hall
Maundy Thursday (13th April)
Maundy Thursday marks the occasion when Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples, at which he instituted the Holy Eucharist. Jesus took bread and wine, blessed them, broke the bread and shared the bread and wine with his disciples, saying that they were his body and blood, given for them. Just as the bread was broken and the wine poured out, Jesus body would be broken on the cross and his blood poured out.
Following the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he spent time in prayer, in great anguish, before he was arrested and taken to his trial on Good Friday.
Our Maundy Thursday service in St Martin’s begins at 7.30pm with a great celebration of the Eucharist, recalling the Last Supper. It is followed by the Watch of the Passion, a time of quiet prayer and meditation, reflecting on Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Watch continues until 10.00pm, and although it is not compulsory to stay in church for this time of prayer, we are encouraged to stay for at least a short time, as we recall Christ’s anguish.
- 7.30pm United Parish Mass (Eucharist) at St Martin’s, followed by the Stripping of the Altar, and the Watch of the Passion (optional) until 10.00pm
Good Friday (14th April)
Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year, as we reflect on Jesus’ trial and death on the cross. Our churches are stripped of the usual embellishments and ornaments, and our worship is much more subdued and reflective than on other days.
Our services on this day are at:-
- 7.30am Morning Prayer and Litany at St Martin’s Church
- 10.30am Stations of the Cross at St Martin’s Church – A traditional, meditative service, reflecting on the events of Christ’s journey to the Cross, as we walk around the church, reflecting and praying at each of the 14 ‘stations’ which represent the points on Jesus’ walk to the cross.
- 11.00am Stations of the Cross at St Ismael’s Church, Camrose
- At 12 noon we will be joining with the other Churches Together in Haverfordwest for a walk of witness around the town centre, starting at Castle Square.
- 2.00pm Holy Hour at St Mary’s Church – The traditional Liturgy of the Day for Good Friday. Prayers and readings, and the Veneration of the Cross.
Easter Eve (Holy Saturday)
Traditionally, this is a much quieter day than the earlier part of Holy Week, with very few services taking place during the day. During this time, we reflect on how Jesus body rested in the sepulchre, or grave.
However, from the evening we begin the great celebration of Easter, as we mark the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ who rose from the dead.
- The first celebration of Easter is at the Easter Vigil, which begins at 7.30pm at St Martin’s Church – a service for the United Parish of Haverfordwest and Camrose. This beautiful and joyous service begins with the lighting and blessing of the first fire of Easter, as a small flame is lit, representing the light of the risen Christ. From this flame, the large, Paschal (Easter) Candle is lit, and processed with great celebration through the church, as we proclaim, “The Light of Christ – Thanks be to God!”. Gradually, the light is spread through the church, as more candles are lit from the Paschal Candle. On this evening, we traditionally renew our baptism promises, as it is in baptism that we get to share in the promise of Christ’s Resurrection. Our Easter Vigil service then reaches its climax in the joyful celebration of the Eucharist, which is the First Mass of Easter.
Our celebrations of the resurrection continue on Easter Day, with great joy and splendour. We hope you will join us for at least one of these Easter services, which celebrates the central and most important event of our Christian faith.
- 6.00am A Sunrise Service at Plumstone Mountain, near Camrose
- 9.30am Sung Parish Mass for Easter Day at St Martin’s Church
- 10.15am Sung Parish Eucharist for Easter Day at St Ismael’s Church, Camrose
- 11.15am Sung Parish Eucharist for Easter Day at St Mary’s Church.